TOLOnews.com RSS Feed http://tolonews.com/ Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:22:33 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev (info@mypapit.net) TAWDE KHABARE: Violence Against Journalists Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/28706-tawde-khabare-violence-against-journalists-discussed tAWDEKHABNAR

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Zabi Sadat discusses violence against journalists in Afghanistan.

With him in the studio are;

• Amina Mayar, editor-in-chief of Mursal Magazine

• Rahimullah Samandar, head of Afghanistan Journalist's Association

• Ghafoor Jawed, journalist

• Nabi Misdaq, writer and journalist

Click below to watch full episode.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 16:53:56 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/28706-tawde-khabare-violence-against-journalists-discussed
FARAKHABAR: Sixth Heart Of Asia Summit Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/28705-farakhabar-sixth-heart-of-asia-summit-discussed FarakhgabarFawadToday

Following the one-day Heart of Asia ministerial conference in Amritsar, India, 14 countries in the region adopted a declaration and called for an immediate end to all forms of terrorism and to the financing of the problem.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Fawad Aman discusses the topic with following guests;

• Sayed Massoud, university lecturer

• Sediqullah Patman, analyst in political affairs

Click below to watch full episode.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 16:38:41 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/28705-farakhabar-sixth-heart-of-asia-summit-discussed
TOLOnews 6pm News 04 December 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/28704-tolonews-6pm-news-04-december-2016 6pmnews-04-DecTop news in this Bulletin:

Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Ministry of Interior (MoI) said on Sunday they have identified Taliban's strategic operating centers and that security forces will target these facilities in winter.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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Afghanistan Human Rights Organization (AHRO) on Sunday sharply criticized First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum over his alleged actions, including the assault of Ahmad Eshchi, former governor of Jawzjan, ten days ago.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 15:43:53 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/28704-tolonews-6pm-news-04-december-2016
Helicopter Crash Due To Tail Rotor Failure http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28703-helicopter-crash-due-to-tail-rotor-failure Ghori-04-Dec

Officials said Sunday that last week's helicopter crash that claimed the life of top army commander General Muhayuddin Ghori was due to tail rotor failure.

According to video footage received by TOLOnews, the helicopter crashed as it came in to land at a Badghis army base. The tail rotor stalled, sending the helicopter into a tail spin.

Prior to the rotor stalling, the helicopter did not show any visible signs of technical problems. Only when it was about 20 meters above ground did the rotor stall.

Ghori, who was killed in the crash, had been the commander of 207 Zafar Army Corp. At least 11 people, including the crew and high-ranking officials, were in the helicopter at the time of the crash.

To watch the full news package click below.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 15:37:09 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28703-helicopter-crash-due-to-tail-rotor-failure
Govt Criticized Over 'Unclear Fate' Of Dismissed Ministers http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28702-govt-criticized-over-unclear-fate-of-dismissed-ministers MinistersTOday

A number of Kabul residents on Sunday criticized government for not yet taking a decision on the fate of the seven ministers who were dismissed by MPs over development budget issues more than two weeks ago.

Last month MPs in the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) summoned 16 ministers to report back on their development budget spend. Seven ministers failed to secure votes of confidence.

Government then referred the matter to the Supreme Court for a final decision. However, the Supreme Court has not yet ruled in this regard.

"Government should make the fate of the dismissed ministers clear. We have no idea whether they are ministers or acting ministers," said Abdul Rahman, a university student.

"In Afghanistan, power is focused on the executive pillar. All decisions are made by the executive pillar," another university student Obaidullah said.

"A number of lawmakers were influenced by a number of ministers," said Farhad, another university student.

A number of experts have also slammed the issue.

"I don't think the Supreme Court will reach a final decision on this matter, because Article 92 of the Constitution is clear and the Supreme Court does not have the authority to interpret it," said Madadzai, deputy head of Afghanistan's Lawyers Union.

"They are not ministers anymore. I urge government not to violate the law and take steps to introduce new ministers," said Nadir Shah, an MP.

However, MP Ramzan Bashardost said the process had not been fair.

"A number of ministers who spent less than 40 or 45 percent of their budget got a vote of confidence and survived; while, other ministers who spent more than 60 percent of their budget were dismissed," he stated.

The Supreme Court would not comment on the issue.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 15:30:58 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28702-govt-criticized-over-unclear-fate-of-dismissed-ministers
Watchdog Criticizes Dostum Over Eshchi Saga http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28701-watchdog-criticizes-dostum-over-eshchi-saga Dostum-04-Dec

Afghanistan Human Rights Organization (AHRO) on Sunday sharply criticized First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum over his alleged actions, including the assault of Ahmad Eshchi, former governor of Jawzjan, ten days ago.

AHRO urged the United Nations and other countries to take a stand against those who violate the law.

Dostum was accused of not only being involved in the alleged assault against Eshchi but also the apparent unlawful arrest of the former governor. However, Eshchi was reportedly handed over to the NDS last week.

"This is not the first time that Dostum does such a thing and it will not be the last time. We urge the UN and other countries involved in Afghanistan to stop these powerful men. Such actions have increased the violation of human rights in the country," said Lal Gul Lal, chairman of AHRO.

Eshchi's family meanwhile said they were told that Eshchi will be released from NDS custody on Sunday, but this has not yet happened.

"My father was transferred to the Directorate of National Security (NDS) last Tuesday and they confirmed that he is in their jail. But now it is not known whether he is at the NDS or if he has been taken back to Dostum's house," said Eshchi's son Babur.

People close to Dostum, however, reject the claims and say Dostum did not assault Eshchi.

"Eshchi is not a famous political figure that Dostum should have disagreements with. They want to damage the first vice president's reputation," said Mohammad Azim Qoyash, a senator.

A number of former military officers also said if Dostum had beaten Eshchi based on personal disagreements, it would damage his political reputation.

"Dostum is the second (most important) person in the country. If he has beaten Eshchi over personal disagreements, then it is oppression. But until the facts have been revealed, we cannot judge in this regard," said Zalmai Wardak, a retired military officer.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 15:26:33 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28701-watchdog-criticizes-dostum-over-eshchi-saga
Large Scale Operations To Be Launched In Winter http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28700-large-scale-operations-to-be-launched-in-winter Operation-04-Dec

Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Ministry of Interior (MoI) said on Sunday they have identified Taliban's strategic operating centers and that security forces will target these facilities in winter.

The second 'Shafaq' operation is already underway to eliminate insurgents in insecure regions, officials said.

"The operation will focus on the elimination of insurgent strongholds, their routes and their recruitment centers," said Mohammad Radmanesh, deputy spokesman of MoD.

MoI also said currently 20 operations are being carried out by security forces in different areas of the country and this will continue through winter to spring.

"Shafaq Operation is designed to target key Taliban leaders and to eradicate their resources," said Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the MoI.

Usually, during winter, Taliban leaders go to the Gulf States to raise funds in order to continue their insurgency. This year, however, it is believed that the Taliban will receive little money and that security forces have a chance to eliminate them.

"Aid from the Gulf region for the Taliban has decreased and they (Gulf countries) only support Haqqani Network," said Jawed Kohistani, a former military officer.

Reports also indicate that operations by the security forces in winter will put pressure on insurgents and that this will minimize the war during spring and summer.

"Security forces have always taken a defensive position. The winter operation should be launched to eliminate the insurgents and they should not be able to fight against security forces next spring," said Asif Seddiqi, a senator.

However, the lack of cooperation between security departments, poor war management, a weakness in the intelligence departments and challenges in air operations are perceived as challenges that security forces constantly face.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 14:16:03 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28700-large-scale-operations-to-be-launched-in-winter
14 Nations Adopt Heart Of Asia Declaration http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28699-14-nations-adopt-heart-of-asia-declaration TheResolution

Following the one-day Heart of Asia ministerial conference in Amritsar, India, 14 countries in the region adopted a declaration and called for an immediate end to all forms of terrorism and to the financing of the problem.

The declaration stated that what was of concern was the "gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan in particular and the region and the high level of violence caused by the Taliban, terrorist groups including Daesh and its affiliates, the Haqqani Network, al-Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jundullah and other foreign terrorist fighters.

"We demand an immediate end to all forms of terrorism, as well as all support to it, including financing of terrorism. We recognize that terrorism is the biggest threat to peace, stability and cooperation in our region. We encourage the international community to continue to assist the Government of Afghanistan.

"We strongly call for concerted regional and international cooperation to ensure elimination of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, including dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens in the Heart of Asia region, as well as disrupting all financial, tactical and logistical support for terrorism.

"In this regard, we call upon all states to take action against these terrorist entities in accordance with their respective national counter terrorism policies, their international obligations and the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy 2006. Furthermore, we encourage early finalization of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism with consensus."

The declaration also called on the international community to further strengthen international and regional cooperation towards sustained efforts for a secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

In addition the declaration commended countries in the region in particular Iran and Pakistan for hosting millions of Afghan refugees.

"We call on all these countries to continue hosting the Afghan refugees until their sustainable repatriation and reintegration in Afghanistan can take place in a voluntary, safe, gradual and dignified fashion, in accordance with the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees to Support Voluntary Repatriation, Sustainable Reintegration and Assistance to Host Communities."

It stated there was concern for the recent spike of Afghan refugee returns and the challenges that this sudden influx brought with it.

"We therefore urge the international community to provide generous support and targeted assistance for Afghan refugees, returnees and host communities in the region, with emphasis on youth, education and livelihoods."

The declaration also stated that the concerned nations welcome and support Afghanistan's initiative in taking the lead in exploring a regional counter-terror strategy, in accordance with the established principles of the UN charter, which was agreed as necessary in Islamabad in December 2015.

It also stated the region was concerned about the increase in production and cultivation of opium in Afghanistan, the volume of drug trafficking and demand in the HoA region and beyond.

The declaration stipulated that this issue requires further eradication efforts and poses a threat to the socio-economic development, security and stability not only in Afghanistan, but also in the surrounding region and the world as a whole.

On the issue of peace in Afghanistan, the declaration stated that "we recognize that a politically negotiated settlement remains important for durable peace in Afghanistan. We reiterate our support to the government of Afghanistan in its efforts to advance an Afghan-led Afghan-owned peace process. We urge all Afghan Taliban groups and all other armed groups to enter into peace talks with the government of Afghanistan."

On connectivity, it stipulated that the delegates "acknowledge the crucial role of Afghanistan as a natural land bridge in promoting regional connectivity and economic integration in the Heart of Asia region, and we reiterate our strong support for Afghanistan's efforts to use its geographic location to enhance wider regional economic cooperation."

The declaration was adopted in Amritsar, India following Sunday's successful 6th Heart of Asia ministerial conference. The declaration was signed by 14 regional countries, including Afghanistan, India, China, Pakistan, Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia among others.

In addition, the United Nations also adopted the declaration, which in turn was supported by numerous foreign countries and international organizations including NATO.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 13:10:13 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28699-14-nations-adopt-heart-of-asia-declaration
Nine Insurgents Killed in Kunduz Operation http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28698-nine-insurgents-killed-in-kunduz-operation http://www.tolonews.com/TOLOnews_photo/afghanistan/afghan-forces-09-may-2015.jpg

At least nine insurgents were killed in a joint Afghan military operation in northern Kunduz province in the past 24 hours, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

In addition, eight other insurgents were injured.

The operation was launched in Zarkharid, Gortepa, Zakhil, and Shora Kha areas of Kunduz city in a bid to clear the areas of insurgents, according to the statement.

During the operation, the forces seized weapons, it said.

However, the statement did not provide more details on the operation or on casualties among security forces.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 11:23:15 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28698-nine-insurgents-killed-in-kunduz-operation
Afghanistan Must 'Come Out Of Dependency On Aid': Ghani http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28697-afghanistan-must-come-out-of-dependency-on-aid-ghani GHaniHeartOfAsia

Speaking at the opening of the 6th Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar in India on Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Afghanistan must become self-supportive and come out of dependency on aid.

He said: "Afghanistan must come out of dependency on aid and we can."

According to him Asia's transformation from a concept into a continental economy, on the one hand, and the terrible price wrought by the fifth wave of political violence and terrorism on the other, define the stage for the realization of Afghanistan's potential and the setting for its problems.

He said that connectivity, as the experience of North America and the first global surge in investment in transportation in the 19th century shows, is the key to weaving a landmass into an integrated economic system.

"Independent states of Central Asia and the Caucasus have demonstrated the transformative impacts of investing in connectivity. Turkmenistan articulated the concept of connectivity corridors in September 2014 and sustainable transportation last week.

He said Afghanistan is a major beneficiary of this approach, "as our people are celebrating the inauguration of the dry port of Aqina on October 28 across our land. Aqina's impact is in its network effect, for it enables access to the enormous transportation network that links Turkmenistan to the system of its neighbors and their neighbors. Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia on the one side, and of course Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Russia and beyond in Europe.

"Equally the arrival of the first consignment of goods from China through Uzbekistan to the port of Hairatan is a demonstration of the flows to come. We are very pleased with our intense dialogue with the leadership of Uzbekistan and China, and look forward to increasing the scale of our interactions."

He went on to say that equally significant is the tripartite agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan on the port of Chabahar and the project under implementation to link the city of Herat to the Iranian railway and port systems.

"The reduction in cost of transport and in predictability will enable us to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our developmental efforts, thereby bringing visible changes to the lives of our people," he said.

He said that each new connection produces a network effect but when these points are connected to each other, "it produces a combined developmental impact that can lift our people from poverty to prosperity."

On the TAPI pipeline issue he said this is an illustration of a cluster effect. "Initially conceived as a pipeline, the concept is now being broadened to a cluster of a pipeline, transmission line, fiber optic network, railway, roads, and airports, creating an integrated system of connectivity between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India."

Ghani stated that with Afghanistan's location being at the heart of Asia, "the recent momentum gives us the confidence that investment in connectivity in Afghanistan can have Asia-wide impacts and implications."

He also said that government's initial assessment shows that up to 15,000 megawatts of power from Central Asia can be transferred to South Asia and that within five years Afghanistan can be transformed from an importer of power to a transmission center and exporter of power.

"Our ability to attract $900 million USD of private sector investment in the power sector in the last five months – of which $700 million USD is from Afghan entrepreneurs – demonstrates that we are beginning to gain the trust of the private sector.

"We invite firms from all of your countries to make a difference while making a legitimate profit. Making the railway happen, however, requires a combined effort of partner countries and developmental organizations and we hope to convince you of the wisdom of the investment."

He said Afghanistan's hydrocarbon and mineral wealth is estimated at trillions and the country has the potential to harness around 26 billion cubic meters of water.

"Timely, efficient, and effective support through global and Asian coordination to support our infrastructure system will enable us to achieve self-reliance rapidly, thereby enabling our people to lift themselves from poverty to prosperity.

"Use of existing and development of new financing and risk guarantee instruments will be critical to the achievement of our common objective," he said.

He said: "As the weak link in the chain defines the speed of movement, we have no choice but to focus on crisis management and change management simultaneously while paying close attention to building and deepening of our partnerships."

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 11:10:59 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28697-afghanistan-must-come-out-of-dependency-on-aid-ghani
FARAKHABAR: Nicholson's Remarks On Afghanistan Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/28696-farakhabar-nicholsons-remarks-on-afghanistan-discussed farakhabar-03-dec-16

Resolute Support (RS) and U.S forces commander in Afghanistan General John W. Nicholson has said he is concerned about Russia, Iran and Pakistan's support to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

Nicolson said the infiltration of foreign players in Afghanistan is alarming for the United States and Afghanistan.

Host Fawad Aman discusses the topic with the following guests:

Fazlullah Wahidi, former Herat governor
Sediq Seddiqi, MoI spokesman

To watch the program, click here:

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 10:39:07 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/28696-farakhabar-nicholsons-remarks-on-afghanistan-discussed
Russia's FSB Says It Killed North Caucasus Daesh 'Emir' http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28695-russias-fsb-says-it-killed-north-caucasus-daesh-emir russian-troops

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said Sunday it had killed a Daesh emir in a raid in the volatile North Caucasus.

The FSB said in a statement that "among the neutralised bandits was the head of the Caucasus region's branch of the Islamic State (Daesh) Rustam Aselderov, and four of his close associates."

The FSB said that 35-year-old Aselderov was involved in blasts in the southern Russian city of Volgograd which killed 34 in 2013. He was fighting for another Caucasus insurgent group at the time. It also linked him to twin car blasts in Dagestan in 2012 that killed 14 and injured at least 120.

The FSB said he also organised a foiled attack that was to take place on Moscow's Red Square on New Year's Eve 2010 involving two female suicide bombers.

The warlord pledged allegiance to Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in December 2014, the first major militant to do so in the Caucasus.

Daesh named Aselderov, also known as Sheikh Abu Mohammad al-Qadari, the governor of a new Caucasus province.

Daesh has since claimed responsibility for a number of attacks on police in Dagestan.

Aselderov previously fought with the local Caucasus Emirate insurgent group, taking over as leader of its Dagestan branch in 2012, the FSB said.

In 2015 the U.S Department of State imposed sanctions on Aselderov as a "foreign terrorist fighter" after the jihadist group appointed him leader of its North Caucasus franchise.

Russia in October offered a five million ruble ($78,000 USD) reward for information on Aselderov's whereabouts.

The FSB said a joint operation with the interior ministry had cornered Aselderov and his fighters in a private house in the city of Makhachkala, where they found "automatic weapons and a large amount of ammunition and explosives."

The Russian North Caucasus is one of the major sources of foreign jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 09:33:48 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28695-russias-fsb-says-it-killed-north-caucasus-daesh-emir
UNAMA Study Finds Improvements In Juvenile Centers http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28694-unama-study-finds-improvements-in-juvenile-centers child-04-December

A new United Nations report released on Sunday indicates positive trends in Afghanistan's juvenile detention and rehabilitation facilities while also outlining a critical need to improve in-detention education and post-rehabilitation care for young Afghans.

Extensive research carried out by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) into juvenile rehabilitation centers (JRCs) indicates the need for the Afghan government to focus, in particular, on helping young Afghans re-enter society.

"Our research shows an improved intra-governmental effort to address the needs of juvenile detainees," said Michael E. Hartmann, Director of UNAMA Rule of Law.

"Still, the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Education require continued international support for accommodation improvements as well as existing rehabilitation and new re-entry programs for juveniles."

Overall, UNAMA's research demonstrated Afghanistan's progress in meeting the minimum and acceptable international standards. However, the field research found that improvement was not uniform or consistent across all centers. Shortcomings were particularly evident in those JRCs that were not the Ministry of Justice's custom-built facilities.

The report stated: "Juveniles had regular access to clean drinking water and consistently received three meals a day, consisting of a diet of milk, bread, rice, meat, vegetables, and various seasonal fruits. Additionally, JRCs permitted juveniles with broad opportunities to communicate with their families through phone calls, letters, and visits. JRCs also notified families or guardians of significant changes in the juveniles' health."

UNAMA recommended however, that greater coordination by the JRC High Council, the Ministry of Justice and other responsible ministries was essential to ensuring that all juveniles in detention have consistent access to required medical services, including specialty services, as well as educational and religious instruction from qualified teachers.

The report also stated that there was a need to enhance physical safety and emotional well-being of juveniles in JRCs, that greater reliance should be placed on using "fit for purpose" facilities that reflect the unique needs of JRCs in terms of ensuring adequate recreational, living, and operational space to meet the educational and vocational needs of juveniles in detention.

"Efforts should be made to ensure that girls in detention have the same access to JRC facilities and services as boys. Additionally, to assist JRC management in adopting a more gender-sensitive approach, the Ministry of Justice should strive to achieve greater gender balance in JRCs' staffing by prioritizing the recruitment and retention of qualified female staff members," the report read.

"Consideration should be given to making re-entry assistance and follow-up with released juveniles integral parts of JRC internal operating procedures. Specialized programs should be developed to address the unique needs of juveniles who are themselves victims of violent, extremist radicalization."

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 08:07:33 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28694-unama-study-finds-improvements-in-juvenile-centers
MoI Orders Wardak Police to Arrest Suspects In Student's Hanging http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28693-moi-orders-wardak-police-to-arrest-suspects-in-students-hanging police-04-December

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has ordered central Wardak province's police to arrest the suspects involved in the public hanging of a student.

On Friday, Taliban insurgents hanged a Kabul Polytechnic University Faculty of Engineering student after accusing him of spying, local officials said.

The incident took place in Chak district of the province and the student was hanged publicly, the MoI confirmed.

According to local officials the student, named Faizul Rahman Rahmani, was in his fourth year in engineering.

Rahman had apparently been on his way home from Kabul to Wardak when the Taliban stopped him in Chak. They accused him of spying and carried out a public hanging in Saydabad district, officials said.

Officials said he was a resident of Chak district.

A source said that a few days ago Mirwais, a senior local Taliban commander, was killed in Wardak and this move was in retaliation for the death of the commander.

Officials said the Taliban accused Rahmani of cooperating over the killing of their commander.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:40:17 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28693-moi-orders-wardak-police-to-arrest-suspects-in-students-hanging
JAHAN NAMA: U.S Sanction Extension On Iran Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/jahan-nama/28692-jahan-nama-us-sanction-extension-on-iran-discussed jahan-nama-04-dec-16

Host Massoud Malik discusses the extension of U.S. sanctions for a further ten years against Iran. In the studio with him is Yasar Mohssini, an international affairs analyst

To watch the program, click here:

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:38:40 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/jahan-nama/28692-jahan-nama-us-sanction-extension-on-iran-discussed
NIMA ROOZ: Heart Of Asia Conference http://www.tolonews.com/en/nima-rooz/28691-nima-rooz-heart-of-asia-conference nima-rooz-04-dec-16

Host Massoud Malik discusses the topic with the following guests:

Gulab Mir, university lecturer from Hyderabad of India

Moahmmad Sharif Hanafi, international affairs analyst

To watch the program, click here:

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:34:14 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/nima-rooz/28691-nima-rooz-heart-of-asia-conference
MEHWAR: IED Blast Against Zabul Reporters Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/28690-mehwar-ied-blast-against-zabul-reporters-discussed mehwar-zabul

At least three journalists from Zabul province where wounded on Friday when their vehicle hit a roadside mine, officials confirmed.

Lal Jan Afghan, Qoudrat and Najib Pakhton from Rana Productions and Zabul Times, were wounded in the blast in Shahr-e Safa district.

The journalists had been covering a security forces operation in the Shahr-e-Safa district and where on their way to a local school when their vehicle hit the IED.

Host Jamal Nasir Farahmand discusses the issue with the following guests:

Mujeeb Khilwatgar, head of NAI – a media supporting agency

Nasar Ahmad Sapand, a journalist in Zabul

To watch the program, click here:

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:25:06 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/28690-mehwar-ied-blast-against-zabul-reporters-discussed
Ghani, Modi Officially Open Heart Of Asia Conference http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28689-ghani-modi-officially-open-heart-of-asia-conference Heart-Of-Asia-Conference

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly opened the 6th Heart of Asia ministerial conference on Sunday in Amritsar city in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab.

In his address to delegates, Ghani said the summit takes place during an extremely important time and that it will hopefully help to prepare for 2017 and beyond.

Ghani said that last year, Afghanistan suffered its highest number of casualties to date and that "this is unacceptable".

He said the undeclared war against Afghanistan had significantly increased in 2016 – especially after the Brussels Summit, in October.

He said that close to 30 terrorist groups, as named by the United Nations, were trying to establish a base in Afghanistan.

He also warned that the response of states to the threat of terrorism has been fragmented and some still provide sanctuary or support to these groups.

"As Mr. Kakazada, one of the key figures in the Taliban movement recently said, if they did not have sanctuary in Pakistan, they would not last a month. We need intense dialogue and engagement," Ghani said.

He said there was a need to first "tackle criminal economics, we need to convene at the Asian and regional way and document who benefits from producing, processing, trafficking and consuming; this requires an international effort without blame game to be able to uproot the basis of this phenomenon.

"Second, we propose an Asian and international regime. Whatever is accepted, particularly, to our neighbor Pakistan to verify cross-frontier activities. We do not want blame game. We want verification.

"Thirdly, there is need for a fund to combat extremism. Pakistan has generously pledged 500 million dollars for reconstruction of Afghanistan. This fund, Mr. (Sartaj) Aziz (de facto foreign minister for Pakistan), could very well be used for containing extremism because without peace any amount of assistance will not meet the needs of our people. We have to balance the opportunities and the threats. I am confident that focused, deliberate and systematic efforts can enable us to win a world and to make Afghanistan and Asia secure."

On the issue of security, Ghani said: "At the heart of the problem are the nature, scale and scope of the fifth wave of political violence and terrorism. As the frontline society and polity confronting this wave, we have paid and are paying a huge price in lost lives and denied opportunities. Last year we suffered the highest number of civilian casualties and military related deaths in the world. This is unacceptable. It can be avoided. It is not unavoidable."

Judging by the previous four waves of violence, covering the period from the 1860s to 1990's, confronting this wave requires a strategy of 10-20 years, as acknowledged by the Australian Defense Policy, he said.

Ghani stated that "criminal networks provide the platform for criminal activity," and cited drug smuggling and human trafficking as two such examples.

In his speech Ghani also talked on the issue of connectivity and the importance of Afghanistan's geographical location in this respect.

He thanked India for all its assistance regarding this and said the "independent states in central Asia have demonstrated the importance of connectivity."

He said the first consignment from China, via rail to Hairatan in September, was an example of what is still to come.

He said with such links, including that of the new Aqina link from Uzbekistan, reduction in the cost of transport will enable Afghanistan to bring visible changes to the lives of the people.

Ghani said the soon to be launched air-cargo link between Afghanistan and India will open new markets for traders.

He said: "This connectivity can lift our people out of poverty."

Meanwhile, Modi said in turn that India's focus remains on helping Afghanistan.

He said his country was committed to securing Afghanistan's territory and its citizens from threats and insuring it has a prosperous future.

He said that despite the successes, there is still much that needs to be done and "we must build on the gains of the last 15 years".

Modi said an Afghan-led-and Afghan-owned peace process was the only way forward and that silence and inaction against terrorism in the country and the region will only embolden terrorists.

He also spoke of the importance of connectivity for Afghanistan to regional countries and said "we see Afghanistan as the hub to strengthening connectivity links between South Asia and Central Asia."

In conclusion he said: "Let us dedicate ourselves to making Afghanistan a geography of peace."

At least 40 countries are represented along with the European Union and international organizations at the summit.

The Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process was established to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbors.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:17:34 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28689-ghani-modi-officially-open-heart-of-asia-conference
MEHWAR: Resolute Support Concerns Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/28688-mehwar-resolute-support-concerns-discussed mehwar-04-nato

Resolute Support (RS) and U.S forces commander in Afghanistan General John W. Nicholson has said he is concerned about Russia, Iran and Pakistan's support to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

Nicolson said the infiltration of foreign players in Afghanistan is alarming for the United States and Afghanistan.

Host Jamal Nasir Farahmand discusses the issue with the following guests:

Aziz Ahamd Bariz, international affairs analyst

Shekiba Hashimi, MP

To watch the program, click here:

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:16:02 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/28688-mehwar-resolute-support-concerns-discussed
TOLOnews 10 pm News 03 December 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/28687-tolonews-10-pm-news-03-december-2016 fawad-04-dec-16Top news in this Bulletin:

Resolute Support (RS) and U.S forces commander in Afghanistan General John W. Nicholson has said he is concerned about Russia, Iran and Pakistan's support to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}mIq_gaAe_2Y{/youtube}

A number of analysts on Saturday criticized what they called the silence of government over the issue between the First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum and former Jawzjan governor Ahmad Eshchi.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 06:48:15 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/28687-tolonews-10-pm-news-03-december-2016
Afghan Teen Arrested Over German Murder-Rape http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28686-afghan-teen-arrested-over-german-murder-rape germany-police-04-dec-16

A teenage Afghan asylum seeker has been arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder of a 19-year-old female student in Germany, police and prosecutors said Saturday.

The 17-year-old Afghan was arrested on Friday after his DNA was found at the scene of the crime and he was identified on CCTV, authorities in the south-west German town of Freiburg told a press conference.

The Afghan, who has said nothing to investigators about the alleged crimes, arrived in Germany in 2015 as an unaccompanied minor and had been living with a host family.

The teenage victim was a medical student who was found dead on the banks of the river Dreisam, which Freiburg straddles, on October 16.

An autopsy found that she had drowned.

The previous evening she had gone out to a student night before cycling home. Her body was found just a few hours later.

No personal link has yet been found between the victim and the alleged murderer, authorities said.

The murder made big news in Germany and was followed by another as yet unsolved crime on November 10 in the nearby Endingen forest, in which a 27-year-old jogger was found dead having also been raped.

So far, investigators have established no connection between the two murders.

News of the young Afghan's arrest triggered much reaction on social media with some people saying an ironic "thank you" to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The 62-year-old, who will next year seek a fourth term in office, has faced criticism for her previous open-door policy towards refugees, although more recently she has tried to curb the influx.

Germany received 890,000 asylum requests in 2015, although that rate slowed to 213,000 from January to September 2016 following a deal between the European Union and Ankara to stem the flow of migrants crossing from Turkey into the bloc.

Public anger about the number of refugee arrivals in Germany has been stoked by some high profile crimes involving migrants.

Last month, German police arrested seven Afghan asylum seekers on suspicion of repeatedly raping an Iranian teenager in a refugee camp.

During the last New Year's Eve celebrations, hundreds of women reported sexual assaults in Cologne and other German cities, with the attacks blamed largely on Arab and North African men.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 06:28:12 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28686-afghan-teen-arrested-over-german-murder-rape
6th Heart of Asia Conference Gets Underway In Amritsar http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28685-6th-heart-of-asia-conference-gets-underway-in-amritsar ghani-amritsar-04-december-2016

The 6th Heart of Asia ministerial conference starts Sunday in Amritsar city in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab.

At least 40 countries will be represented along with the European Union and international organizations.

The conference will be officially opened by President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ghani arrived in Amritsar Saturday night where he was welcomed by Modi.

"Thank you Mr. Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the warm welcome! It is a great honor to be back in India with you," Ghani said after his arrival.

After visiting the Golden Temple, both Modi and Ghani attended a dinner at a heritage village.

The one-day summit is expected to focus on Afghanistan's security situation and the threat of terrorism in the region.

Meanwhile in a Pakistan's Sartaj Aziz landed in Amritsar on Saturday evening, at least 15 hours ahead of his scheduled arrival on Sunday.

Pakistan had earlier confirmed that Aziz, its de facto foreign minister, would arrive in Amritsar to participate in the conference only on Sunday and leave the same evening. Both countries played down Aziz's early arrival though, India media reported.

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Sun, 04 Dec 2016 04:51:38 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28685-6th-heart-of-asia-conference-gets-underway-in-amritsar
TAWDE KHABARE: Heart Of Asia Summit Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/28684-tawde-khabare-heart-of-asia-summit-discussed twawdetttt

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Friday that the issue of peace and stability in Afghanistan will dominate the agenda of the 6th Heart of Asia Conference scheduled to be held in Amritsar, in India on Saturday.

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Zabihullah Sadat discusses the topic with following guests.

• Helai Ershad, MP

• Akbar Stanikzai, MP

• Ahmad Saeedi, former Afghan diplomat in Pakistan

Click below to watch full episode.

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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 16:01:11 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/28684-tawde-khabare-heart-of-asia-summit-discussed
TOLOnews 6pm News 03 December 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/28683-tolonews-6pm-news-03-december-2016 6pmNewsTodayDecTop news in this Bulletin:

Marking International Day of Persons With Disabilities, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Saturday said more than 9,500 disabled people are registered annually in Afghanistan, of whom 1,500 are left disabled through war.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}fSODtsTaEHg{/youtube}

Gula Jan Abdul Badi Sayyad, secretary and spokesman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday said the new commissioners will soon start work on bringing about fundamental electoral reforms.

 

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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 15:07:15 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/28683-tolonews-6pm-news-03-december-2016
MPs Discuss 'Extremism' Issue In Universities, Mosques http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28682-mps-discuss-extremism-issue-in-universities-mosques ParliamentTodayStory

The Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) on Saturday summoned a number of senior officials from different ministries to discuss the recently-raised issue of alleged increase in extremist ideologies being taught at a number of academic centers and mosques in the country.

The lawmakers however expressed conflicting ideas about the caliphate issue which is included in the 'Culture of Islam' subject, taught at universities in the country.

"The voice of Daesh and Taliban is raised from many mosques nowadays," said MP Jafar Mahdawi.

"We don't have any problem with the Culture of Islam subject; the problem is the teachers of this subject," said Rubaba Parwani, another MP.

"The subject of Islam's Political System is taught at many universities. Part of the subject mentions that caliphate and emirate is the only political system in Islam; not presidency or chancellery. Mullah Omar had emirates and Baghdadi had a caliphate," said Hafiz Mansour, an MP.

"We are guilty because of not establishing a caliphate. Caliphate is the order of God. We cannot deny it. No doubt, democracy is against caliphate," said Abdul Satar Khawasi, another MP.

Meanwhile, the summoned officials said they accept the existence of extremist ideologies at universities and mosques.

"There is a problem among our lecturers. I attended a Friday sermon at a mosque in Kabul. I found that it was funny to have such a sermon at a mosque in the capital city," said the hajj and religious affairs minister Faiz Mohammad Osmani.

"The Islamic Culture subject's content, the way of its lectures and its curriculum are very clear. However, a number of teachers are burning up such issues," said Barai Seddiq, the deputy minister of higher education.

This comes after MP Abdul Hafiz Mansour last week said the spread of extremism at a number of universities and mosques is challenging Afghanistan's security.

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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 14:19:00 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28682-mps-discuss-extremism-issue-in-universities-mosques
Govt Criticized For 'Silence' Over Dostum-Eshchi Issue http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28681-govt-criticized-for-silence-over-dostum-eshchi-issue http://www.tolonews.com/TOLOnews_photo/DOSTUM-30-12.jpg

A number of analysts on Saturday criticized what they called the silence of government over the issue between the First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum and former Jawzjan governor Ahmad Eshchi.

Critics argued that the silence by government reveals the overshadowing of the law and the culture of bullying and waywardness in the country.

"It will definitely help to prevent such acts if government takes action against those who violate the law," said Sayed Jawad Sajjadi, a legal affairs analyst.

"Gun and gun owners rule still continues in parts of Afghanistan and in some parts they overrun security agencies," said Saleh Mohammad Registani, a political analyst.

Meanwhile, Eshchi's family said the former governor will be transferred to Kabul at the first opportunity and then he would be set free.

"We have contacted the central government. They said he [Eshchi] will be released today [Saturday]. Let's see what happens," said Babur Eshchi, son of Eshchi.

Eshchi was allegedly beaten up and taken into custody by Dostum's guards last Friday in Jawzjan. During the course of the week, it emerged he was being held in NDS custody.

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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 13:43:53 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28681-govt-criticized-for-silence-over-dostum-eshchi-issue
RS Concerned Over Russia, Pakistan And Iran's Support To Insurgents http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28680-rs-concerned-over-russia-pakistan-and-irans-support-to-insurgents http://www.tolonews.com/TOLOnews_photo/afghanistan/Nicholson-14-July-2016.jpg

Resolute Support (RS) and U.S forces commander in Afghanistan General John W. Nicholson has said he is concerned about Russia, Iran and Pakistan's support to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

Nicolson said the infiltration of foreign players in Afghanistan is alarming for the United States and Afghanistan.

"Second influence would be the malign influence of external actors and particularly Pakistan, Russia and Iran and we are concerned about the external enablement of the insurgent or terrorist groups inside Afghanistan and in particular where they enjoy sanctuary or support from outside government," he said.

The embassies of Pakistan, Iran and Russia would not comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, the American general counted corruption and weak management as the two biggest challenges for Afghan forces.

"The Afghan police and army will focus on replacing ineffective or corrupt leaders. President (Ashraf) Ghani's administration is dedicated to this. And they are acting quickly and systematically to make necessary leadership changes. Recently the Afghan government arrested a senior official at the ministry of interior for bribery and suspended another for corruption. They have referred the cases to the anti-corruption justice center which has been newly opened this year," he stated.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Defense Ministry's deputy spokesman, Mohammad Radmanish, said they are committed to preventing corruption in the agency.

"The Defense Ministry leadership continues to prevent corruption and to assess even minor issues in this respect," Radmanish added.

Analysts said they believe that the faceoff of regional countries and the United States will be a threat to Afghanistan's security.

"Considering the foreign forces' strategic failure, the United States should review its war strategy in Afghanistan," said Shekiba Hashemi, an MP.

"The United States and Russia's faceoff is not in Afghanistan's favor, considering a reactivation of Russia's and other regional countries' role in the country. The Afghan government should manage this issue smartly," said Nasir Musawi, an international relations researcher.

{youtube}WUhF2mRePqE{/youtube}

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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 13:34:41 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28680-rs-concerned-over-russia-pakistan-and-irans-support-to-insurgents
New Commissioners To Step Up Electoral Reforms Process http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28679-new-commissioners-to-step-up-electoral-reforms-process Election-03-Dec

Gula Jan Abdul Badi Sayyad, secretary and spokesman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday said the new commissioners will soon start work on bringing about fundamental electoral reforms.

He said the head of the IEC also has to present a list of IEC secretariat candidates to President Ashraf Ghani.

"We will form three committees and every committee will do its own work. Advertising the position of IEC secretariat candidates is the primary work that should be done," he said.

The IEC's new head has to work on the list of voters and on setting out electoral zones and also has to present the list of IEC secretariat candidates to the president.

"If other government departments cooperate with us, we in cooperation with the ministry of interior and the central statistics organization will prepare the list of voters and will specify electoral zones," he added.

The institutions overseeing the election process meanwhile said doing all the necessary work and bringing electoral reforms will not happen soon.

"First reforms should be brought in the IEC. The commissioners may carry out the duties, but it is very difficult for them as they do not have experience," said Habib ul-Rahman Nang, a member of the Afghan Civil Society and Elections Network (ACSEN).

The ambassadors of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) met with the IEC members in the last few days and insisted on bringing reforms in the IEC.

The ambassadors to Afghanistan promised the IEC members they would support parliamentary and district council elections.

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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 13:15:39 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28679-new-commissioners-to-step-up-electoral-reforms-process
International Day Of Persons With Disabilities Marked In Kabul http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28678-international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities-marked-in-kabul Conference-03-Dec

Marking International Day of Persons With Disabilities, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Saturday said more than 9,500 disabled people are registered annually in Afghanistan, of whom 1,500 are left disabled through war.

"Out of the 9,500 disabled people that are registered annually, more than 1,500 of them have been disabled due to war," said Najmuddin Helal, head of the orthopedic center of the ICRC.

Jamila Afghan, deputy minister of labor, social affairs, martyrs and disabled (MoLSAMD) said they are worried about the lack of public facilities for people with disabilities.

CEO Abdullah Abdullah also said government has paid little attention to disabled people.

"I promise you that I will advise government departments in different levels to provide you the necessary aid," Abdullah said.

Qahar, a disabled man from Parwan province said he lost his leg during the Taliban regime. He is currently in Kabul, at the ICRC, where he is hoping to have a prosthetic leg fitted.

"Government sees a person with a disability as an irresponsible person," he said.

Statistics of the MoLSAMD show that since 2005 nearly 2.7 percent of disabled people have severe disabilities and that 70 percent of them live in rural areas.

Statistics also indicate that 90 percent of children with disabilities are deprived of schooling.

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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 13:11:48 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28678-international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities-marked-in-kabul
Infant And Maternal Mortality Rate On Rise In Helmand http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28677-infant-and-maternal-mortality-rate-on-rise-in-helmand Pregnant-02-Dec

Doctors at Bost Hospital in the militancy-riddled southern Helmand province have said that ongoing conflict and security threats have had a significant impact on the health of pregnant women in the area, and that there has been a sharp increase in premature births.

Health specialists in Helmand have said that a surge in violence has resulted in the increase of premature babies and in an increase in the maternal mortality rate.

Doctors said a high number of babies born in the past few months have been born disabled or have been stillborn.

According to the hospital, 333 new born babies were still born or died soon after birth over the past two months – all were premature.

Meanwhile, a number of women have said they went into premature labor because of explosions and the use of heavy weapons around them.

Afghan security forces have been engaged in heavy clashes with the Taliban in the province over the past few months. Clashes have been ongoing on a number of fronts and in suburbs of the provincial capital Lashkargah.

"As much as the sounds created by war is loud, its negative impact on pregnant women will also become more dangerous. The pressures that result from the explosions, have a negative impact on people, especially on pregnant women", said Mariam, a doctor at Bost hospital.

Bost Hospital officials have said that the closure of roads and a surge in violence in the province has also led to the increase in the maternal and infant mortality rate.

"The number of pregnant women increased in the hospital. Even two pregnant women affected by the war have lost their newborns. Any kind of challenges, especially war, has lots of negative effects on women and their babies," said Nisar Barak, head of Bost hospital.

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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 09:48:39 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/28677-infant-and-maternal-mortality-rate-on-rise-in-helmand