Terror attack at Peshawar’s agricultural university

Under the cloak of a burqa, five Taliban terrorists from Pakistan raged into the agricultural university campus of Peshawar on Friday, December 1st. The outbreak claimed the lives of nine students and left 32 injured before the gunmen were shot by the security forces. According to reports from The Times of India, Tehreek-i-Taliban took responsibility for the attack. Their link with supervisors in Afghanistan was suggested by the military officials. Tahir Khan, city police chief stated that the attackers entered the institute in a rickshaw and went into the training institute and fired at the inmates of the hostel. However, the crowd was relatively less as it was a government holiday on account of Eid-e-Milad.

The terrorists were equipped with automatic weapons and discharged grenades as the entered the campus. Police officials stated that the terrorists were killed by the security forces following an hour-long shootout that left three policemen injured. Hindu reported that the terrorists were geared with suicide jackets, pistols and explosives. They also possessed powerful artilleries such as AK 47s and Kalashnikovs.

Reports from Hindu stated that on Thursday, a day before the attack, Sajjad Khan, police SSP had informed the media about an intelligence report suggesting terrorist hostages. As a security measure, many law enforcement organizations were kept under vigilance. Despite the warning, there were inadequate number guards delegated to the institute. Being close to the Afghanistan border has made Peshawar a victim of violence meted against them by the Taliban mutiny.

Sources: Live Mint, The Hindu

U.S forces conducts airstrike, kill 11 Taliban insurgents

In the airstrike carried by US troops, at least eleven insurgents of Taliban have been killed in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

According the reports from the office of the provincial government media, the airstrike was carried out in the territory of Bati Kot district in which weapons belonging to the Taliban insurgents were also destroyed.  As reported by Khama press, the official statement quoted, “The militants were hanging out in the area when they were targeted, leaving eleven of them dead and one more wounded.” Taliban has not commented on the deaths so far.

Earlier on tuesday, airstrikes conducted by the U.S. forces in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar, in Haska Mina District, targeted the militants operating under the command of ISIS leader Tariq Afridi, killed at least fourteen militants affiliated with the ISIS-K.

Afghanistan is carrying out an Anti-ISIS as well as anti- Taliban operation with the prime objective of eradicating presence of ISIS affiliates in Nangarhar province and the U.S. forces are providing airstrikes support to the Afghan forces to achieve the targeted. After 9/11 attacks, it had been the principle objective of U.S policy ensure that the country does not become a haven  for radical anti-Western jihadi  terrorist groups.

 

Sources: ANI, Business Standard

13 killed, several wounded in bomb attack in Afghanistan

According to Reuters, 13 people which include both civilians, as well as Afghan army soldiers, were killed in Helmand by a car bomb attack on Sunday.Omar Zwak, the Helmand governor’s spokesman confirmed the casualties and added that 18 people were also wounded during the same. The attack occurred in a market in Nawa, a central district of the province. This area has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks due to the fight for control between the government forces and the Taliban insurgents.

Omar Zwak, the Helmand governor’s spokesman confirmed the casualties and added that 18 people were also wounded during the same. The attack occurred in a market in Nawa, a central district of the province. This area has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks due to the fight for control between the government forces and the Taliban insurgents.

The hospitals nearby which include Bost Hospital confirmed that they had received 10 wounded where as the Italian aid run hospital said they had received 3 dead and 19 wounded. The current situation of the wounded is still not clear.

This attack has come just days after a suicide bomber in Lashkar Gah killed 7 people and wounded 40 as the Taliban continued to try to restore strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan and to drive out each foreign force that has been backing the government in Kabul.

There has been no claim of responsibility by anyone as of now and nothing from the Taliban either. Helmand has seen a lot of attacks in the recent past by the Taliban as they control a majority of the area outside the provincial capital Lashkar Gah.

Ever since the Taliban has launched its so called spring offensive there has been a series of attacks in the country. The Central Kabul attack which was carried out on the 31st of May remains to be the deadliest attack ever since the US-led forces overthrew the Taliban from power in 2001.

Sources – BBC, EURO news

 

NATO coalition forces attacked in Afghanistan, leaving 2 U.S soldiers dead

A suicide bomber rammed an explosives laden truck into a NATO convoy killing two U.S soldiers in the southern province of Kandahar. While Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, maintaining the death toll of 15 soldiers and two destroyed vehicles; the claim was not verified by Pentagon. It was taken as an exaggeration by Taliban.  Kandahar province was a Taliban stronghold for five years until US invasion in 2001. So far, this is the longest war fought over 16 years by U.S. against Taliban. The Kandahar airport is also home to a major military base of 13,000 troops from 39 countries who are part of the coalition to train, advise and assist Afghan troops against the insurgency.  According to the Time, currently, soldiers from U.S., Australia, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania are deployed in Afghanistan, said U.S. military spokesperson Lt. Damien E. Horvath.

The Trump administration in Washington is still deciding on whether to send 4,000 troops to fight Taliban, as requested by the U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan. The attack on the coalition happened on the next day to the twin suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque in Herat that killed 32 people and injured 66 others, where Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility.

Sources – The Guardian, Time 

Suicide car bomb in Kabul kills over 35

Over 35 people have been killed in Kabul on July 24, 2017, after a car driven by a suicide bomber collided with a minibus carrying government officials. According to Sky News, the attack occurred in the western part of Kabul around 7 am during peak traffic hours. Kabul Police said, the government employees, who got killed belonged to the Afghan ministry of coal and petroleum. The Taliban has officially claimed responsibility for the attack by releasing a statement to Al-Jazeera. The blast also destroyed several small shops and other cars in the surrounding areas. Afghanistan’s interior ministry termed it as a “criminal attack against humanity.”

President Ashraf Ghani commented on the atrocity saying “Once again, these terrorist are attacking civilians and targeting government.” While the exact reason for the bombing hasn’t been found, it is speculated that the attack was aimed at a demonstration by the Hazara community, which was going to happen in the same area, against a similar suicide bombing that occurred last year, reported the Guardian. However, the demonstration was cancelled last minute due to several security reasons.

The conflict in Afghan continues with more accounts of violence and terror attacks being reported. A UN report states that over 1,6662 people have been killed because of the ongoing disturbances in the first half of 2017. While the casualty toll for this suicide attack stands at over 35, reports suggest that it could rise further.

Sources – Irish Times  , The Guardian Sky News

Son of Taliban leader dies carrying out suicide attack

The son of current Taliban supreme leader Mawlavi Haibatullah Akhundzada died carrying out a suicide attack in the southern province of Helmand district. Reported by Reuters, the news broke out on a website affiliated with the Afghan Taliban.

The attacker is identified as Abdul Rahman, who registered himself to carry out the attack even before his father, current supreme leader replaced his predecessor in 2016. On Thursday morning, the insurgents began a series of fresh attacks in the southern province using High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle ( HMMWV) which belonged to the Afghan security forces. Rahman smashed the vehicle laden with explosives into the base of the forces on Saturday.

Rahman’s father, Mawlavi Haibatullah was appointed as the leader after his predecessor died in a drone attack in Pakistan operated by the American forces in May, 2016. Until his leadership, suicide attacks were mainly carried forward by close relatives and associates. Haibatullah has become the first supreme leader whose son sacrificed his life,” a Taliban spokesperson said.

The government officials are speculating the nature of the attack was to control the opium fields in the region. Security officials also said that with the recent, the insurgents were able to penetrate their first line of defense.

Sources: Daily News, Indian Express

Pakistan may loose it’s status as major non-NATO ally 

Republican Congressman Ted Poe and Democratic lawmaker Rick Nolan introduced a bill, which calls for revoking the major non NATO ally status of Pakistan. The status was granted to the country in 2004 to help US fight the terrorist outfits Al-Qaeda and Taliban.
“Pakistan must be held accountable for the American blood on its hands,” said Poe, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and serves as chairman of the Sub-committee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade, in a report by the Times of India.

“For years, Pakistan has acted as a Benedict Arnold ally of the United States. From harbouring Osama bin Laden to backing the Taliban, Pakistan has stubbornly refused to go after, in any meaningful way, terrorists that actively seek to harm opposing ideologies,” he said in the report.

Poe also made it very clear that it was time to make a clean break with Pakistan, but at the very least, US should stop providing them  the eligibility to obtain their sophisticated weaponry in an privileged status.

Being a MNNA entitles a country for priority delivery of defence materials, a US loan guarantee programme and an expedited arms sale process.

Under this status a country can stockpile US military hardware, be sold more sophisticated weaponry and participate in defence research and development programmes.

Sources: Times of India, India Today