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Afghan Taliban say ceasefire will not be extended

A suicide attack in restive eastern Afghanistan on Sunday killed at least 18 people in a crowd celebrating the Eid holiday, the second assault in as many days to mar an unprecedented ceasefire. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the suicide attack in Jalalabad city, outside the office of the Nangarhar provincial governor….

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How Afghanistan’s urban gardens are changing women’s lives

It may look like they’re just planting and weeding, but for the women tending the public gardens of Jalalabad, the tasks represent far more: the rare chance to work outside the home in one of Afghanistan’s most conservative and unstable provinces. A hood and scarf partially hiding their faces, the women working in the eastern…

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Islamic State claims suicide bombing outside ministry in Kabul

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at the entrance of Afghanistan’s rural development ministry, the group’s AMAQ news agency said Monday. The attack killed 12 people and wounded more than 12 others including women and children, a health ministry spokesman said. The group did not provide evidence for its claim. Reuters

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Afghanistan’s chequered history with Taliban peace talks

An unprecedented ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban has sparked hopes the move may open the door for a new push for peace talks in the bloody, nearly 17-year conflict. The Taliban have long insisted on the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan as a precondition for peace talks — a major…

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Suicide bomber targets gathering of Afghan clerics calling for peace

A suicide bomber on Monday exploded a device near Muslim clerics who were leaving a giant tent in the west of the Afghan capital of Kabul where they had gathered to denounce terrorism and call for peace, security officials said. Details of casualties were not known and no group immediately claimed responsibility. A series of…

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Taliban ‘talking and fighting,’ says U.S. commander in Afghanistan

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan played down a spate of recent Taliban attacks on Wednesday, saying violence levels were still lower than average as some insurgents talked peace – a situation he described as “talking and fighting.” “You see mid-level, senior-level Taliban leaders engaging with Afghans,” said Army General John Nicholson, adding that a…

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Attack on interior ministry in Kabul over, militants killed

A gun and bomb attack on the interior ministy in Kabul is over with all the attackers killed, the Afghan capital’s police chief said, more than an hour after the militants launched their assault. “The fighting is over, the attackers have all been killed by security forces between the first and second security perimeter,” Kabul…

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Blast, gunfire heard near interior ministry in Kabul

Gunfire and an explosion were heard near the interior ministry building in Kabul Wednesday, police and the ministry’s spokesman said, days after the Taliban vowed to target government and military centres in the Afghan capital. “We can confirm an explosion and gunfire at the first checkpoint of the interior ministry building. Security forces are there…

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Taliban warn Kabul residents to ‘keep away’ ahead of attacks

The Taliban warned Kabul residents Monday to avoid “military centres” in the heavily fortified city, saying they are planning more attacks in the capital where civilians have long taken the brunt of the casualties. The militant group has issued such warnings to civilians before, including during a failed attempt to take the western city of…

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Suicide bombers, gunmen attack Kabul police stations

Suicide bombers and gunmen launched apparent coordinated attacks on two Kabul police stations on Wednesday, with security forces still searching buildings for some of the assailants. A series of loud explosions rocked the Afghan capital in the late morning and were quickly followed by volleys of gunfire as police engaged in fierce battles with militants….

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Taliban fighters seize district in northern Afghanistan

Taliban fighters seized a district in Afghanistan’s remote northern province of Badakhshan after several days of fierce fighting, officials said on Friday, as the insurgents pushed forward their annual spring offensive launched last month. Fighting across Afghanistan has picked up in recent weeks with the return of warmer weather, putting government forces under pressure in…

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Afghan forces say foil attacks on government building, hospital

Afghan security forces arrested seven suspected militants who were planning to attack a government-run hospital and an interior ministry office in the capital Kabul on Thursday, officials said. The arrests come two days after twin blasts near government buildings in Kabul killed at least 26 people including nine journalists. Hundreds of people have been killed…

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Pakistan condemns Kabul suicide bombings

Pakistan has strongly condemned the twin suicide attacks in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul city. “We are distressed and grieved at the loss of precious human lives,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Tuesday. “We express our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives and…

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Twin Kabul suicide blasts kill at least 25, including journalists

At least 25 people were killed, including Agence France-Presse chief photographer for Afghanistan Shah Marai and eight other journalists, when two suicide blasts ripped through Kabul on Monday. The attacks, claimed by the Islamic State group, are the deadliest to have targeted the media in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, according…

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Karachi dangerously close to a water crisis: Indian scientists

Ten cities across the world are facing ‘Day Zeroes’ or severe water shortage in the near future unless they do something—and Karachi is one of them. “The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board barely meets 50 percent of the city’s total water requirement,” says the India-based Centre for Science and Environment. “The city’s population is growing…

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As water shortages grow, ‘Day Zero’ becomes everyday in India

BANGKOK: Parched Cape Town, in South Africa, has managed to push back its “Day Zero” – an estimate of when taps in the city could run dry – to 2019 after successful water-saving efforts. But in India, “Day Zero” has come and gone for residents in many parts of the country, where taps failed long…

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Suicide attack on Kabul voter registration centre kills 31

KABUL: An Islamic State suicide bomber killed at least 31 people including women and children and wounded dozens outside a voter registration centre in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday in the latest attack on election preparations. The assaults underscore growing concerns about security in the lead-up to legislative elections scheduled for October 20, which…

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Foreign Office rejects reports of clashes between Pak-Afghan forces

KARACHI: Foreign Office spokesperson on Wednesday categorically rejected the media reports regarding the alleged clashes between Pakistan and Afghan forces, Radio Pakistan reported. In a tweet, Pakistan’s Embassy in Kabul said a news item published in Afghan media regarding the clashes between Pakistan and Afghan forces is false. The embassy said no incident of Pakistan…

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Video of Afghan mother cradling baby in exam goes viral

KABUL: Afghan farmer Jahantab Ahmadi sits on the ground, her baby resting in her lap, as she focuses on the university entrance exam she hopes will help her fulfil her dreams. The powerful photo, taken by a professor at Nasir Khusraw private university in central Afghanistan, has gone viral after striking a chord in a…

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Top US general in Afghanistan urges ‘tired’ Taliban to talk peace

Bagram: Now is the best time for the Taliban to negotiate for peace, the top US general in Afghanistan said Wednesday, warning that an increased air and ground campaign against the insurgents would only get worse. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last month unveiled a plan to open talks to end the 16-year-old war, offering to…

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Taliban elements open to peace talk: US Defense Secretary

KABUL: Elements of the Taliban are open to talks with the Afghan government, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday as he arrived in Kabul on an unannounced visit. Mattis flew into the war-torn city two weeks after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani unveiled a plan to open peace talks with the Taliban. The insurgents have…

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