|Mullah Baz Mohammad||Mullah Baz Mohammad||Taliban||Afghanistan||20030918|
|Afghan Forces Hold ‘Full Control’ Of Key Highway In Southeast|
|[ToloNews] A strategic highway linking Khost with Paktia province in the southwest of Afghanistan is fully under control of the Afghan forces over the past year while it was under influence of the and for five years. |
The road, almost 50 kilometers in length, connects Zazi Maidan district of Khost with Dand Aw Patan district of Paktia.
Security forces are now able to travel by one vehicle through the graveled road, which is mostly rough terrains and has only one lane.
Dand Aw Patan is a district in Paktia which borders the Kurram tribal region of Pakistain. Zazi Maidan or Jaji Maidan is located in the northeastern part of Khost. It borders Bak district to the west, Paktia province to the north, and the of Pakistain to the north and east. The district center is the village of Zazi Maidan, situated in the eastern part of the district.
TOLOnews s Tamim Hamid and Abdul Haq Omeri traveled with an Army vehicle to the highway where they met many Army soldiers who said the highway is under their control.
Noor Mohammad, 38, who serves in the Afghan National Army ranks in Dand Aw Patan district, said he lost one of his comrades in operation for clearing the highway of last year.
"He had a marvelous personality and was a talented boy. May the Almighty Allah forgive him. He lost his life just in this war front," said Noor
Mohammad, remembering his friend who was killed in an operation against the Taliban.
Mohammad’s friend, Noorullah, an Army soldier, said that he has not seen his family for a long time.
"My family and the children are missing me. I miss them too," said Noorullah.
"They (Taliban) are preparing from now on and they place mines in some areas. Their preparations will increase as the weather is warming," said Zakaria, 29, an Army soldier in Khost.
Every soldier in the area has their own stories.
"I still have six or seven months to return home and get married. If peace comes, I will do it soon and I will not waste the time," said Baz Mohammad, another soldier.
The Nahri area, which is the connecting point between Khost and Paktia provinces, was the last stop of the forces. A year ago, they had had to fight the Taliban to get to the area but now they reach there in a few hours of drive.
|Kabul Faces Water Crisis as Drought, Population Strain Supply|
|[AnNahar] Standing in his garden in Kabul, Baz Mohammad Kochi oversees the drilling of a new well more than 100 metres deep after his first water reservoir dried up. He is not alone.|
A shortage of rain and snow, a booming population and wasteful consumption have drained the Afghan capital's water basin and sparked a race to the bottom as households and businesses bore deeper and deeper wells in search of the precious resource.
"The water level has dropped so much that it is now necessary to reach other underground basins 100 metres, even 120 metres" deep, says well digger Mohammad Aman as his dilapidated machine pierces the ochre earth in Kochi's yard.
|All Govt Centers 'Under ANDSF Control' In Ghazni City, at least 39 Talibs toes up|
|[Tolo] The US forces in Afghanistan confirm that there were attacks on multiple government centers in Ghazni City on Thursday night. |
“We can confirm that there were attacks last night on multiple government centers in Ghazni City, Ghazni province,” Lt. Col. Martin L. O’Donnell, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, told TOLOnews.
He said fighting has since ceased (at around 8am Kabul time).
The spokesman said the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces held their ground and maintain control of all government centers.
“US forces responded with close-air support (US attack helicopters) and conducted one strike (drone). In addition, US aircraft conducted a show of presence,” Mr. O’Donnell told TOLOnews.
Initial reports indicate minimal Afghan security force casualties, he said in a statement on Friday.
“This is yet another failed Taliban attempt to seize terrain, which will result in yet another eye-catching, but strategically inconsequential headline,” he said.
Taliban stormed Ghazni City – in the center of Afghanistan – 148 kilometers southwest of Kabul, at around 2am Kabul time on Friday. Taliban has said in a statement that the group stormed Ghazni City from different sides.
Ghazni police said Kabul-Ghazni Highway has been closed to traffic following heavy fighting between government forces and Taliban.
Hamidullah Nawrozi, member of Ghazni Provincial Council, told TOLOnews that "Ghazni city will fall to the Taliban if reinforcements were not sent".
Meanwhile, Ghazni Police Chief Farid Ahmad Mashal said the Ghazni City is under the control of government forces as he talked to TOLOnews at around 8:30am Kabul time. He rejected the claims that Taliban has entered the city. The police chief said clashes are ongoing in Khogyani, Khwaja Omari and Zanakhan areas on the outskirts of Ghazni City.
Recently, insecurity has increased in Ghazni province. The increasing insecurity has resulted in a decision by the Independent Election Commission to delay the upcoming parliamentary election in the province.
Taliban Blocks Kabul-Kandahar Highway Following Ghazni Attack
[Tolo] Taliban insurgents on Friday blocked Kabul-Kandahar Highway that connects Afghanistan’s capital Kabul to the southern city of Kandahar after the group launched an overnight attack on Ghazni City.
Taliban’s attack on Ghazni, about 180 kilometers southwest of Kabul, is the latest series of attacks by the resurgent group on provincial centers.
Afghan security officials in Maidan Wardak province said Taliban launched an attack on Salar area at midnight on Thursday and then engaged in a fierce battle with government forces in the area.
Passengers who stranded on the strategically important high said Taliban fighters have visible presence in some parts of Kabul-Kandahar Highway.
“They (Taliban) targeted the vehicles. Landmines were planted, bridges were destroyed, they also opened fire on us. Many drivers had been hit,” said Abdulhai, a driver.
“We stranded for two hours in Sayed Abad district. Clashws were ongoing in Chashm-e-Salar, so we returned,” said Mohammad Zia, a driver.
The US army in Afghanistan however has said that a series of air strikes were carried out on the Taliban in the area and that the group’s attempt to seize Ghazni City has failed.
“We can confirm that there were attacks last night on multiple government centers in Ghazni City, Ghazni province,” Lt. Col. Martin L. O’Donnell, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, told TOLOnews.
TOLOnews reporter Gulabuddin Ghubar who visited Maidan Wardak said government forces were trying to send reinforcements to the area to repel further advance of the group.
Soldiers describes the warfronts
“We checked the route and defused the mines. We also escorted the convoy towards Durani bazar and took the martyrs there,” said Mohammad Sediq, a soldier.
“We walked through Dasht-e-Top area. Taliban militants are fighting on multiple fronts. They cannot engage in direct battles,” said Emal Ibrahimi, a soldier.
“People have suffered from this war. The road is blocked. People are stranded on both sides,” said Sharifullah Hotak, member of Maidan Wardak Provincial Council.
In pictures and latest on coordinated Taliban attack on Ghazni city
MoI deputy spokesman Nursrat Rahimi told reporters in Kabul that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are in full lead of the security of Ghazni city.
He said the Taliban militants have sustained heavy casualties during the attack on Ghazni city and in clashes with the security forces but added that no specific information is available regarding the exact toll.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense Gen. Mohammad Radmanish said the attack was carried out jointly by the militants from Maidan Wardak, Paktia, and Zabul provinces.
Provincial security Chief Farid Ahmad Mashal says the dead bodies of at least 39 militants are left in the eastern parts of the city.
Provincial public health directorate officials had earlier said the bodies of at least 16 people including two civilians have been shifted to the hospital along with at least 30 others who have sustained injuries.
According to the officials, at least 26 security personnel are among those wounded during the clashes.
The provincial governor’s spokesman Mohammad Arif Noori had earlier said at least seven security personnel have sustained injuries during the attack.
At least one Afghan soldier has been killed and seven others wounded in the fighting, provincial governor spokesman Arif Noori said.
Civilian houses and army checkpoints have come under mortar attack and the bodies of dozens of Taliban fighters are in the streets, he added.
The overnight attack in the southeastern city of Ghazni, the capital of a province with the same name, also wounded at least 20 members of the security forces, said Baz Mohammad Hemat, the administrator of the Ghazni city hospital.
Another Taliban attack, this one on Thursday night in western Herat province, left six policemen dead in the district of Obe, according to the governor’s spokesman there, Gelani Farhad.
In Ghazni, the attack began around 2 a.m. with intense gunbattles raging and fires burning in several shops in the city’s residential areas, provincial police chief Farid Ahmad Mashal told The Associated Press.
After repulsing the daring assault, police conducted house-to-house searches for any remaining Taliban fighters. An investigation was also underway on how the insurgents had managed to infiltrate so deep into the city, barely 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Mashal said there were more than 100 other casualties but he could not give a breakdown of the dead and wounded. Most of the casualties were Taliban, he said.
Several bodies of dead Taliban fighters remained on the street after government forced pushed the insurgents from Ghazni, the police chief said. Bodies of 39 Taliban fighters were recovered from under a bridge on the southern edge of the city.
Airstrikes called in to quash the offensive also killed dozens of Taliban, Mashal said. Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said the army had helped the police and that the city was brought under control of government forces.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed parts of Ghazni had been seized and scores of people killed.
By mid-morning, sporadic gunfire could still be heard in city, some residents said. There were still Taliban fighters who had hunkered down in elevated positions from which they were still shooting, the residents said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear for their safety.
The Taliban have so far not confirmed being behind the earlier attack in Herat in which at least six policemen were killed at a district checkpoint.
|ISIS arrests woman over illicit sexual charges in North of Afghanistan|
|[Khaama (Afghanistan)] Militants affiliated with the of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group have a woman in North of Afghanistan on charges of having illicit sexual relations (Zana).|
According to the local officials in Jawzjan, the woman, az Nazia was arrested and has been taken to an unknown location after she was accused of having illicit sexual relations with a man.
The incident took place in an area under the control of the of the terror group in the restive Darzab district.
The provincial district administrative chief Baz Mohammad Dawar confirmed the incident and said preliminary reports indicate the woman is being kept as a hostage in Sardara area, which is under their control.
This comes as reports emerged earlier today suggesting that scores of people were by the affiliated with the terror group in northern province.
|Afghan official: 650 tons of drugs seized in past 12 months|
Gen. Baz Mohammad Ahmadi, deputy interior minister for the counter-narcotics police, says the confiscated drugs include raw opium, heroin and hashish. He says that during that same time, the police 2,683 smugglers and traffickers, including 67 women.
He added that 20 and 17 army soldiers have also been arrested for drug trafficking during the same time period. Ahmadi spoke on Tuesday as part of his annual reports on the fight against drug trafficking
|Afghanistan loses 13 soldiers in past 24 hours as security deteriorates countrywide|
|[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Afghan National Army (ANA) forces have lost at least 13 soldiers in the past 24 hours the security situation has rapidly deteriorated across the country.|
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the soldiers during the counter-terrorism operations, mainly in northern and southeastern parts of the country.
"The Afghan National Army (ANA) forces are prepared for all kinds of devotion and with all force to maintain security and comfort for the people of Afghanistan," a statement by MoD said, adding that 13 Afghan soldiers were martyred during counter-terrorism operations against the internal and foreign terrorists.
The Afghan force are facing a resurgent Taliban and deteriorating security sitaution since they assumed full charge of the security responsibilities at the start of last year.
The considerable rise in Afghan army casualties comes as the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are busy conducting their annual operation to suppress the insurgency activities of the groups.
Tolo News has more:
Clashes have reached unprecedented levels across the country but the north-east and southern parts of Afghanistan are paying a particularly high price in the ongoing war - so much so that the Commandos and Special Forces are now also involved in many of these battles.
"It is not just Taliban who are angry as they are losing the war, but their regional supporters are also angry at Afghan security forces for their good achievements", said Muhammad Rad Manish, spokesman for the ministry of defense.
Heavy clashes are ongoing in Kunduz, Baghlan and Helmand. In Kunduz province, security forces are fighting the insurgents on the outskirts of the city.
However, the question is, how was the Taliban able to reorganize an onslaught in Kunduz?
Hamdullah Danishi, former caretaker governor of Kunduz said: "Government did not destroy the nests of Taliban in the province and they could not manage the war. Security forces do not have good coordination and the Taliban took a lot of ammunition from them in various fights and today once again they are threatening the province and north-east parts of the country."
Currently battles are ongoing in more than 10 provinces and security forces are having to carry out planned operations and night raids.
Meanwhile, poor war management by the ministries of interior and defense has been blamed for the current situation.
"If in this situation government does not take serious steps toward bringing more coordination and better management of the war, it means that security forces will become subordinates to the insurgents", said Baz Mohammad Anwari, a military affairs analyst.
Lack of ammunition and other equipment is also said to be a cause for concern.
Video report at the link
|ISIS shadow official busted in Jawzjan|
|The shadow governor of the loyalists of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has been arrested in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan.|
According to the local government officials, Baz Mohammad, the ISIS shadow governor of the terror group designated for Jawzjan province, was arrested as he was attempting to expand the activities of the terror group in northern provinces.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Mohammad Reza Ghafoori confirmed that Baz Mohammad had recently traveled to Jawzjan and was seeking to recruit fighters from the province.
This is not the first time reports have emerged from the North of the country regarding the attempts by the terror group to expand foothold in the northern provinces.
The Afghan forces confronted the loyalits of the terror group for the first time in northern Balkh province.
The acting provincial governor Ata Mohammad who was leading clearance operations in Balkh province earlier in March said the loyalists of the terror group were confronted during the operations in Koshindeh and Zareh districts.
Noor said the militants were looking to start their operations from the mountainous terrai of Tanj and move towards the provincial capital city, Mazar-e-Sharif and their strategy was to move further towards Sholgara and then into Samangan and Sar-e-Pul provinces.
|Over 30% Of Districts Under Serious Threat|
|The Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) on Sunday raised concerns that over 30 percent of all districts in the country are under serious threat by insurgent groups.|
The IDLG said that of the 384 districts in the country - including 15 newly created and non-permanent districts – 116 are under threat.
They said at least 10 of these districts are out of government's control.
According to the IDLG, the districts under Taliban control are as follows: Disho, Baghran, Musa Qala and Nawzad in Helmand as well as Khak Afghan district in Zabul, Neka in Paktika, Nawa in Ghazni, Warduj and Yamgan in Badakhshan and Kohistanat district in Sar-e-Pul.
"We do not have the record of services in 10 districts... I can say that governance is not practiced in these districts," said IDLG spokesman Munira Yusufzada.
In addition to the 116 districts facing serious threats, 91 other districts are facing "medium" security threats.
Meanwhile, of Kunduz's nine districts, six, Dasht-e-Archi, Qala-e-Zal, Chahardara, Gortepa, Aqtash and Kulbad districts, are reportedly largely controlled by the Taliban.
"Nearly 98 percent of six of the nine districts in Kunduz are under control of the Taliban – including their government offices," said Nazari Turkman, an MP from Kunduz.
"Lack of plans by government gives a big hand to the Taliban and other insurgent groups [to destabilize the country]," said university lecturer Baz Mohammad Anwari.
Government is however taking action on a number of fronts and according to reports, ground forces in a number of areas are now being backed by air support from both the Afghan Air Force and foreign troops.
"They [militants] have suffered casualties in Khanashin district in Helmand and they have also suffered heavy losses in Qoshtepa district in Jawzjan," said defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri.
But despite the IDLG's claims that 10 districts are controlled by the Taliban, recent findings by the Long War Journal reveal that 20 districts are in fact under the Taliban's control and that in 35 other districts, only the centers are controlled by government while other parts are under the control of the Taliban.
|MoD Authorizes Troops To Ramp Up Night Raids|
|It's not about the environment. It's about the tempo|
[ToloNews] Defense Minister Masoom Stanikzai has issued an order authorizing Afghan security forces to increase the number of night raids against homes of suspected Taliban insurgents and other militants.
Stanikzai also asked Afghan forces to take firm action against border violations and to defend the nation against threats without hesitation.
The minister's remarks come just days after reports surfaced that Afghanistan's eastern border regions have once again come under rocket attack from outside the country.
The move also comes as Taliban forces continue to pose major challenges to embattled Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in various regions of the country, in their bid to gain territory and strategic towns.
Following the end of the U.S combat mission in Afghanistan, the security situation has sharply deteriorated on the back of intensified attacks by the Taliban against Afghan forces. The sharp increase has shown no signs of abating.
"Presently the question is why are these wars fought in Zabul and Shindand and Badghis where only Afghan civilians are killed. What are the intentions behind these wars? If these wars are aimed at seizing power or fighting for the slavery of others, then it must be kept in mind that the people of Afghanistan are fully aware of these conspiracies," said Stanikzai.
Government's new shift also reflects growing concern among the residents in eastern regions of the country following cross-border firing.
"Sometimes we hear that a certain area was targeted and that a violation was committed in an area, our duty is to defend the country and our borders in line with our available resources and capabilities. For this, you (soldiers) do not need to ask permission while you are on duty, our task is to defend the country anytime and in any circumstance, whenever you see a violation, then retaliate," he added.
Meanwhile, Dawlat Waziri, a defense ministry spokesman said: "A major seminar was held at the ministry of defense and a decision was made to target the opponent wherever they operate from."
But security experts have called for firm action to be taken against the insurgent group.
"Ongoing efforts aren't enough to obliterate the enemy. More inclusive and stronger measures are needed for this purpose including nighttime operations," military expert Baz Mohammad Anwari said.
This comes at a time that the Afghan army continues military operations against militants in 14 provinces. Night raids have however been an effective way to eliminate militants.
|A Look At Taliban's Different Factions|
|[Tolo News] After the death of the Taliban's former leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban split into two main factions -- the first one led by Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour and the second led by TOLOnews Sharif Amiri has assessed the issue in a special report.|
According to him, Mullah Akhtar Mansour has two deputies -- including and , the leader of Haqqani network.
He said the (Council) has 18 members, which has the responsibility of making Taliban's strategies. The council is considered as the main factor behind the war in Afghanistan, Sharif said.
Based on him, another group which is led by Mullah Rasoul has focused more on Afghanistan.
and Haris are his deputies, Sharif said in his report.
He added that he has found that Pakistain has little control over the Taliban faction led by Mullah Rasoul. The group led by Mullah Rasoul is more interested to join the -- compared to other factions of Taliban, he added.
In addition he said there are a number of key Taliban leaders in , including , head of the office, Mullah Jan Mohammad Madani, Mullah Shahabuddin Dilawar, Suhail Shahin, Mohammad Zahid Ahmadzai and Abdul Salam Hanafi.
According to him, the Qatar Taliban office has the responsibility of Taliban's foreign policy. This office takes orders from Quetta Shura, the report said.
According to the report, there are five key members of Taliban -- including Mullah Fazil Akhund, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwah, Mullah Abdulhaq Wasiq, Mullah Noorullah Noori and Mullah Mohammad Nabi Omari.
Sharif said that the Taliban is not the only problem for Afghanistan; there are up to 5,000 foreign rebels, including Arab, Chechen and Uzbek fighters, fighting against security forces in Afghanistan.
It is believed that if the Taliban agrees to peace with the Afghan government, the groups will still pose a threat to the country's security.
|Taliban shadow district governor killed in Sar-e-Pol province|
|Security forces have killed a Taliban shadow district governor in northern part of the county and arrested their landmine planters in southeast.|
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Interior, Mawlawi Baz Mohammad was the so-called district governor of Taliban for Sancharak District of northern Sar-e-Pol province and Mawlawi Qamar-ud-din was the group’s military commander.
“The two important fighters of Taliban were killed in a precise raid in the village of Deh Mordah of Sancharak District yesterday,” states the statement.
With their death, the security situation of Sancharak and other parts of Sar-e-Pol province would get better, the statement adds.
Military operation in Sancharak was launched on Monday after Taliban seized some villages from security forces.
Meanwhile, police have detained four landmine planters of Taliban with landmines in southeastern Paktia province.
The group planned to furnish landmines on public highway in Machalgho area of Ahmad Abad District on Monday.
|Taliban Splinter Group Ready For Peace Talks|
|[Tolo News] An Afghan Taliban splinter group, which refuses Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor as successor of late , says they are ready to talk peace with the Afghan government.|
The dissident group's deputy chief Mullah Abdul Manan told BBC on Saturday that if the foreign forces completely desert Afghanistan, the group will be ready to talk peace with the Afghan government.
The group, which recently elected Mullah Mohammad Rassoul as their new leader in the western Ghor province, says they have no problem with the Afghan government.
Mansoor -- who some Taliban's Quetta Council members claimed was appointed by Pakistain's ISI -- was elected as the new leader in August after the group confirmed that Mullah Omar had died two years ago.
However many commanders within the movement accused Mansoor of hiding the news since April 2013 -- causing a deep division in the insurgency.
However Mullah Manan claimed that Mullah Mansoor besides killing the group's supreme leader has also imprisoned and tortured several other high-ranking members of the movement.
He accused Mansoor of hijacking the so-called Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
In addition, Manan criticized the movement's political office in , which he said, have had several secret deals with America.
However this is believed to be the first public and official division of the group.
The dissident's new leader Mullah Rasool served under Taliban rule as governor for Nimroz and Farah provinces before the regime was ousted in 2001.
Mullah Rasool has appointed four commanders of the group as his deputies.
Abdul Manan Niazi, Mansoor Dadullah and Shir Mohammad Akhundzada appointed as deputies on military affairs and Mullah Baz Mohammad Haris for political affairs.