12 Afghan cops killed in multiple checkpoint attacks

At least a dozen Afghan police officers were killed in a series of insurgent attacks on checkpoints in the country’s southern Uruzgan province, an official said. Nematullah Khan Roshan, deputy district chief for the Charcheno district in Uruzgan, said on Wednesday that Taliban insurgents attacked three separate police checkpoints on Monday night. Roshan added that pitched battles are still ongoing in the area and that government reinforcements have been deployed. The current confrontation is so intense, Roshan said, that the corpses of both police officers and insurgents killed in the battle have been laying in open ground with no way to safely recover the bodies. Elsewhere in Afghanistan, at least 10 insurgents were killed by government forces in the northwestern province of Badghis near the border with Turkmenistan, an official said. Mirwais Mirzakwal, spokesman for the provincial governor, said on Wednesday that the operation in the Bala Murghab district near the Turkmen border was still ongoing. Mirzakwal said his government had “done our best to provide security along the border.” Mirzakwal added that last year Turkmen authorities started building a fence along the border with Afghanistan after a Taliban attack in which three members of the Turkmen security forces were wounded. Source...

Suicide attack on Kabul bus kills three

KABUL – A Taliban suicide bomber struck a government bus in Kabul on Sunday, killing three and wounding at least 16 others, officials said, the second such attack in less than a week in the Afghan capital. The bus was transporting employees of the attorney general’s office to their homes when a man on foot detonated explosives strapped to his body, they said. “We can confirm three dead including a woman among them, and at least 16 others were wounded, three of them were women,” Gul Agha Rohani, deputy police chief of Kabul, told AFP. “The shuttle bus was carrying the attorney general office staff to their homes when it came under attack,” Rohani said, with all casualties civilians. Kabul’s criminal investigative director Farid Afzali confirmed the account, putting the number of wounded at 18. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes after the launch of their spring offensive last month, saying a number of staff of the attorney general were killed and wounded in the attack. The Taliban are known to exaggerate and distort their public statements as part of a propaganda drive accompanying their campaign against the Afghan and US-led foreign forces who ousted them from power in 2001. Scores of shuttle buses take government and military personnel to work every morning in the capital, and they have often been targeted by insurgents despite efforts by security forces to provide better protection. This year’s Taliban push marks the first fighting season in which Afghan forces will battle the insurgents without the full support of US-led foreign combat troops. NATO’s combat mission formally ended in December...

Taliban kill 17 Afghans but say they ‘welcome’ peace push

 KABUL — Taliban militants who have been waging war on the Afghan government for more than a decade expressed a willingness on Monday to soften their position on a range of issues, an apparent shift that could lead to peace talks.   But despite those positive signs after two days of informal talks in Qatar, a wave of Taliban attacks targeting police checkpoints late Sunday night in the remote Afghan province of Badakhshan killed at least 16 police officers.   The insurgents said in a statement to media that the assaults were part of their annual spring offensive, which began late last month.   And on Monday morning, a Taliban suicide bomber struck a bus carrying government workers in the capital, Kabul, killing one person and wounding 13. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that bombing. The attacks underscored how elusive peace is after decades of war in this Central Asian country.   During the informal discussions between Afghan government representatives and those of the Taliban in Qatar, both sides emphasized that peace talks were not on the agenda.   The Taliban have so far ignored calls from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for the group to join the government. However, their statement following Qatar meetings indicated flexibility on previously intractable issues such as the presence of foreigners in Afghanistan and acceptance of a constitution.   ‘‘The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan once again as a policy clearly states that it does not want to harm others and also won’t allow anyone to use Afghan soil against others,’’ it said, using the group’s formal name. The statement said that ‘‘for the...

2 blasts wound 2 policemen in Afghan’s Khost city

KHOST, Afghanistan, May 1 (Xinhua) — Two policemen were injured as two blasts rocked the eastern Khost city on Friday, provincial police chief, Faizullah Ghairat said. “The terrorists planted explosive device inside a garbage bucket in front of Khost city’s Municipality building and exploded at around 02:00 p.m. local time and when policemen rushed to the area, the terrorists detonated another blast injuring two police personnel,” Ghairat told reporters here. Putting the attack on the enemies of peace, a term used by officials for the Taliban militants, saying the enemies by conducting subversive activities want to terrorize the people. Taliban militants fighting the government have intensified their activities across Afghanistan since launching their so- called annual spring offensive on April 24. A clash between Taliban militants and security forces which erupted in Alishir district of Khost province in the wee hours of Friday and lasted till 06:30 a.m. local time, 27 people including 25 militants and two policemen had been killed and 26 others including 21 militants and five policemen had been injured....

Work is beginning on construction of new homes after floods in Afghanistan.

Islamic Relief responded to the floods in Afghanistan at the end of April 2014, caused by heavy rainfall and flash flooding. Some 175 people lost their lives in the floods, which also caused widespread damage to homes and agriculture. More than 135,000 people across 27 provinces were affected, with the majority – 70,000 – in Jawzjan, Faryab and Sari Pul, provinces in the north of Afghanistan. In Badakshan province, in north east Afghanistan, there was a landslide on May 2, 2014, which killed around 300, according to government figures, and destroyed 300 houses. Islamic Relief immediately responded, providing 300 food packages to 150 families in Badakshan, and food parcels for more than 10,000 people in the three provinces hit worst by the floods. Disaster-resilient housing As the areas recover, a section of land was identified for new housing. Heavy early snowfall delayed construction until this spring, but Islamic Relief is now beginning to construct two-bedroom houses for those who lost their homes during the floods and have been unable to find permanent alternative accommodation. Each home will also have a bathroom and kitchen. Islamic Relief is making the houses flood-resilient to help them withstand flood waters in the future. As part of the programme, Islamic Relief will also build a community well, and plans to construct a small community hall that could be used for awareness and education sessions, training, meetings and community mobilisation.   Source:...