Afghanistan - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Afghanistan

ARTICLE FINDER

Taliban reaffirm commitment to U.S. deal in Pompeo call

Jun 30, 2020 - 3:48 PM

The discussion comes as US President Donald Trump faces mounting pressure to explain why he did nothing after being reportedly told that Russian spies had offered and paid cash to Taliban-linked militants for killing US soldiers

MIKE POMPEO. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC, on April 22, 2020. File photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP

Taliban reject claims Russia aided fighters in attacks on U.S. troops

Jun 27, 2020 - 11:23 PM

Taliban also denies that its weapons were given by Russia

ATTACK. In this file photo taken on August 27, 2017, US Marines and Afghan Commandos stand together as an Afghan Air Force helicopter flies past during a combat training exercise at Shorab Military Camp in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Bomb kills 2 human rights workers in Afghan capital

Jun 27, 2020 - 5:58 PM

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission says the pair died when a homemade "sticky bomb" attached to their vehicle exploded

Taliban killed 291 Afghan security personnel in past week – gov't

Jun 22, 2020 - 11:50 PM

The past week was the 'deadliest' in the country's 19 years of conflict, says Javid Faisal, spokesman for the National Security Council

'DEADLIEST.' In this file photo, Afghan security personnel stand guard near the site of a car bomb targeting the National Directorate of Security unit in Ghazni on May 18, 2020. File photo by Zakeria Hashimi/AFP

Taliban says no threat to West as U.S. troops leave Afghanistan

Jun 19, 2020 - 9:16 PM

A deal signed in February holds that the United States would pull out all troops in return for security guarantees from the insurgents and a pledge to hold peace talks with Afghanistan

Afghan Taliban militants and villagers attend a gathering as they celebrate the peace deal and their victory in the Afghan conflict on US in Afghanistan, in Alingar district of Laghman Province on March 2, 2020. - The Taliban said on March 2 they were resuming offensive operations against Afghan security forces, ending the partial truce that preceded the signing of a deal between the insurgents and Washington. (Photo by NOORULLAH SHIRZADA / AFP)

New polio cases in Afghanistan as coronavirus halts immunization

Jun 14, 2020 - 9:29 PM

The polio virus has spread to 3 provinces that had not reported cases for up to 5 years

Over 400 Afghan security personnel killed or wounded by Taliban in past week – gov't

Jun 14, 2020 - 7:02 PM

The accusations come after the government and Taliban signaled that they were getting closer to launching much delayed peace talks

Freed Taliban prisoners eye return to the battlefield

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:45 AM

A security official says those flagged by the Taliban for release include aspiring suicide bombers, suicide vest makers, kidnappers, and even foreign fighters

Afghan Taliban militants and villagers attend a gathering as they celebrate the peace deal and their victory in the Afghan conflict on US in Afghanistan, in Alingar district of Laghman Province on March 2, 2020. - The Taliban said on March 2 they were resuming offensive operations against Afghan security forces, ending the partial truce that preceded the signing of a deal between the insurgents and Washington. (Photo by NOORULLAH SHIRZADA / AFP)

Suicide bomber targets mosque in Kabul's Green Zone

Jun 03, 2020 - 12:43 AM

The latest attack in the Afghan capital comes after 7 civilians were killed in the north of the country in a roadside bomb blast authorities blamed on the Taliban

LATEST ATTACK. In this file photo, Muslims offer prayers at the start of the Eid al-Fitr festival which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the Wazir Akbar Khan mosque in Kabul on May 24, 2020. File photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Afghan forces killed in first 'Taliban attack' since ceasefire end

May 28, 2020 - 4:14 PM

The militants attack a checkpoint in Parwan, north Kabul, says a spokeswoman to the provincial governor. The Taliban have not commented.

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier escorts Taliban prisoners during their release from the Bagram prison,next to the US military base in Bagram, some 50 km north of Kabul. Afghan authorities plan to release 900 more Taliban prisoners on May 26, as calls grow for the militants to extend a ceasefire on its third and final day. WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP

Hundreds more Taliban prisoners freed on last day of Afghan truce

May 27, 2020 - 3:21 PM

Afghanistan authorities say they released about 900 Taliban prisoners across the country, approximately 600 of them from the notorious Bagram jail near Kabul

Taliban prisoners walk in line during their release from the Bagram prison, next to the US military base in Bagram, some 50 km north of Kabul. Afghan authorities plan to release 900 more Taliban prisoners on May 26, as calls grow for the militants to extend a ceasefire on its third and final day. WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP

Afghan gov't frees Taliban prisoners as truce holds for 2nd day

May 25, 2020 - 10:03 PM

President Ashraf Ghani says his administration is also ready to hold peace talks with the Taliban, seen as key to ending the war in the impoverished country

In this handout photo taken and released on April 11, 2020 by Afghanistan's (NDS) National Security Council, Taliban prisoners stand before being released from the Bagram prison next to the US military base in Bagram, some 50 km north of Kabul. - The Taliban said it would on April 12 release the first prisoners in a delayed exchange deal with the Afghan government -- a potential breakthrough after the insurgents walked out of talks with Kabul last week. (Photo by Handout / National Security Council (NDS) / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO /NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL (NDS)" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Afghan president vows to speed up release of Taliban prisoners

May 24, 2020 - 3:53 PM

He also urges the militants to press on with the release of the Afghan security personnel they hold

AFGHAN LEADER. Afghan's President Ashraf Ghani looks on during a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump at Bagram Air Field during a surprise Thanksgiving day visit, on November 28, 2019 in Afghanistan. Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP

Afghan Taliban leader says committed to deal with U.S.

May 20, 2020 - 11:35 PM

In a rare message released ahead of the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Haibatullah Akhundzada urges Washington 'not to waste' the opportunity offered by the deal to end America's longest war

DEAL. In this file photo, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar shake hands after signing a peace agreement during a ceremony in the Qatari capital Doha on February 29, 2020. File photo by Karim Jaafar/AFP

Afghan forces repel Taliban attack on key city – officials

May 19, 2020 - 5:01 PM

Taliban fighters attack several outposts of Afghan forces on the outskirts of Kunduz at around 1:00 am, triggering fierce fighting

Taliban claims bomb attack as it pushes for Afghan talks

May 18, 2020 - 4:40 PM

At least 7 intelligence personnel are killed by a car bomb in the eastern province of Ghazni, Afghanistan

CAR BOMBING. Afghan security personnel stand guard near the site of a car bomb targeting the National Directorate of Security unit in Ghazni on May 18, 2020. Photo by Zakeria Hashimi/AFP

Afghan President Ghani, rival Abdullah sign power-sharing deal

May 17, 2020 - 7:04 PM

The breakthrough comes as Afghanistan battles a series of crises, including a rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus and surging militant violence

POWER-SHARING. In this file photo, Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah (L) and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai stand together after signing a power-sharing agreement at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on September 21, 2014. Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

U.S. says Taliban fulfilling promises in Afghan withdrawal deal

May 16, 2020 - 2:02 PM

Recent violence violates the 'spirit' of the deal, says US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 27, 2017 US Marines and Afghan Commandos stand together as an Afghan Air Force helicopter flies past during a combat training exercise at Shorab Military Camp in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. - The United States has secured a seven-day reduction in violence in talks to help seek a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said February 13, 2020. The announcement came as NATO defence ministers met in Brussels and a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reported "notable progress" in negotiations with the Islamist insurgents."The United States and the Taliban have negotiated a proposal for a seven-day reduction in violence," Esper told reporters, dubbing his meetings with NATO colleagues "productive." (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP)

Afghan hospital attackers 'came to kill mothers' – MSF

May 15, 2020 - 4:01 PM

The assailants who entered the facility through the main gate moved straight to the maternity ward, Doctors Without Borders says

KABUL HOSPITAL ATTACK. Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of an attack outside a hospital in Kabul on May 12, 2020. File photo by AFP

Taliban claim deadly attack on Afghan army base

May 14, 2020 - 8:16 PM

The defense ministry says a truck bomb targeted the base in the eastern city of Gardez, killing 5 civilians

DEADLY ATTACK. Afghan security personnel inspect the site of an attack on Afghan army base in Gardez, capital of Paktia province on May 14, 2020. Photo by STR/AFP

Taliban says ready to counter Afghan forces after deadly carnage

May 14, 2020 - 12:16 AM

'From now onwards the responsibility of further escalation of violence and its ramifications shall fall squarely on the shoulders of the Kabul administration,' the Taliban says in a statement

BURIAL. Mourners carry a covered dead body during a burial ceremony following a suicide attack in a maternity hospital, at a cemetery in Kabul on May 13, 2020. Photo by AFP

Afghan forces to resume offensive operations

May 13, 2020 - 12:19 AM

'I order all the security forces to end their active defense position, return to offensive postures, and resume their operations against the enemy,' says Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

ASHRAF GHANI. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani talks at the second Kabul Process conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on February 28, 2018. File photo by Shah Marai/AFP

Violence flares in Afghanistan as hospital, funeral attacked

May 12, 2020 - 4:45 PM

(UPDATED) Gunmen storm a hospital in Kabul, as a funeral in Afghanistan's restive east is hit by a suicide bomber

ATTACKED. Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of an attack outside a hospital in Kabul on May 12, 2020. Photo by AFP.

IMF approves $220-million loan for Afghanistan

Apr 30, 2020 - 8:00 AM

'The pandemic is inflicting heavy damage on Afghanistan's economy, which is expected to contract sharply in 2020,' says the International Monetary Fund

In this photo taken on April 20, 2020 a fruit vendor wearing a facemask waits for customers during a government-imposed lockdown on the capital city as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, at his fruit shop in Kabul. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP)

Afghan president negative for virus after palace outbreak

Apr 21, 2020 - 10:53 PM

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his wife were both tested for the coronavirus and 'both results are negative'

NEGATIVE. Afghan's President Ashraf Ghani looks on during a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump at Bagram Air Field during a surprise Thanksgiving day visit, on November 28, 2019 in Afghanistan. File photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP

Virus wipes away Afghan toilet-paper maker's expansion plans

Apr 20, 2020 - 12:10 PM

While demand for toilet paper has surged, an Afghanistan businesswoman's factory is set to suspend operations as it is running out of raw material

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 22, 2008 Afghan boys selling toilet paper wait for customers in Kabul. - Afghan toilet paper entrepreneur Zuhal Atmar overcame patriarchy and security threats to build a business that was set to go global due to a coronavirus-induced shortage. But then, the supply of her key raw material -- trash -- dried up. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a lockdown in Kabul since March 2020, forcing scavengers off the streets and slashing access to the waste paper and cardboard which Atmar recycles into pink-and-white loo roll. (Photo by Shah MARAI / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY Afghanistan-virus-gender-business-environment-cleanup by Ammu KANNAMPILLY

U.S. envoy calls Afghan prisoner releases 'important step'

Apr 13, 2020 - 3:28 PM

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Taliban releases 20 Afghan security-force prisoners, following the government's release of hundreds of insurgent captives

RELEASE. In this handout photo taken and released on April 11, 2020 by Afghanistan's (NDS) National Security Council, Taliban prisoners stand before being released from the Bagram prison next to the US military base in Bagram, some 50 km north of Kabul. Photo by National Security Council/AFP

Taliban set to release first prisoners in fragile Afghan exchange

Apr 12, 2020 - 6:46 PM

The Afghan government has pressed ahead with freeing hundreds of Taliban prisoners over the past week, despite complaints from the insurgent group about the piecemeal nature of the releases

Afghan government releases 100 Taliban prisoners

Apr 08, 2020 - 6:15 PM

(UPDATED) Afghanistan's Office of the National Security Council says the 100 prisoners freed on Wednesday, April 8, were 'thoroughly vetted' and had all taken an oath never to return to the battlefield

TALKS. A man wearing a face mask walks past a wall painted with images of US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R), in Kabul April 5, 2020. File photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Taliban end 'fruitless' meetings with Afghan gov't over prisoner swap

Apr 08, 2020 - 8:46 AM

Matin Bek, a member of the government's negotiating team, says the release has been delayed because the Taliban are demanding the release of 15 'top commanders'

GATHERING. Members of the Taliban delegation gather ahead of the signing ceremony with the United States in the Qatari capital Doha, on February 29, 2020. Photo by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

LIST: Countries releasing prisoners over coronavirus fears

Apr 07, 2020 - 6:39 PM

(2nd UPDATE) This is in line with the recommendation of United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to release low-risk offenders and the sick as the world combats the coronavirus pandemic

Gunmen storm Sikh-Hindu temple in ongoing Kabul assault

Mar 25, 2020 - 3:35 PM

The attack comes as Afghanistan is facing myriad crises including a raging insurgency, political deadlock, a massive cut in US aid, a flailing peace process and rising coronavirus cases

In this photograph taken on March 22, 2020 an Afghan policeman searches people travelling in a car at a road checkpoint in Kabul. WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP

Pompeo in Kabul to try to break political deadlock

Mar 23, 2020 - 8:12 PM

The visit comes just a day after the Afghan government and Taliban held their first discussion on prisoner exchanges – a key step in a broader push for peace

BREAK DEADLOCK. In this handout photograph taken and released by Press Office of President of Afghanistan on March 23, 2020, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) during their meeting in Kabul. AFP PHOTO/Press Office of President of Afghanistan

Kabul to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners if violence eases

Mar 11, 2020 - 9:47 AM

A Taliban leader accuses Kabul of acting in bad faith, alleging that 'the government (planned) to release only those prisoners who are elderly, very ill, or those whose sentences have expired'

CEASEFIRE. Afghan Taliban militants ride a motorbike as they took to the street to celebrate ceasefire on the second day of Eid in the outskirts of Jalalabad on June 16, 2018. File photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP

Rockets mar Afghan president's swearing-in as rival inaugurates self

Mar 09, 2020 - 8:35 PM

(UPDATED) The game of thrones has strained the patience of the international community and Afghans alike, with Washington warning earlier that the bickering posed a risk to the US withdrawal deal

INAUGURATION. Afghan honor guards walk ahead of the oath inauguration ceremony of Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on March 9, 2020. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Afghan war crimes probe must go ahead, ICC judges say

Mar 05, 2020 - 7:24 PM

The move is immediately hailed by human rights organizations as a 'pivotal moment' for victims of the central Asian country's 18-year-war since the 2001 US invasion

THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT. A picture taken on November 23, 2015, shows the new building of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands. File photo by Martijn Beekman/ANP/AFP

Pentagon downplays new Taliban attacks

Mar 05, 2020 - 10:11 AM

'There's no high profile attacks, there's no suicide bombers, there's no vehicle-borne suicide, no attack against the US forces, no attack against the coalition,' says General Mark Milley

DISCUSSION. Members of the Taliban delegation gather ahead of the signing ceremony with the United States in the Qatari capital Doha, on February 29, 2020. Photo by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

U.S. launches air strike against Taliban to defend Afghan forces

Mar 04, 2020 - 7:11 PM

US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Sonny Leggett says the air strike took place against Taliban fighters who were 'actively attacking' an Afghan forces checkpoint in Helmand province

WHAT HAPPENS TO PEACE PROCESS? Members of the Taliban delegation gather ahead of the signing ceremony with the United States in the Qatari capital Doha, on February 29, 2020. File photo by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Trump, Taliban political chief speak as Afghan violence rises

Mar 04, 2020 - 9:19 AM

The insurgents are the first to give news of the highly unusual phone call, which they say lasted 35 minutes

MULLAH. Taliban co-founder and political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar attends talks with Afghan political figures in Moscow on May 30, 2019. Photo by Nikolay Korzhov/AFP

Taliban attack Afghan army bases, throwing peace talks into doubt

Mar 03, 2020 - 8:22 PM

The halt to the limited truce, which began on February 22, ends what was a welcome reprieve for ordinary Afghans who have born the brunt of the deadly violence

PARTIAL TRUCE ENDS. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani gestures as he speaks during a gathering to assess the general security situation in the in Jalalabad Province, in Jalalabad on March 3, 2020. Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP

Taliban end partial truce as Afghan violence resumes

Mar 02, 2020 - 10:22 PM

'As per the (US-Taliban) agreement, our mujahideen will not attack foreign forces but our operations will continue against the Kabul administration forces,' says Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid

AFTER DEAL. Afghan Taliban militants and villagers attend a gathering as they celebrate the peace deal and their victory in the Afghan conflict on US in Afghanistan, in Alingar district of Laghman Province on March 2, 2020. Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP

Afghanistan's partial truce will continue, 'with goal' for full ceasefire

Mar 01, 2020 - 3:30 PM

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani pushes back against a clause in the deal that calls for the Taliban to release up to 1,000 prisoners and for the Afghan government to release up to 5,000 prisoners

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 27, 2017 US Marines and Afghan Commandos stand together as an Afghan Air Force helicopter flies past during a combat training exercise at Shorab Military Camp in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. - The United States has secured a seven-day reduction in violence in talks to help seek a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said February 13, 2020. The announcement came as NATO defence ministers met in Brussels and a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reported "notable progress" in negotiations with the Islamist insurgents."The United States and the Taliban have negotiated a proposal for a seven-day reduction in violence," Esper told reporters, dubbing his meetings with NATO colleagues "productive." (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP)

'Fear and panic' as coronavirus threatens Afghanistan, Pakistan

Feb 27, 2020 - 7:41 AM

'People are illiterate, you can't get the message through to them,' says a Kabul-based physician

FREE MASKS. A volunteer hands out free face masks to people as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Herat city on February 26, 2020. Photo by Hoshang Hashimi/AFP

Australian special forces probed for alleged Afghan war crimes

Feb 25, 2020 - 3:00 PM

The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force says 55 separate incidents are being investigated as part of a years-long probe into allegations Australian soldiers committed war crimes while in Afghanistan

PROBE. In this photo taken on January 20, 2010, an Australian soldier of Omlet-c company fires an AK-47 assault rifle used by Afghan soldiers during practice firing at a forward operating base (FOB) in Mirwais in the southern province of Uruzgan.  File photo by Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP

Afghanistan finds 1st coronavirus case – health minister

Feb 24, 2020 - 8:00 PM

Health minister Firozuddin Feroz calls on citizens to avoid travel to the western province which borders Iran

PROTECTION. People wearing protective masks stand at a bus station in the Iranian capital Tehran on February 24, 2020. File photo by Atta Kenare/AFP

Trump says he would sign a peace deal with the Taliban

Feb 23, 2020 - 11:00 PM

A partial truce is in effect in Afghanistan and could ultimately lead to a withdrawal of US forces after more than 18 years

RETURN. US President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn upon his return to the White House in Washington, DC, on February 16, 2020. (Photo by Olivier Douliery / AFP

Pakistan closes Iranian border, Afghanistan bans travel over virus fears

Feb 23, 2020 - 10:35 PM

Iran reports 8 deaths from the novel coronavirus, the highest toll of any country outside China

MASKED. An Iranian woman wearing a protective mask checks her mobile telephone as she walks in a street in the capital Tehran on February 20, 2020. Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP

Afghans mark start of week-long partial truce amid isolated attacks

Feb 22, 2020 - 4:09 PM

The partial truce is expected to set the conditions for Washington and the insurgents to sign a deal that could ultimately pull US troops out after more than 18 years

A general view of the capital city of Kabul is pictured on August 3, 2019, as new talks between the US and the Taliban go on. - Washington is hoping for a breakthrough as talks between the US and the Taliban resumed in Doha on Saturday in a bid to end 18 years of war in Afghanistan. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP)

U.S. prepares to sign withdrawal deal with Taliban on February 29

Feb 21, 2020 - 9:36 PM

Both US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban issue statements saying they have agreed to sign the accord on February 29 in Doha, following the one-week partial truce

US-TALIBAN TALKS. In this file photo taken on August 27, 2017 US Marines and Afghan Commandos stand together as an Afghan Air Force helicopter flies past during a combat training exercise at Shorab Military Camp in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. File photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Ashraf Ghani secures second term as Afghan president – final results

Feb 18, 2020 - 10:05 PM

'The election commission... declares Mr Ashraf Ghani, who has won 50.64% of the votes, as the president of Afghanistan,' election commission chief Hawa Alam Nuristani says

ASHRAF GHANI. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani talks at the second Kabul Process conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on February 28, 2018. File photo by Shah Marai/AFP