Voice of America

Voice of America 14 May 2020

Truck Bomb Targeting Afghan Army Base Kills Five

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▶️A Taliban attack on an Afghan army compound in Gardez city of Paktia province Thursday morning killed at least five civilians and wounded dozens more, including five people from the military. 
  
A spokesman for the army's 203 Thunder Corps, Aimal Khan Mohmand, told VOA the suicide attacker in an explosives laden Mazda truck managed to damage the walls of the compound.  
   
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility and said the attack was a response to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's order to resume offensive operations against the insurgent group. 

The operations were suspended since the insurgent group signed a landmark deal with the United States in Doha in February to try to end the war.           
  
The attack also comes days after multiple attacks in other parts of the country, including on a hospital in Kabul, killed more than 50 people including newborn babies.  
  
While Taliban denied any role, senior Afghan officials, including first vice president Amrullah Saleh, blamed the group for those attacks.  
  
The acting interior minister Massoud Andarabi accused a deadly Taliban faction, the Haqqani network, of having close ties with the local chapter of Islamic State which claimed some of the recent attacks.   (VOA)


CORONAVIRUS:

Romania has been able to bring more medical supplies into the country, Wednesday, April 8.

A military airplane landed early Wednesday at an army base near Bucharest, unloading 45 metric tons of equipment.

The shipment included 100,000 protection suits from Seoul, South Korea.

(AP)
It has been a year since a series of suicide bombings targeting Christians killed 279 people in Sri Lanka.
Families of victims say no court in the world can bring them justice, but they want those responsible punished.
Al Jazeera's Minelle Fernandez reports from the capital Colombo, where she met a father who lost his son and daughter in one of the blasts.
A shootout erupted on Saturday, May 9, at a protest in western Afghanistan by residents demanding economic assistance, leading to the deaths of at least six people, including a local reporter and two police officers, officials said.

Protesters were demanding relief after weeks of restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic.

Interior Ministry's officials said the protesters had gathered outside the governor's office in Feroz Koh, the capital of the western Ghor province.

Some people at the protest opened fire at police, igniting a gun battle that killed the six people and wounded another 19, including nine policemen, authorities said.

Afghanistan was already mired in poverty before the onset of the pandemic. Many Afghans rely on day labor, which has dried up because of the closure of nonessential businesses.

The spread of COVID-19 has significantly impacted Afghanistan from complicating the peace initiative to forcing border crossing closures that have disrupted commercial and humanitarian deliveries.

Afghanistan has confirmed more than 4,400 coronavirus cases and 120 deaths.

(AP/VOA)
From the cradle to the grave, it seems no one is safe from Afghanistan's endless war.
Newborn babies, mothers and nurses were among 24 people killed when gunmen opened fire inside a Kabul maternity hospital on Tuesday.
While 21 mourners at a funeral in Nangahar province were killed by an ISIL suicide bomber.
President Ashraf Ghani responded by ordering the army to resume offensive operations against the Taliban.
The armed group denies involvement, and its leaders say Ghani's announcement is a declaration of war.
Has this dampened the prospect of direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban?

Presenter: Bernard Smith

Guests:
Popal Habibi - Academic Researcher on Peacebuilding in Afghanistan

Sultan Barakat - Professor of Conflict Resolution at the Doha Institute

Kate Clark - Co-Director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network

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