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Bangladesh
Bangladesh arrests policeman over sharing of harassment complaint
2019-06-17
[Al Jazeera] Bangladeshi authorities have arrested a senior policeman accused of sharing on social media the recording of an official complaint of sexual harassment made by a teenage girl who was later burned to death.

Moazzem Hossain, who is suspended from duty, had been in hiding since late May, when the Cyber Tribunal court warrant was issued against him over sharing the complaint by Nusrat Jahan Rafi.

A police front man said on Sunday he had been arrested after a tip-off and "will be soon produced to the court", where he will face charges of violating digital security laws.

The killing of Rafi in April sparked protests across the South Asian nation, with the prime minister promising to prosecute all those involved.

At least 16 people - including the teacher - have been charged in connection with the killing and could face the death penalty
if convicted.

Rafi was lured to the rooftop of an Islamic seminary she attended where her attackers asked her to withdraw a sexual harassment complaint filed with police against the head teacher.

When she refused, she was doused in kerosene and set on fire. Rafi suffered burns to 80 percent of her body and died five days later, her death highlighted an alarming rise in sexual harassment cases in Bangladesh.

She recorded a video before her death, repeating her allegations against the teacher.

An investigation by authorities later found Moazzem Hossain, the police chief of the town where Rafi was killed, had not properly dealt with the complaint the teenager made.

Rafi went to the police in late March to make allegations of sexual harassment against the head teacher. A leaked video showed Hossain registering her complaint, but dismissing it as "not a big deal".

Hossain was accused of illegally filming the video, which was later circulated on social media platforms.

Prime Minister the loathesome Sheikh Hasina
...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since the Lower Paleolithic. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangla. Her party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the 2008 parliamentary elections. She has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001, when she was defeated in a landslide. She and the head of the BNP, Khaleda Zia show such blind animosity toward each other that they are known as the Battling Begums...
met Rafi's family and assured that her killers would be punished.
Link


India-Pakistan
Polio case reported in Shangla first time in two decades
2019-06-17
[DAWN] A polio case has surfaced for the first time in the last two decades in Shangla district after the virus was detected in an 18-month-old boy, who lives in Dedal Kamach area along the bank of the Indus.

Dedal Kamach is connec­ted to Buner and Torghar districts and is a border region of Shangla district.

According to the district coordinator for the Extended Programme for Immunisa­tion (EPI), Dr Wajid Ali Khan, the case was reported by the locals and was later confirmed by the EPI team.

He said it was the first case reported in the district in the last two decades. The victim was identified as Ali Sher, son of Mayeen Khan.

When contacted District Health Officer Dr Mohammad Riaz Khan told Dawn that the child had not been vaccinated in the routine drives and a committee had been formed to probe the matter.

Meanwhile,
...back at the shootout, Butch shot Black Bart's knife out of his hand......
a jirga was held at Nawy Kaly Dedal Kamach of Nusrat Khel union council. Local notables from various villages and police officials participated in the jirga.

While addressing the jirga, the elders said that there was no resistance to polio vaccine in the community and every citizen was willing to inoculate his/her child. Despite that, they said, a case had surfaced.
Link


Afghanistan
One Killed As Blast Targets University Students In Kabul
2019-06-03
[ToloNews] Three IED blasts rocked Kabul city early on Sunday morning as the residents are witnessing an increase in violence over the past month.

The first blast targeted a bus carrying students of the education university and killed one shopkeeper and maimed at least 17 others, said Nusrat Rahimi, a front man for Ministry of Interior Affairs. Rahimi said the first blast occurred in Silo Road in Kabul's PD5 at around 7:50 am local time.

Eyewitnesses said most of the victims in the first blast were the passerby and university students. The person who was killed in the first blast was a young boy who newly joined a cycle of violence repair shop only four days ago.

Two journalists, one from Kilid Radio and a freelance news hound, were maimed in the first blast, eyewitnesses said.

Rahimi said that two other blasts also occurred in the same area and all three blasts were from magnetic IEDs.

Five security force members were maimed in the second blast which was due to an embedded IED bomb placed on a bike near the first blast's scene, Rahimi said. He said that the second blast happened almost 20 minutes after the first kaboom.

Wahidullah Mayar, a front man for Ministry of Public Health, said two people were killed and 24 others were maimed in the blasts.

ISIS grabbed credit for the blasts.
Al Ahram adds:
Four kabooms struck the Afghan capital on Sunday, killing at least two people and wounding 27 others, officials said. Among the injured were two Afghan journalists, according to a local non-governmental media organization.

The first bomb hit a bus carrying university students in a residential area of western Kabul. It was followed 20 minutes later by two further detonations at the same location, said Nasrat Rahimi, a front man for the interior ministry.

Wahidullah Mayar, a front man for the public health ministry, said the three successive attacks injured 24 people, including four women. The first blast killed at least one person. Mayar added it was not immediately clear which kaboom had caused the second death.

A wave of attacks has rocked the Afghan capital in the last week, where both the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
group and Taliban
...Arabic for students...
holy warriors are active.

Attacks by the Taliban have continued unabated despite peace talks with the United States as well as a fresh round of talks with Afghan notables last week in the Russian capital, Moscow. The Taliban have rejected repeated demands for a cease-fire in the decades-long civil war, demanding a US and NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
troop withdraw from Afghanistan first.

However,
man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them...
the Islamic State group grabbed credit for three of Sunday’s attacks in Kabul. In a statement, the Sunni Death Eater group said it set off an improvised bomb on a bus allegedly transporting minority Shia Moslems.

After security forces and journalists had gathered at the site, the group detonated two additional devices, it added.

The secondary kabooms maimed seven people who had arrived after the initial attack, including five members of the security forces, Rahimi said.

Also maimed in the secondary kabooms were two Afghan journalists, Ahmad Jawed Kargar and Mohammad Faseh Mutawakil, according to Nai, a media organization that supports open media in Afghanistan.

Kargar, a photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency, confirmed he was injured in a video he posted to social media while being taken to the hospital. Epa did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nai said the second journalist had been lightly maimed.

Late in the afternoon Sunday, a fourth blast maimed three people, said Rahimi. He said that a sticky bomb attached to a vehicle had went kaboom! in a southwestern neighborhood in Kabul. No one immediately claimed the last attack.

Islamic State group bombings have seemingly targeted journalists before. In April 2018, nine journalists were killed and half a dozen maimed in a double suicide kaboom in Kabul. In that attack, it appeared the journalists were intentionally targeted by a bomber who hid among members of the media rushing to cover the first kaboom. IS grabbed credit for the bombings, but didn’t say that journalists were specifically targeted.

In a separate attack late Saturday in eastern Ghazni province, a Taliban jacket wallah was able to enter a police compound using a stolen Humvee packed with explosives. The blast killed at least seven police reserve unit personnel and maimed eight others, said Naser Ahmad Faqeri, head of Ghazni’s provincial council. Taliban front man Zabihullah Mujahid took responsibility for the attack in Ghazni.

In western Farah province, at least six members of the border security forces were killed Saturday night in an attack on their checkpoint by Taliban bad boys. Abdul Samad Salehi, a provincial council member, said eight other members of the security forces were maimed. The Taliban offered no comment on the attack in Farah.
Another Al Ahram article adds:
The events started with the detonation of a sticky bomb -- a growing menace in Kabul, where insurgents and criminals slap magnetic bombs on the underside of vehicles.
Link


Afghanistan
Haji Delawar, an adviser to Senate House arrested for supporting terrorist groups in Kabul
2019-05-25
[KhaamaPress] The Afghan Police Special Forces have jugged
Please don't kill me!
Haji Delawar, an adviser to the Upper House of the Parliament (Senate House) on charges of supporting terrorist groups in Kabul.

The Ministry of Interior confirmed that the Special Unit of the Afghan National Police arrested Haji Delwar during an operation on Thursday.

The statement further added that the police forces have also confiscated some fake documents, fake vehicle registration plates, illegal weapons, 700 thousand Pak ruppees, an armored Landcruiser and a Hilux vehicle.

The Ministry of Interior also added that Haji Delwar is in police custody and an investigation is underway.

According to reports, Haji Delwar was an adviser to the chairman of the Upper House of Parliament, Senate House.
Tolo News adds:
The Interior Affairs Ministry in a statement on Thursday said that Delawar, an advisor to Senate Speaker Fazl Hadi Moslemyar has been tossed in the calaboose
Into the paddy wagon wit' yez!
on charges of "supporting and sheltering terrorists".

The ministry said Delwar owned fake number plates, armored vehicles, guns, and many Pak ID cards.

The statement said that Delwar "had supported and sheltered terrorists".

Interior Ministry front man Nusrat Rahimi said that last year a soldier at a checkpoint in Jalalabad city in eastern Nangarhar
The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country..
province had removed the tented glasses from Delwar’s armored vehicle, but the day after that the soldier was killed in an kaboom.

Rahimi said that despite other accusations, Delwar is accused of that kaboom and killing of that soldier.

Rahimi said Delwar is accused of bringing explosives to snuffies from Pakistain and locating jacket wallahs inside the country.

"Last night, Delwar was arrested by security forces in Kabul's PD12. He was transferring bombs to holy warriors from Pakistain. He was relocating suicide bombers from one place to another. He was arrested yesterday with documents and evidence," Rahimi said.

Meanwhile,
...back at the wine tasting, Vince was about to start on his third quart...
a number of political parties asked the Interior Ministry to thoroughly investigate the case and that most of the suicide bombers have helpers inside the country.

"A big number of the suicide kabooms which have taken place in Afghanistan were impossible without a helper from inside and that is the reason our intelligence does not have full control in such incidents," said Mohammad Nateqi, head of the political committee of the political parties.
Link


Afghanistan
Crime Boss Killed In Police Raid In Kabul
2019-05-25
[ToloNews] The Ministry of Interior Affairs in a statement on Thursday confirmed that Enayat Qochi, head of "one of the most dangerous criminal networks in Kabul" was killed in a raid by security forces in Paghman district, Kabul province.

The raid happened when Qochi stole a car with the help of his seven comrades in Kabul’s PD4 and he was chased by police until he reached his hideout in Paghman.

Three other members of the group were also killed in the operation, the Interior Ministry’s front man Nusrat Rahimi said.

He said that Qochi was in police’s wanted list for a long time and that he was involved in many criminal cases, including armed robberies and murders.

In their last attempt, the group robbed a vehicle from Kabul’s PD4 on Thursday afternoon while they had a military uniform, but they were chased and killed by the security forces, Rahimi said.

This comes as crime cases have sharply increased in Kabul which has created concerns among the residents.
Link


Bangladesh
Nusrat murder: Sonagazi ex-OC on temporary suspension
2019-05-11
[Dhaka Tribune] Former Sonagazi cop shoppe OC Moazzem Hossain has been temporarily suspended and attached to the Rangpur Range.

Additional Inspector General (AIG) Sohel Rana, of the media and public relations branch of the Police Headquarters, confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune on Friday.

Moazzem had been previously withdrawn from Sonagazi cop shoppe and transferred to the Armed Police Battalion (APBn) on April 10. His subsequent suspension came following a report filed by a probe committee formed by the Police Headquarters on April 13, to investigate madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi's death.

Nusrat, an Alim examinee and a student of Songazi Islamia Fazil (Degree) Madrasa, died on April 10, from injuries she received after supporters of the madrasa's principal, Md Sirjaddaula, set her on fire at the madrasa premises on April 6.

Nusrat had previously lodged a sexual harassment complaint against Sirajaddaula on March 27, with the Sonagazi cop shoppe, after which he was locked away
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
and placed in durance vile
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
. She was set on fire after Sirajaddaula's associates failed to intimidate her into withdrawing the complaint.

Moazzam, the then OC of Sonagazi cop shoppe, instead of heeding Nusrat's pleas for help, recorded the whole incident, and spread it via social media. A case was filed against him under the Digital Security Act.

According to the probe committee's report‐submitted on April 30‐the OC had conspired with Sonagazi upazila Awami League President, Ruhul Amin, to fabricate Nusrat's attack as a suicide attempt.

Link


Bangladesh
Bangladesh puts anti-sexual harassment units in schools after girl's murder
2019-04-22
[DAWN] Bangladesh has ordered some 27,000 schools to set up committees to prevent sexual violence, an official said on Sunday, after a teenager who accused a teacher of sexual harassment was burned to death.

The killing of 19-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi has sparked outrage across the South Asian nation of 165 million people and put police action in the case under the spotlight.

Protesters in the capital Dhaka staged demonstrations for an 11th day on Sunday, seeking "exemplary punishment" for the killers of the girl.

Police say she was lured to the rooftop of the Islamic seminary she attended in Feni, south of the capital, where her attackers ordered her to withdraw a police complaint against the head of the school.

When she refused, she was doused in kerosene and set on fire.

Rafi died in hospital on April 10 after suffering 80 per cent burns. At least 20 people, including the head teacher, have been locked away
... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not...
Activists say the murder has exposed a "culture of impunity" surrounding sex crimes against women and kiddies, and the fact that those who report harassment often suffer a backlash.

Link


Bangladesh
Bangladesh girl burned to death on teacher's order: police
2019-04-20
[DAWN] A schoolgirl was burned to death in Bangladesh on the orders of her head teacher after she reported him for sexually harassing her, police said on Friday.

The death of the 19-year-old, Nusrat Jahan Rafi, last week sparked protests across the country, with the prime minister promising to prosecute all those involved.

Rafi was lured to the rooftop of the religious seminary she attended where her attackers asked her to withdraw the sexual harassment complaint she had filed with police.

When she refused, she was doused in kerosene and set on fire.

Police said on Friday that one of the 17 people placed in durance vile
You have the right to remain silent...
in connection with her death had accused the school's principal of ordering the attack.

The teacher "told them to put pressure on Rafi to withdraw the case or kill her if she refused", senior police superintendent Mohammad Iqbal, who is leading the investigation, told AFP.

Rafi had gone to police in late March to report the sexual harassment, and a leaked video shows the local cop shoppe chief registering her complaint but dismissing it as "not a big deal".

Iqbal said at least five of those under arrest, including three of Rafi's classmates, had tied her up with a scarf before setting her on fire.

"The plan was to pass the incident off as a suicide. But it fell through after Rafi managed to come downstairs while on fire because the scarf burnt and freed her hands and feet," he said.

Rafi suffered burns to 80 per cent of her body and died in hospital on April 10.

But she recorded a video before her death, repeating her allegations against the principal. "The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime till my last breath," she said. She also identified some of her attackers.

The case has caused outrage in Bangladesh, with Prime Minister the loathesome Sheikh Hasina
...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since the Lower Paleolithic. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangla. Her party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the 2008 parliamentary elections. She has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001, when she was defeated in a landslide. She and the head of the BNP, Khaleda Zia show such blind animosity toward each other that they are known as the Battling Begums..
vowing that "none of the culprits will be spared legal action."

Rights groups say the number of rape and sexual assault cases has increased in Bangladesh because authorities have failed to prosecute attackers.

"The horrifying murder of a brave woman who sought justice shows how badly the Bangladesh government has failed victims of sexual assault," Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

"Nusrat Jahan Rafi's death highlights the need for the Bangladesh government to take survivors of sexual assault seriously and ensure that they can safely seek a legal remedy and be protected from retaliation," she added.

Link


Afghanistan
Arghanj Khwa District Retaken By Security Forces
2019-04-03
[ToloNews] Clearance operation of Arghanj Khwa district in Badakhshan ended Tuesday morning and it was retaken from the Talibs, the 209 Shaheen Military Corps said in a statement on Tuesday.

The district reportedly fell to the Taliban
...Arabic for students...
last week on Saturday but the Ministry of Interior Affairs’ front man Nusrat Rahimi said it was planned retreatment to prevent casualties.

According to the statement, at least 14 Talibs were killed and seven others were maimed in the operation.

The clearance operation was led by Army forces and after 24 hours of clash with the Taliban the district wad retaken from the Taliban, the statement added.

Last week, Badakhshan residents criticized government and the security forces for the fall of Arghanj Khwa district to the Taliban.

"The district has fallen to the Taliban due to the ’negligence’ of the central and provincial government," said a resident of Badakhshan.

Arghanj Khwa is located in the vicinity of Faizabad city, the bucolic provincial capital, and is a connecting point between the center of the province and 10 other districts.

Arghanj Khwa is the first district of Badakhshan fallen to the Taliban in 2019. However,
a good lie finds more believers than a bad truth...
in 2018, three districts of the province ‐ Kohistan
...a backwoods district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa distinguished by being even more rustic than is the norm among the local Pashtuns....
, Warduj and Yumgan ‐ had fallen to the Taliban.
Khaama Press adds:
According to defense ministry, at least 14 Taliban militants including their shadow military commander were killed during the clearance operations.

“Early morning, the district center and all relevant villages have been completely cleared from the terrorist Taliban. Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are in control. 14 terrorists, including the shadow military commander Qari Halim, have been killed,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented in this regard so far.
Another Khaama Press article adds:
The Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan has announced that the Afghan armed forces have carried out multiple surprise attacks against Taliban militants in Arghanj Khwa district in northeastern Badakhshan province.

“Today, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces conducted many surprise attacks and the Afghan Air Force carried multiple airstrikes on the Taliban positions in Arghanj Khwa district,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement late on Monday night.
Link


Afghanistan
Residents Report Intensified Clashes In Ghazni
2019-03-31
[ToloNews] Reports indicate that some parts of Ghazni province, including the outskirts of Ghazni city and Andar district, have faced heavy festivities between Afghan forces and the Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
over the past few days as the new fighting season begins.

Almost 30 security force members have bit the dust in recent festivities in Ghazni and Badakhshan provinces, sources confirmed. This includes the death of nine police force members in a Taliban attack on a police outpost in Police District3 (PD3) of Ghazni city on Thursday night. The head of the PD3 police headquarters, Mujib Mahmoudi, was also among the victims.

"At least 10 security force members were martyred in the PD3 inside the Ghazni city," said Hamidullah Nawrozi, member of Ghazni Provincial Council.

The Ministry of Interior, however, confirmed the death of eight police force members in the hours-long clash.

According to local officials, a rocket landed on a school in Andar district in Ghazni on Friday in which four students and two teachers were killed and 15 others were maimed.

It is not confirmed whether the rocket was fired by the security forces or the Taliban.

"People are living in other provinces but in Ghazni, we are seeking ways to stay alive," said Safiullah Hamidzai, a Ghazni resident.

Parts of Ghazni city, almost 146 kilometers in the southwest of Kabul, were fallen to Taliban last year in August. One month after that, President Ghani in a trip to the city vowed to establish three more police districts and implement a special security plan for the province in six stages.

"During his trip to Ghazni, President Ghani made 12 promises but has implemented none of them," said Khalid Bahar, a Ghazni resident.

Meanwhile,
...back at the wreckage, Captain Poindexter wished he had a cup of coffee. Even instant would do...
heavy festivities were reported in Arghanj Khwa district in northeastern Badakhshan province.

The Ministry of Interior’s front man Nusrat Rahimi said the Afghan forces left the area in Arghanj Khwa district in a tactical move to prevent casualties. He said no casualty was inflicted to government forces in the clash.

Arghanj Khwa district connects at least 10 districts of Badakhshan to Faizabad city.

"The district has been evacuated. The forces are fighting on its outskirts. At least 15 people including civilians and military men have been martyred," said Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, a retired military officer.
Link


Afghanistan
Taliban claim twin blasts that kill four at Afghan stadium
2019-03-24
[Al Jazeera] Two kabooms went off inside a stadium hosting an agricultural show in southern Afghanistan killing four people and wounding 31, government officials said.

The blasts took place in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the volatile Helmand
...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...
province, as people marked Farmers' Day as part of Persian New Year celebrations, attended by nearly 1,000 people.

Local Afghan news website TOLOnews reported that the provincial economic chief in Helmand, Mohammad Khan Nusrat, was killed in the attack.

Helmand's governor was also at the stadium but was unhurt.

The blasts appeared to have been caused by explosives placed in tents set up for farmers to display their products.

The Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
grabbed credit for the attack in a statement sent to the media.

It said the target was top Afghan officials and claimed that no civilians were harmed in the blasts.

Afghanistan's Caped President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani
...former chancellor of Kabul University, now president of Afghanistan. Before returning to Afghanistan in 2002 he was a scholar of political science and anthropology. He worked at the World Bank working on international development assistance. As Finance Minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan's attempted economic recovery until the Karzais stole all the money. ..
condemned the attack.

"The holy warriors are the enemies of peoples' bright future and development, they are attacking civilian installations, gatherings, and occasions to spread fear and horror, and to hide their defeats on the battlefront," Ghani said in a statement.
Khaama Press’s report makes it clear the fog has not yet cleared:
Taliban
...Arabic for students...
front man Zabiullah Mujahid issued a statement claiming that several high level government officials including deputy provincial governor, provincial intelligence chief, border forces commander, director of information and culture, director of agriculture and irrigation, and director of economy of Helmand were killed or maimed.

Mujahid went on to claim that the civilians were not hurt in the two kabooms.

The Ministry of Interior officials have said at least 3 people have died and more than 30 others have sustained injuries in the kabooms.

Provincial governor’s front man Omar Zwak said at least two peole have died and 21 others have sustained injuries in today’s twin kabooms.

In the meantime, provincial public health officials are saying that two people including a civilian and a provincial official have died in the kabooms.
Link


Afghanistan
Kabul: ISIS jacket wallahs tied up, IED defused, 3 bombs kaboom 29 Shiite innocents
2019-03-22


NDS Special Forces thwart ISIS plot to carry out suicide attacks in Kabul city

[KhaamaPress] The Special Forces of the Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), thwarted ISIS plot to carry out a series of suicide attacks on the eve of the new Afghan year.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement said six ISIS Khurasan militants who were looking to carry out attacks on the eve of Nowruz, the start of new solar year, were arrested in Kabul city.

The statement further added that 44 militants were arrested during similar operations conducted in Khost, Kandahar, Zabul, Herat, Farah, Paktika, Badakhshan, Ghazni, Helmand, Balkh, and Sar-e-Pul provinces over the past one week.

The National Directorate of Security also added that 11 militants were killed during the same operations and some weapons and munitions were confiscated.

This comes as back to back explosions took place in Karte Sakhi area of Kabul city earlier today, leaving at least 30 people dead or wounded.

The Ministry of Public Health officials confirmed that 6 people were killed and 23 others were wounded in the explosions.

Police forces foil militants bid to detonate a bomb in Kabul city

[KhaamaPress] The Afghan National Police forces foiled militants bid to detonate an improvised explosive device in Kabul city as Afghans celebrate the start of the new solar year.

The Kabul Police Headquarters in a statement said the improvised explosive device was discovered from Kabul University road in 3rd police district of the city.

The statement further added that the improvised explosive device was defused by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team of Afghan National Police.

This comes as back to back explosions took place in Karte Sakhi area of Kabul city earlier today, leaving at least 30 people dead or wounded.

Explosions In Kabul Leave Six Dead

[ToloNews] The Ministry of Interior said on Thursday that six people were killed and 23 others were wounded in three explosions near a Nawroz celebration ceremony in Kabul.

According to the ministry, the explosions happened in Kabul’s PD3 near Kart-e-Sakhi, where people had gathered to celebrate the first day of the new solar year.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said the explosives were placed at the area ahead of Nawroz.

“As a result of explosion of three mines that were placed in the area, six people including a woman were killed and 23 others who all are civilians have been wounded,” said Rahimi.

Lots of Kabul residents had gathered in the area to celebrate Nawroz, but the celebration later changed to mourning due to the back-to-back explosions.

The first two explosions happened near civilian houses in Kart-e-Sakhi, but the families living in the houses did not suffer fatalities.

“No one has suffered. The boys were taken preparations to go to the Nawroz ceremony. They had not left the house that the explosion happened and all the dust from the celling fallen on us,” Mariam, a resident of Kart-e-Sakhi said.

The third explosion happened near Ali Abad Hospital in the vicinity of Kart-e-Sahki in which three people were wounded.

Following the first two explosions, people quickly left Kart-e-Sakhi area and the roads at the area were closed by security forces.

The wounded people were transferred to Ali Abad Hospital. Most of the wounded were children and old men.
Al Ahram adds:
A string of explosions struck near a Shia shrine and cemetery in Kabul as people gathered there on Thursday morning to mark the holiday of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, leaving at least five dead and as many as 20 wounded, Afghan officials said.

The police's initial investigation indicated that three explosive devises had been remotely detonated, setting off the successive blasts, according to the Interior Ministry's spokesman Nasrat Rahim.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing but the Islamic State affiliate that has taken root in Afghanistan has targeted the country's minority Shia Muslims on numerous occasions in the past. The Sunni militant group considers Shiite Muslims heretics.

Shia worshippers had gathered at the Karti Sakhi shrine in the Afghan capital's western neighborhood when the blasts took place. The neighborhood is mostly populated by Shias. The tradition at the shrine is to hoist green flags and honor the dead at the cemetery by placing food at the gravesides.

Wary Afghans had been warned by authorities of violence ahead of the Nowruz celebrations. The holiday, dating back to at least 1700 B.C. and incorporating ancient Zoroastrian traditions, is the most important event in the Iranian calendar and is widely celebrated across the territories of the old Persian empire, from the Mideast to Central Asia.
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