July 24, 2019
Latest News

Taliban attack targets US-financed aid group in Kabul, at least 9 injured

(Update 1: Adds details about the operation)

Kabul, May 8 (efe-epa).- A group of Taliban fighters has attacked the compound of a United States-funded international aid group in the center of Afghanistan's capital on Wednesday, injuring at least nine people officials said.

The attackers first triggered an explosion and then stormed the compound of the building housing the office of the global development charity, Counterpart International, in the Shahr-e-Naw area of Kabul.

Afghan special forces responded to the explosion and engaged the assailants in a nearly six-hour-long battle that ended with the gunning down of at least two militants, said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry.

In addition, public health ministry spokesman Wahidullah Majroh told EFE that “nine injured persons have been evacuated to hospitals from the Shahr-e-Naw blast".

Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for the Kabul police, told EFE that security forces rescued over 150 employees of the aid group and had them evacuated them to a safe area.

“The clearance operation has been completed and all terrorists were killed," Mujahid said.

The explosion took place around 11.45 am in an area that also houses an office of the country's attorney general and the Hanzala Mosque.

Counterpart International, which has been operating in Afghanistan since 2005, is headquartered in the US city of Arlington, Virginia and is financed by the American government.

It operates in 28 countries around the world with a focus on civic engagement projects and the stated mission of “helping people build better lives and more durable futures," according to its website.

The organization was established in 1965 as the Foundation of the People of the South Pacific by an Australian Marist missionary priest, Father Stanley Hosie, and actress Elizabeth "Betty" Bryant Silverstein.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban insurgency, claimed responsibility for the attack against the non-profit, which, he said, was “created by USAID and is involved in various destructive activities" in Afghanistan.

The Taliban mouthpiece claimed that Counterpart carried out "a dangerous program called Angel to promote relations between men and women."

He said the group trained workers in the Afghan administration to promote "anti-Islamic ideology and Western culture."

The blast targeting the aid group comes on the third day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Last month, the Taliban announced the launch of its annual spring offensive with a special focus on capturing Afghanistan's urban areas, as the improving weather allows militants to resume operations after three months of harsh winter.

The spring offensive comes even as Taliban leaders have held several rounds of negotiations with the US in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates with the goal of ending the 18-year old war between the parties that was sparked by the American invasion of Afghanistan in Oct. 2001.

Last week, the Loya Jirga – a grand council of elders, politicians, religious leaders and public figures – called for an immediate ceasefire between the government and the Taliban before Ramadan, Islam's holy month of fasting that began on Monday.

But the Taliban rejected the ceasefire offer, calling the Loya Jirga “a gathering of the invaders' supporters."

The war in Afghanistan is currently undergoing one of its bloodiest phases.

After nearly 18 years of brutal conflict, the Afghan government controls 55 percent of the country's area, while the Taliban control around 11 percent of the territory.

The rest is contested between the warring factions, according to the latest data released by the US Congress' Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan in Jan.

bks/ssk/hh

News history
Trump on Boris Johnson: He will be great as UK prime minister

Washington, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Tuesday hailed the election of conservative Boris Johnson as Great Britain's prime minister,...

Intermittent blackouts continue as Venezuela recovers power supply

Caracas, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- The electric power supply in Venezuela, controlled by the state-run Corpoelec firm, as of Tuesday morning had been working for...

Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris would legalize marijuana across the US

Washington, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- US senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) presented this Tuesday a bill for legalizing marijuana...

Conservatives elect Boris Johnson as UK prime minister

London, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- Boris Johnson is set to become the United Kingdom's new prime minister after he won the Conservative Party leadership contest on...

Greek village gutted by deadly fire shows scars 1 year on

By Emma Pons Valls and Ana Mora Segura

Former Chinese premier known as 'Butcher of Beijing' for Tiananmen is dead

Beijing, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- Former Chinese premier Li Peng, who was behind the government's crackdown against the 1989 Tiananmen square protests, has died...

Kakuma, Kenya’s melting pot refugee camp where business is thriving

By Pedro Alonso

Kabul seeks clarification on Trump’s 'wiping out Afghanistan' remarks

Kabul, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- The Afghanistan government on Tuesday sought clarifications from the United States on President Donald Trump’s remarks that he...

No compensation for Laos dam collapse victims one year later, report says

Bangkok, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- Thousands of survivors in a Laos dam collapse last year continue to live in temporary camps and have not received compensations...

Iran is Strait of Hormuz's 'guardian of security,' does not seek war: Rouhani

Tehran, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- The Iranian president said Tuesday that Iran was the guardian of security in the Strait of Hormuz and does not seek to increase...

Seoul fires warning shots after Russian plane violates airspace

Seoul, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- A Russian military plane twice violated South Korean airspace on Tuesday, leading the latter's air force to fire warning shots.

Cristiano Ronaldo will not face trial for rape in Las Vegas

Washington DC, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo will not face trial for allegations of rape in the city of Las Vegas, in Nevada,...

Australia under heavy criticism following arrest of French journalist

Sydney, Australia, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- Australia has received an onslaught of fresh criticism over the lack of press freedom in the country after the arrest...

US slaps sanctions on Chinese state-owned company for buying Iranian oil

Miami, USA, July 22 (efe-epa).- The United States has imposed sanctions on a Chinese state-owned company for allegedly violating the restrictions imposed on...

Power blackout hits most of Venezuela

Caracas, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- A new power blackout left much of Venezuela without electricity on Monday starting at 4:40 pm, and the state-run Corpoelec,...

Trump pursues closer ties with Pakistan

Alfonso Fernandez

Cameras, scientists watch over one of the world's most deadly volcanoes

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Trump: I'd win Afghan war in a week but only by wiping out too many people

Washington, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- US President Donald Trump said Monday he could win the Afghanistan war in a week, but added that he doesn't really want to...

Trump praises Xi for showing restraint with Hong Kong protests

Washington, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Monday that his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, had shown restraint in the face of the mass...

Israel demolishes Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem

Wadi Hummus, West Bank, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- The house Palestinian Akran Jawahda was going to live in with his family became a mountain of rubble on Monday as...

More than 300 killed by monsoon rains in India, Nepal and Bangladesh

New Delhi, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- At least 336 people died and more than 12 million have been affected so far this month due to floods and heavy rains that hit...

Criticism mounts as Portugal struggles to tame wildfire

By Carlos García

Volodymyr Zelensky to form first solo government in Ukraine history

Kiev, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks set to form a government on his own for the first time in the post-Soviet history of...

Grenfell community kitchen helps survivors of blaze

By Judith Mora

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.