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Ukraine Announces Military Pull-Out from Crimea

Kiev - Ukraine announced the evacuation of its troops and their families from Crimea on Monday, effectively acknowledging defeat in the face of Russian forces, who stormed one of the last remaining Ukrainian bases on the peninsula. Thousands of Ukrainian troops have been besieged on bases in Crimea, offering no armed resistance but refusing to surrender, since President Vladimir Putin declared Moscow's righ ...

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IEC Concerned at Govt Officials’ Interference

KABUL - The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Monday voiced concern over government servants’ participation in the election campaign, saying necessary materials could not be transported to some restive areas. Addressing a seminar on the role of religious scholars and tribal elders in the election process, IEC Secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel said preparations were in place to hold the vote on schedule. H ...

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MPs Ask Govt to Get Tough With Taliban

KABUL - The Wolesi Jirga, asking the government to get tough with the Taliban, on Monday decided to summon high security officials over the rapidly deteriorating law and order situation. A number of lawmakers expressed their deep concerns over recent terrorist attacks, particularly Thursday’s assault on the high-security Serena Hotel, where nine innocent people were killed. Four teenage gunmen shot dead nin ...

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Karzai Says Foreign Intelligence Agencies Behind Kabul Serena Hotel Attack

KABUL - Foreign intelligence services, and not the Taliban, were behind the attack on the Kabul Serena Hotel in the Afghan capital last week that left nine civilians dead, President Hamid Karzai's office said in a statement late on Sunday. Four gunmen entered the luxury hotel on Thursday evening hiding hand guns and opened fire on civilians, killing prominent AFP reporter Sardar Ahmad, his wife, and two of ...

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Criticisms on the Government’s Taliban Policy

With the height of terrorist attacks of the Taliban militants, public anger has been growing recently over Afghan government’s policies towards the Taliban. As the next month presidential election is approaching, the level of violence has seen a sharp rise with the militants organizing brazen attacks in Kabul and elsewhere. The killing of the AFP journalist last week along with his children has sparked wide ...

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Egypt: Court Orders Leading Activist Freed on Bail

Cairo - An Egyptian court on Sunday ordered a prominent activist who has spent nearly four months in jail to be released on bail. Egyptian authorities arrested Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a leading figure in the 2011 uprising against autocrat Hosni Mubarak, in November, and charged him with organizing a protest without permission and assaulting police. Human rights groups as well as secular and liberal youth organiz ...

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Italy Says Its Citizen Kidnapped in Libya, Needs Medical Help

Rome - An Italian man has been kidnapped near the eastern city of Tobruk and there has been no communication from his kidnappers as yet, said the Italian Foreign Ministry on Sunday, adding he was a diabetic who did not have his insulin supplies with him. A spokesman for the Italian Foreign Ministry said Gianluca Salviato was kidnapped on Saturday by a gang it suspected of being a criminal organization inten ...

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Hollande Braces for Pain as Turnout Low in French Local Vote

Paris - Early turnout was low in French local elections on Sunday, threatening to hit the ruling Socialist party with potentially heavy mid-term losses and provide the far-right National Front with gains. The Interior Ministry said turnout for mayoral votes in towns and villages was 23.16 percent by midday, around the same as the first round of town hall elections in 2008. That election ended up with a fina ...

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World Leaders Gather for Hague Nuclear Summit

Amsterdam - Nuclear terrorism is officially the main topic for world leaders at a two-day summit in the Netherlands starting Monday. In practice, the Ukraine crisis will likely overshadow those talks. The Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague will form the backdrop for an emergency meeting of Group of Seven leaders on Russia's annexation of Crimea. It's a confrontation between Russia and the West reminiscent ...

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NATO Says Russia Has Big Force at Ukraine’s Border, Worries over Transdniestria

Brussels - NATO's top military commander said on Sunday that Russia had a large force on Ukraine's eastern border and said he was worried it could pose a threat to Moldova's mainly Russian-speaking separatist Transdniestria region. NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, voiced concern about Moscow using a tactic of snap military exercises to prepare its forces for p ...

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French Satellite Image Also Shows Possible Plane Debris, Malaysia Says

  Paris - New French satellite images show possible debris from a missing Malaysian airliner deep in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysia said on Sunday, adding to growing signs that the plane may have gone down in remote seas off Australia. The latest lead comes as the international search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 entered its third week, with still no confirmed trace of the Boeing 777 that v ...

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Disquiet in Baltics over Sympathies of Russian Speakers

Moscow - In the former Soviet republics of Latvia and Estonia, there is unease over events in Crimea, which was formally annexed by Moscow last week on the pretext of safeguarding its Russian minorities. Russian news reports carried in Crimea had said Ukraine was being overrun by gangs of anti-Russian fascist thugs and that hundreds of thousands of Russian-speaking refugees had fled a "humanitarian catastro ...

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Once Again; a Sad Story from Baghlan

Taiba Aimaq Firozuddin is an eight years old girl who was living in Baghlan. Late evening of 6 February 2014, a domestic gas explosion took place in her family’s home. A gas tube next to a burning stove along with ignorance and careless caused the disaster. It took six lives while totally wrecking the Aimaq’s house. The grandmother, aunt, three children and a new born of Taiba’s family lost their lives and ...

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Experts Fault Karzai’s Stance on Crimea

KABUL - Some political analysts believe President Hamid Karzai’s overnight remarks on Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation are aimed to assert his administration’s independence in framing its foreign policy. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty making Crimea part of Russia. On Friday, all 155 senators present in Moscow's upper house of parliament voted in favour of the accessi ...

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Journalist Sardar, Family Laid to Rest

KABUL - An Afghan reporter and his family, killed in last week’s attack on a luxury hotel here, were laid to rest in Kabul on Sunday. His relatives asked the government to stop addressing Taliban as brothers.  Sardar Ahmad, his wife and their two children were shot dead in the Taliban attack on Serena Hotel. Nine people, including foreigners, were killed in the assault. Funeral prayers for Sardar and his fa ...

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Senators Concerned at Growing Insecurity

KABUL - Meshrano Jirga members on Sunday voiced their concern over the current security situation in the context of next month’s elections, asking the relevant organs to adopt stringent measures. A senator from central Daikundi province, Najiba Hussaini, said security had been deteriorating with each passing day. She linked the worsening situation to what she called “haphazard security transition”. Since th ...

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Taliban’s Unending Atrocities

In response to the tragic deaths of the terrorist attack at Serena Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan’s media organizations announced a two-week boycott on the Taliban media coverage. The move came after the deadly attack in Kabul which led to the deaths of nine people including AFP reporter Ahmad Sardar along his two children and wife. The killing of the AFP along with his family has sparked widespread condemnati ...

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Afghanistan in 1393: Election and Security

As Afghanistan is going to celebrate the new Hijri year, the Taliban relentlessly continue their campaign of violence not only against Afghan security forces but also against innocent civilians. The latest brutal attack of a suicide bomber in Maymana of Faryab killed and wounded dozens of innocent people. As Afghanistan is getting closer to the Election Day, the bloodshed carried by the Taliban is not a goo ...

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Missing Malaysian Jet Most Likely in Southern Indian Ocean: Source

Kuala Lumpur - Investigators probing the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner with 239 people on board believe it most likely flew into the southern Indian Ocean, a source close to the investigation said on Wednesday. No wreckage has been found from Flight MH370, which vanished from air traffic control screens off Malaysia's east coast at 1:21 a.m. local time on March 8, less than an hour after tak ...

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Russian Forces Storm Ukraine Naval HQ in Crimea

Kiev - Russian troops and unarmed men stormed Ukraine's naval headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol on Wednesday and raised the Russian flag in a tense but peaceful takeover that signals Moscow's intent to neutralize any armed opposition. Russian soldiers, and so-called "self-defense" units of mainly unarmed volunteers who are supporting them across the Black Sea peninsula, moved in early in the mo ...

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