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Syria rebels name slain leader’s replacement

Ahrar al-Sham, a Syrian rebel group, has announced its new leadership after it lost its top brass during a bomb attack on a high-level meeting in Idlib province. Hassan Abboud, the head of Ahrar al-Sham, was among up to 45 people killed in an underground bunker near an ammunition dump outside Ram Hamdan on Tuesday. The new head is Hashim al-Sheikh, also known as Abu Jaber, while his deputy is Abu Saleh Taha ...

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NATO Summit on Afghanistan

By: Abdul Maruf Ghiasee NATO leaders in the alliance’s summit in Wales agreed to continue its long-term support to Afghanistan. NATO officials said that the alliance would continue backing Afghanistan in military, funding, and long-term and strategic support for Afghanistan’s efforts to rid itself of terrorism. However, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen maintained that NATO’s future cooperation with Afghanis ...

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Ghani to Abdullah: join hands for united Afghanistan

KABUL: On Wednesday, Presidential hopeful Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, calling upon his rival Dr. Abdullah to join hands for a unity government, asked the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to announce the results without further delay. Addressing a gathering of his followers in Kabul, the former World Bank economist said the enemy should never think that Afghans were a divided nation. He urged Abdullah to ...

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Afghanistan blames US for killing civilians

At least 14 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in US air strikes in Afghanistan, officials have said, sparking condemnation from President Hamid Karzai who has often criticised the conduct of the NATO forces. Abdul Ghani Musamem, a spokesman for the governor of Kunar province, said 14 people died in the air strike in Narang district on Tuesday while 13 others were wounded. Civilian casualties caused ...

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IEC refuses to give date for election result

KABUL: The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said on Wednesday the compilation of presidential election results would be completed by the end of the current week. The IEC spokesman hoped both candidates would endorse a political agreement before the results are announced, refusing to give a specific date for unveiling the outcome. Noor Mohammad Noor told a news conference that votes from 668 of 18,560 p ...

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Sushma Swaraj inaugurates new Indian embassy building in Kabul

KABUL: A new $40 million Indian embassy building, which features an integrated security system, was inaugurated by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday here in the heart of the Afghan capital. The building is spread over an area of 5 acres and has been constructed at the cost of $40 million. The total area of the building is 8,300 square metres. The building is at Wazir Akbar Khan, close to ...

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India Afghanistan’s First Strategic Partner

Rep:Abdul Maruf 'Ghiasee' KABUL: Describing India as Afghanistan's first strategic partner, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Wednesday that New Delhi will always share the Afghan people's vision of a "strong" and "prosperous" Afghanistan. "This is a critical decade of transformation for Afghanistan. India will always be Afghanistan's first strategic partner," she said at the inauguration of the ...

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Presidential candidates asked to end deadlock

KABUL: United Nation secretary general Ban ki-Moon urges Afghanistan’s two presidential candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to conclude an agreement on a government of national unity in accordance with the commitments they reached on 12 July. The Secretary-General said that Afghanistan was passing critical period, and that genuine partnership was required to tackle the challenges ...

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Abdullah says his team will not accept the election result

Afghanistan’s controversial presidential election was once again taken towards a deadlock after the Reform and Partnership tem led by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah announced their stance regarding the election process. The announcement by Dr. Abdullah comes as last round of talks between the two candidates over national unity government formation did not yield any result. Abdullah said the political process has now ...

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German Official: Shariah Police Won’t Be Tolerated

officials in Germany say the government will try to ban a group of Muslim extremists calling themselves "Shariah police" who told people to refrain from drinking alcohol in the western city of Wuppertal. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told Bild newspaper on Saturday that "Shariah law will not be tolerated in Germany." Wuppertal police reported earlier this week that a group of young Muslim men, ...

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Abdullah Issues Final Deadline As Negotiations Face Impasse

Abdullah Abdullah's campaign on Sunday said that a final round of meetings would be held with the rival camp on Monday, but that if nothing to break the election deadlock comes, he will announce his stance on the election and its results. "We have given one more day to them," Abdullah spokesman Waheed Omer said on Sunday. "If we do not reach an agreement, we will announce our stand and after that, the rival ...

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Obama urges rival Afghan candidates to reach a deal

KABUL: US President Barak Obama has had separate telephone conversations with the rival Afghan presidential candidates on Sunday, urging them to reach an understanding. Representatives of both electoral camps have confirmed that Ashraf Ghania and Abdullah Abdullah each spoke with the US President this evening. It is hoped that this will break the ice and both candidates will intensify their efforts to reach ...

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Senate asks candidates to end political deadlock

KABUL: On Sunday, some Meshrano Jirga (upper house) members asked the two presidential candidates to negotiate an end to their dispute, as the prolonged electoral crisis has paralyzed the country. The first round of the presidential election on April 5 did not produce a clear winner, triggering a runoff between the two leading contenders on June 14. However, the runoff round was marred by fraud allegations ...

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Policemen among 33 killed or injured in latest spate of violence

At least 33 people, including some policemen, were killed or injured in latest spate of violence across the country, officials said Sunday. Shafiq Nang, spokesman for the Ghazni provincial governor, said at least two policemen were killed along with 7 militants following an attack on a police check post in Ghazni city on Sunday morning. In separate incidents in the western province of Herat, local officials ...

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The Sticky Points of the Power-sharing

As the vote audit reached to a final conclusion, the two election teams are still differing over structure of the unity government’s chief executive. There are intense negotiations going on between the two sides to find a resolution to the differences. However, the two sides still seem to be differing on some key issues of the power sharing deal that was mediated by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Accordi ...

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NATO Summit on Afghanistan

NATO leaders in the alliance’s summit in Wales agreed to continue its long-term support to Afghanistan. NATO officials said that the alliance would continue backing Afghanistan in military, funding, and long-term and strategic support for Afghanistan’s efforts to rid itself of terrorism. However, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen maintained that NATO’s future cooperation with Afghanistan would only be possib ...

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Death sentence sought for gang-rape convicts in Kabul

The Afghan government has officially sought the death sentence Saturday for all seven men arrested for the unprecedented gang-rape in the capital city of Kabul last month. The incident shocked the conservative Afghan society and a public execution of the culprits for such a rare and heinous offense was vehemently demanded. According to the details, ten men wearing police uniforms had stationed themselves on ...

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Audit ends, but election puzzle remains unsolved

The UN-super¬vised audit of votes cast in Afghanistan’s disputed presidential election was completed on Friday, officials said, but the results would not be known for days. Both presidential candidates claim to have won the June 14 election, triggering a political stalemate as US-led NATO combat troops withdraw after 13 years of fighting the Taliban. The United Nations has said the audit results should be f ...

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French firm enters Afghan lubricant market

KABUL: On Saturday, French oil company Elf Aquitaine entered the Afghanistan market in a bid to launch a partnership with a local firm in the lubricant sector. President of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Atiqullah Nusrat, spoke on the occasion, saying the new investment was a good sign for the struggling economy. The French company, he said, had promised to work in collaboration with “K ...

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Germany offers help to resolve election standoff

KABUL: Visiting German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeir has offered his country’s support to resolve the protracted political impasse in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Saturday. A MoFA statement said the purpose of Steinmeir’s visit to Kabul was to reiterate Germany’s cooperation with Afghanistan for ensuring a peaceful transfer of power. The visiting dignitary held in de ...

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