Allowing the Rest of the World to Speak Directly to AmericansPromoting Peace, Diplomacy and Cross-Cultural Understanding. is proud to be associated with the Center For Emerging Media and The Marc Steiner Show. A tower higher than Burj Khalifa, Emirate’s existing record-braking skyscraper, is set to be built in Dubai city of the United Arab Emirates.
The Chairman of Emaar Properties Mohamed Alabbar said the tower is due to open by the time Dubai hosts the World Expo in 2020. He told reporters that the new mega retail district, which will be launched in 2 months, will be linked to The Tower. The waterfront development is centered off the Dubai Creek, the cradle of Dubai’s history and culture, and in close proximity to the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, protected under the Enesco Ramsar Convention and home to over 67 species of water birds. Designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, Alabbar said the tower will have observation decks as well as 18 to 20 floors that will host restaurants and a boutique hotel. The acting Minister of Defense Masoom Stanikzai has said he will resign if the control of Helmand province falls to Taliban militants. The remarks by Stanikzai comes as the Taliban group has intensified offensive in this province during the past several months in a bid to capture the province. According to the earlier reports, the Taliban group is eying to turn the province in its strategic leadership base and the Taliban leaders are even keen to shift the group’s council to Helmand.
He blamed the Taliban’s recent advances on Pakistani assistance, an oft-repeated charge by Afghan officials.
This comes as the Taliban group announced their summer offensive today and vowed to continue fight as the group’s armed insurgency enters to its 15th year. The Afghan security officials had earlier predicted that the group will continue to pursue violence with the full support of Pakistan’s ISI despite efforts by the Afghan government and its partners to encourage the group to participate in peace talks.
At least seven policemen were killed in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan in a suspected insider attack, local officials said Tuesday. The incident has taken place in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar late on Monday night near the Durand Line. A local security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the policemen were shot dead by one of their comrades who has managed to flee the area following the attack. The Taliban group has claimed responsibility behind the incident and said the policemen were killed in an attack on a security post.
The group also claimed that the attack was carried out as part of the summer offensive launched by the group under the name of Omari Operations. This comes as at  least 7 policemen serving with the Afghan Local Police (ALP) forces were shot dead by their comrades in this province late last month.
Kandahar is the birth place of the Taliban insurgents however the Afghan security forces have managed to maintain security and stability in this province during the past several months. The anti-government armed militants have been trying to expand their insurgency activities in this province lately amid deteriorating security situation in the south. Two students lost their lives and four others sustained injuries after a rocket landed on a school in Mehtarlam city in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan. The Ministry of Education (MoD) said the rocket landed in the vicinity of Shahid Mawlavi Habib-ur-Rehman high school this morning. A statement by MoE said the deceased students have been identified as third grade student Mohammad Shakir and eight grade student Mohammad Zakir. The statement further added that four others studying in second and third grades were wounded in the attack. The ministry strongly condemned the attack on the school and urged the security personnel to take immediate steps in arresting the perpetrators of the incident. No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident. Laghman is among the relatively volatile provinces in eastern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents are active in a number of its districts and often carry out insurgency activities. This comes as a roadside bomb targeted a vehicle carrying the Ministry of Education employees in Kabul earlier this week, leaving two dead and five others wounded.
The Taliban militants have brutally murdered two public uprising forces in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan by gouging their eyes and slitting their nose and ears. The incident took place late on Monday night in the restive Burka district where the anti-government armed militants are actively operating.
A member of the public uprising forces said the Taliban militants are preventing the local residents to remove the dead bodies of the two deceased men. Incident involving mutilation of security personnel, government employees and civilians accused of working for the government is not rare in Afghanistan.
The Taliban militants frequently target the security personnel and government employees as well as the ordinary civilians by accusing them of working for the government. Such incidents normally take place on highways where the Taliban insurgents are kidnapping the victims and murder them in horrific way.
Baghlan is among the relatively volatile provinces in northern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating in a number of its districts and frequently carry out insurgency activities. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the regional intelligence agencies and terrorist groups are imposing on the Afghan nation and have a critical role in the ongoing violence in the country. A statement by MoD said the terrorists are deployed to Afghanistan with full financial and military support under the name of holy war. MoD in its statement further added that Chechens, Punjabis, Arabs, Uzbeks, Uyghur and other foreign terrorists are actively participating in the war in Afghanistan and are continuously killing innocent Afghan civilians. The statement also added that incidents like Nangarhar attack and various other terrorist attacks shows that the militant groups are the enemies of Islam and Afghanistan as they have no mercy on children, women and elders. The ministry strongly condemned the suicide attack in Nangarhar province and said the leadership of the ministry offers their condolences to the families of the victims and promised that the Afghan forces will remain firm in defending the country and maintain peace and stability.
No further details were given on claims regarding the regional intelligence agencies and terror groups role in the Afghan war. However, the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Pakistan for harboring the Afghan militant groups as they receive full support from Pakistan’s military intelligence, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The Afghan Intelligence operatives have thwarted a coordinated attack plot by the notorious Haqqani terrorist network on Hamid Karzai International Airport. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said a weapons and explosives cache belonging to the terrorist network was seized from Deh Sabz district of Kabul.
A statement by NDS said the cache included 2 RPG-7 rocket launchers with 4 rockets, 11 magentic bombs, 17 explosives capsules, explosive materials, 3 mine testers, and 6 Nokia mobile phones. The statement further added that the target of the attack was Hamid Karzai International Airport which was successfully thwarted.
No further details were given regarding the detention of any suspect in connection to the attack plot. The Haqqani terrorist network was found in the late 1970s by Jalaluddin Haqqani and is accused of staging numerous cross-border attacks from their base in North Waziristan, including the 19-hour siege at the US Embassy in Kabul in September 2011. The network is allied with al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban and cooperates with other terrorist organizations in the region and was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization on September 7, 2012 by the US Department of State. The Afghan police have arrested two men appearing in a documentary film about the sexual abuse of children in Afghanistan, local officials in Balkh said. The two men appeared in a documentary prepared by a Russian TV Channel about Bacha Bazi, sexual abuse of children. Provincial police chief Syed Kamal Sadat said the two men, Jabar and Jamil, who are also famous as Raees, have been arrested after they appeared in the documentary film. He said the men were arrested after appearing in the film that is harming the national identity of the Afghan people. The documentary released last month focuses on the stigma of Bacha Baazi in Afghanistan which continues in parts of the country despite the act has been outlawed by the government. According to documentary, the young boys are normally recruited by influential individuals, taking advantage of their poverty and other social issues the young boys face, including the enormous amount of money needed for the marriage.
The documentary findings shows the boys are receiving the cost of their wedding from their owners after they reach the age adolescence. One of the men who has been allegedly arrested says the boys should be about 12, 13, or 15 years old to be recruited as a Bacha – a term usually used to call the children recruited for dancing and other sexual abuse. He said the business owners “support” their boys until their “sell-by-date” expires, at about 25.

The documentary also reveals the sexual abuse the young children are subjected to, including painful sexual offense at the hands of their owners.
The Afghanistan National Cricket team defeated Namibia by 36 runs and an innings during a 4-day match organized at Greater Noida in India. Namibia won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring 172 runs during their 1st innings but the Afghan team scored 334 runs during their 1st innings with Mohammad Shahzad scoring 139 runs. Afghanistan ended their first innings with a lead of 162 runs and allowed the Namibian batsmen to chase the target. The Afghan bowlers restricted the Namibian batsmen during their second innings after they scored only 126 runs. Mohammad Nabi took 5 wickets, Zahir Khan 3 wickets, Rahmat Shah and Dawlat Zadran 1 wicket each during the first inning of Namibia.
However, during the second innings of Namibia, Zahir Khan took 5 wickets, Dawlat Zadran 3 wickets, and Mohammad Nabi 2 wickets to end their innings after they scored only 126 runs. The Afghan team proved way too hard for the Namibian team during the 4-day match which comes as the Afghan team ended their ICC World T20 campaign with passion. The Afghan team secured consecutive wins during the group qualifier matches and deafeated the West Indies during their last match in Super 10s of the World Cup. A key militant involved in the assassination of government officials has been arrested in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
According to the local government officials, the militant was arrested by the Afghan intelligence operatives and has been identified as Abdul Ghani. The officials further added that the militant was involved in killing key government officials in Kandahar province, including the killing of a female police officer in 13th police district of the city. The detained militant has confessed he has carried out numerous attacks on government employees and officials in this province. The local officials have said the Afghan intelligence operatives intervened amid growing attacks on government officials that led to the capture of Abdul Ghani.
The female police officer was working with the provincial passport department when she was shot dead by the militant in Kandahar city last month.
The acting provincial governor of northern Balkh province of Afghanistan Ata Mohammad Noor has warned that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group is rapidly expanding activities in Afghanistan. Noor was speaking during a ceremony for the inauguration of a high school in Mazar-e-Sharif city, the provincial capital of Balkh province. He said the terror group is getting stronger each day and are deployed in Afghanistan to destabilize the country. Noor further added that the loyalists of the terror group are now active in major parts of Afghanistan and it would be wrong to concentrate on Kunar and Nangarhar only as the stronghold of the terror group. This comes as a top Russian official earlier made a similar comment regarding the terror group in Afghanistan and said the terrorist group is acting quietly in the country as it plans to use Afghanistan for wider expansion. Zamir Kabulov, the Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan, said the loyalists of the group is expanding in Afghanistan and wishes to use the country as a “springboard for a wider expansion”. Kabulov further added that Daesh has fewer militants than Taliban, but it does not spend its resources on fighting Afghan and US servicemen in the country.
A statement by the group said the operations are being launched as the group’s military offensive against the foreign forces enters into 15th year. The statement further added that the offensive is being launched with the approval of the leadership of the group as the weather gets warm across the country. Taliban launches its summer offensive despite efforts to end the violence in the country through reconciliation process. A Quadrilateral Coordination Group was formed earlier this year consisting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, United States and China to help revive the Afghan peace talks. The QCG members called on Taliban to join peace talks and have face to face discussions with the Afghan government in a bid to end the violence through negotiations. However, the Taliban group rejected to participate in the talks and offered the group’s preconditions for the start of peace talks. Around ten million US Dollars have been spent on the hotel accommodation and around 500 luxury cards have been rented for the tour of the Saudi King to Turkey, it has been reported. The 80-year-old king Salman received a lavish welcome as he arrived in Turkey on Monday to discuss bilateral ties expansions on a two-day tour of country.
According to the local media reports in Turkey, king Salman arrived in the country following a week of intense preparations in Ankara. The arrangements include extraordinary security measures as well as other lavish arrangements marking the king’s two-day visit upon the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The windows of the 450-square meter King Suite in the JW Marriot in Ankara have been covered with bullet-proof glass while the walls of the suite have been covered with bomb-resistant cement, according to the local Hurriyet Daily newspaper. The report further added that a team of 300 Saudi officials arrived there a few days ago to coordinate private preparations. According to reports, the estimated cost of the accommodation arrangements will be $10 million as the hotel has been booked for the king for three days. All personal belongings and other necessities were transferred to Ankara in cargo planes, while around 500 luxury cars have been rented for the king’s meetings in Ankara and Istanbul, according to Hurriyet Daily. The report also added that vehicles have been rented from provinces across Turkey including Antalya and Adana to fulfill this demand.
At least 3 people were wounded after a policeman pulled hand grenade pin in a court to demonstrate how it works, it has been reported. The incident took place in a court in Karachi city after the judge asked the officer how the device could be detonated.
According to the local media reports, the police officer was presenting the evidences at a high-profile terrorism-related case as the police forces had confiscated the grenade among other cache of weapons. The officer believed the grenade had been deactivated, the reports said, adding that the courtroom was cleared in the aftermath of the explosion.
The trial was suspended for the rest of the day with the Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Sial telling reporters that it was standard procedure to neutralise any explosives before bringing them into court. The security officials have said police have launched an inquiry into how a live grenade came to be presented as evidence. At least 33 anti-government armed militants were killed in the latest air and ground offensives of the Afghan security forces. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said at least 16 militants were also wounded and 9 suspects were arrested by the security forces. A statement by MoD said at least 4 of the militants were killed in the outskirts of Kunduz city where 3 militants were also wounded and 9 others were detained. The statement further added that 13 militants were killed in a separate raid in the center of Ghazni province and at least 13 others were wounded. According to MoD, at least 8 soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces also lost their lives during the same operations. This comes as the Afghan security forces have stepped up counter-terrorism operations to suppress the anti-government armed militant groups. The increase in offensives follow amid concerns that the militant groups are preparing to stage more attacks across the country as the security officials predict the militant groups will pursue violence in the summer. The government of Japan has pledged 2.4 billion Japanes Yen, equivalent to $22 million, in fresh aid to Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Japan has pledged to support the economic and social development in Afghanistan with the fresh aid package. A statement by MoFA said an agreement for the aid package was signed by Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and the Ambassador of Japan to Afghanistan Mr.
Rabbani hailed the government of Japan for remaining of the major contributors to reconstruction of Afghanistan in the past 14 years. He said Japan has been effectively contributing in various sectors since the Bonn agreement. Earlier, Japan contributed $21.3 million for humanitarian and emergency assistance in Afghanistan which followed days after the country pledged over $63 million to Afghanistan for Irrigation, Roads and Fiscal Support. Japan has been assisting Afghanistan’s nation-building efforts in various fields, ranging from security to economic and social development sectors including agriculture, rural development, infrastructure and human capacity development. At least 12 people were killed and 38 others were wounded in a suicide attack in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
The incident took place earlier this afternoon in Surkh Rod district targeting a vehicle of the Afghan security forces.

The provincial public health officials confirmed that they have received nearly 50 dead or wounded bodies from the incident site so far. The blast was carried out by a Rickshaw vehicle packed with explosives which was detonated near a mini bus belonging to the security forces. A local security official confirmed that the bus was carrying personnel of the Afghan National Army and majority of the victims are army personnel. No group including the Taliban militants have so far claimed responsibility behind the incident. Nangarhar is among the relatively volatile provinces in eastern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating and frequently carry out insurgency activities.
Insurgents belonging to the Taliban group and the newly emerged Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group are actively operating in a number of its districts.
The US Embassy in Kabul has issued a security alert to citizens regarding a possible attack on a hotel in Kabul city. This comes as Kabul city was rocked by back to back attacks by anti-government armed militant groups during the past recent days. The militants fired rockets on Kabul city late on Saturday night as the US Secretary of State John Kerry was visiting the country to meet with the Afghan officials. The incident did not incur any casualties to the local residents or members of the security forces.
Meanwhile, the militants targeted a Ministry of Education (MoE) vehicle in Kabul city this morning, leaving two employees of the ministry dead and seven others wounded. The First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum reaffirmed full support of Turkmen and Uzbeks to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. He was speaking during an international ceremony organized in ARG Presidential Palace to remember Ali Shir Navai.
He warned that the use of force will not acceptable under any circumstances, apparently pointing towards the growing criticisms towards the government of national unity. Meanwhile, President Ghani promised to create a national medal in the name of Amir Shir Ali Navai and put his picture in Salam Khana Palace of ARG Presidential Palace. The Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah said he is surprised with reactions regarding the remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the National Unity Government. In his remarks during the Ministers Council meeting, Abdullah said the agreement for the formation of National Unity Government was one of the most important agreements concluded in the political history of the country. He said certain politicians, who have not formally adopted the opposition status, reacted towards the remarks by Kerry regarding the duration of the unity government.
Abdullah further added that he was surprised to know that certain politicians became recently became aware regarding the agreement as the politicians involved in the politics of the country should have reviewed it long ago. This comes as the former Afghan Minister of Interior and one of the prominent politicians has called for a constitutional Loya Jirga to be organized in a bid bring reforms in the current political system, calling it unhealthy administration.
The remarks by Mohammad Omar Daudzai followed a day after the US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Kabul to meet with the Afghan officials. Meanwhile, the Afghan Senate House Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar reacted towards US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks regarding the Government of National Unity after he announced the agreement for the formation of the government has no end and will have a duration of five years. Muslimyar said such decisions by foreigners regarding the fate of Afghanistan are shameful, saying he ‘regrets and is ashamed that a foreign minister from a foreign country comes to Afghanistan and decides regarding our fate.
Kerry said Saturday that “There is no end to this agreement at the end of two years or in six months from now. A group of suicide bombers have reportedly launched a coordianted suicide attack on a police station in South of Russia. According to the reports, one of the suicide bombers detonated his explosives near the police station in Stavropol region. Police officials in Stavropol have confirmed that an attack occurred on the police station in Novoselitsk district.
The official further added that information is being gathered regarding the incident, confirming that no casualties were reported in the incident. Meanwhile, a military official has said the two other suicide bombers were eliminated by the security forces.
RIA Novosti cites a security source as saying that three suicide bombers used at least five explosive devices in the attack and the three suicide bombers were only ones killed in the incident.
This comes as Russia is heavily involved in a military campaign to suppress the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in Syria.
At least 8 people were killed and over 40 others were wounded in a deadly traffic incident in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan. According to the local authorities, the incident took place after a bus carrying passengers overturned on Kabul-Nimroz highway in the vicinity of Helmand province. Provincial governor’s spokesman Omar Zwak confirmed that a 303 bus overturned in Washer district around 8 am local time. He said the bus was on its way from Nimroz province when the incident took place, leaving 8 dead and over 40 wounded, including women and children. This comes as at least 11 people were killed and 6 others were wounded in a similar incident in the outskirts of Herat city in west of Afghanistan two days earlier.
The incident took place as the passengers were on their way towards a recreational area to celebrate the new solar year.
The majority of the road accidents are taking place due to bad conditions of the roads, lack of traffic signs as well as reckless driving which largely contributes to deadly incidents in the country. The notorious Pakistan-based Haqqani terrorist network leaders have played a key role in resolving the leadership issues of the Taliban group which recently led to deadly infighting among some dissident groups in western Afghanistan. According to the local media reports in Pakistan, the breakthrough was achieved with the mediation of Haqqani Network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani.
One of the major breakthroughs was the announcement of allegiance by Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor. The other breakthroughs according to the reports were securing d top positions for Mullah Omar’s son Mullah Yaqoob, and brother Mullah Abdul Manan in the Taliban hierarchy. According to the reports, allegiance by Mullah Zakir was made during a gathering where Haqqani network leader was also delivering a message. No further details were given regarding the exact location where the gathering was organized but it is believed that the Haqqani Network leaders and the Taliban council are based in Pakistan where they use safe havens for planning and coordinating attacks in Afghanistan. The Commander of US Central Command General Lloyd J Austin earlier said Pakistan should “take decisive action” against the Haqqani terrorist network, calling the network as the greatest threat to the US forces in Afghanistan. The former Afghan Minister of Interior and one of the prominent politicians has called for a constitutional Loya Jirga to be organized in a bid bring reforms in the current political system, calling it unhealthy administration. Kerry said the duration of the Government of National Unity is five and there is no end date specified in the agreement that led to the formation of the unity government.
However, the statement by Daudzai said there has been no improvement under the current government except increase in injustice, corruption and narrowing living conditions for the people of Afghanistan. The statement further added that the government of national unity is facing administration crisis, insisting that the government is not legally legitimate as it was formed based on an agreement between two election camps. The formation of the government has led to widening ethnic and religious tensions among the people of Afghanistan, the statement said, adding that the people of Afghanistan are counting days for the end of the government. The statement also added that Daudzai urges the unity government leaders to bring reforms in electoral system, organize parliamentary and provincial councils elections and Loya Jirga in the format of the Afghan constitution to decide regarding the unfavourable situation of the country.
Daudzai also warned frustration among the people will further grow if the current situation persists and such a situation will have a negative impact on international partners of the country. Explosive ordnance disposal technicians from the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and National Directorate of Security convened for a five-day meeting to exchange ideas and discuss best practices for combating explosives throughout Afghanistan. The Resolute Support and Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Directorate joined more than 120 EOD technicians from throughout the country for the first joint meeting of its kind last week.
Embassy in Kabul has received reports that insurgents are planning to conduct attacks targeting The Star Hotel in Kabul City,” a statement by US Embassy said. Dostum further added that the distance between ARG Palace and people has been shortened as promised during the presidential elections. Dostum also added that he was confident Afghanistan will succeed in achieving peace and stability, insisting that peace and stability in Afghanistan have links with the entire world.

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