Taliban kill 12 Afghan policemen, troops in separate attacks

No group has claimed responsibility for the Dawlatzai attack. (AFP/File)
Updated 07 May 2019

Taliban kill 12 Afghan policemen, troops in separate attacks

  • The insurgents also killed eight members of the security forces in an earlier attack
  • Taliban attack Afghan forces almost on daily basis

KABUL: The Taliban targeted the police on Tuesday in Afghanistan’s eastern Laghman province, killing four police officers, including a district police chief, provincial officials said.
The attack came just hours after the insurgents struck security checkpoints in northeastern Takhar province’s Khwaja Bahaudin district late on Monday night, killing eight members of the security forces — three soldiers and five policemen.
In the Laghman attack, Arif Sadat, district police chief in Alingar district, was killed along with three others when his vehicle exploded near the district police headquarters, said Asadullah Dawlatzai, the provincial governor’s spokesman.
Four other officers were wounded in the attack, said Dawlatzai. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing but Dawlatzai blamed the Taliban who are active in the province and especially in Alingar district.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Takhar attack, which took place in Khwaja Bahaudin district, according to Wafiullah Rahmani, head of the provincial council.
The insurgents stage near-daily attacks on Afghan forces, even as peace efforts have accelerated to find an end to the country’s 17-year war.
In another report, from western Farah province, coalition forces on Sunday carried out airstrikes against Taliban-run heroin labs, killed 15 laborers, said Dadullah Qaneh, councilman in Farah.
But Mohibullah Mohib, the provincial police chief’s spokesman, said those killed in Bakwa district were all members of the Taliban.
The Taliban run most of Afghanistan’s drug trade and control vast opium poppy fields.


UN says breakthrough achieved in Libya transition talks

Updated 16 min 42 sec ago

UN says breakthrough achieved in Libya transition talks

  • Talks in Geneva have been taking place amid a heavy international push to reach a peaceful settlement to Libya’s civil war
  • The US welcomed the breakthrough and urged all parties of Libya “to work with urgency and in good faith”

CAIRO: The top UN official for Libya said Saturday that an advisory committee for representatives of Libya’s different regions has proposed a way forward for choosing a transitional government that would lead the war-torn country to elections late this year.
The talks in Geneva, structured around the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, have been taking place amid a heavy international push to reach a peaceful settlement to Libya’s civil war. Previous diplomatic initiatives have all collapsed.
UN acting envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams told a news conference in Geneva that the advisory committee’s members “have met their responsibility with a constructive spirit, cooperative efforts, and a great deal of patriotism.”
The committee is part of a 75-member forum that represents all the three main regions of Libya. The 18-member committee has proposed that each region’s electoral college name a representative to a three-member presidential council, Williams said. A prime minister would be chosen by the 75-member forum. A successful nominee should receive 70% of votes.
Williams said that the forum would resort to lists formed from Libya’s three regions, with each list consisting of four names, nominated for the presidential council and a prime minister position.
She said a list should obtain 17 endorsements: eight from the western region, six from the eastern region and three from southern Libya. The wining list should receive 60% of the votes of the 75-member forum in the first round. A run-up is expected if no list received the required votes, she said.
Williams said the forum would vote on the proposed mechanism on Monday and the results are expected the following day.
The transitional government would be “a temporary unified executive staffed by Libyan patriots who want to share responsibility rather than to divide the cake,” the UN acting envoy said.
The US welcomed the breakthrough and urged all parties of Libya “to work with urgency and in good faith” to establish an interim government, according to a statement by the US Embassy in Libya.
“It is time to move past the conflict and corruption facilitated by the status quo,” it said.
The forum is part of the UN efforts to end the chaos that engulfed the oil-rich North African nation after the 2011 overthrow and killing of dictator Muammar Qaddafi. It has reached an agreement last year to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Dec. 24, 2021.
The oil-rich country is now split east to west between two rival administrations, each backed by an array of militias and foreign powers.
The warring sides agreed to a UN-brokered cease-fire in October in Geneva, a deal that included the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya within three months.
No progress was announced on the issue of foreign forces and mercenaries since they inked the cease-fire deal almost two months ago.