Updated: September 22, 2021 4:37:34 pm
Afghanistan Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates: Attackers struck Taliban vehicles in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing at least two fighters and three civilians in the latest violence since the group’s takeover of the country in mid-August.
According to the Associated Press, in one attack, gunmen opened fire on a Taliban vehicle at a local gas station in the provincial capital of Jalalabad, killing two fighters and a gas station attendant, witnesses said. A child was also killed, they added.
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Another child was killed and two Taliban were wounded in a separate attack — a bombing of another vehicle. Another bombing of a Taliban vehicle in Jalalabad also wounded a person nearby, although it was unclear if that person was a Taliban official or not.
The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.
Here are some of the key stories to follow:
Taliban nominates spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghan envoy to UN
The Taliban, Afghanistan’s new rulers for a matter of weeks, are challenging the credentials of their country’s former UN ambassador and want to speak at the General Assembly’s high-level meeting of world leaders this week, the international body says.
The question now facing UN officials comes just over a month after the Taliban, ejected from Afghanistan by the United States and its allies after 9/11, swept back into power as US forces prepared to withdraw from the country at the end of August.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received communication on September 15 from the currently accredited Afghan Ambassador, Ghulam Isaczai, with the list of Afghanistan’s delegation for the assembly’s 76th annual session.
UK calls on China and Russia to agree Afghanistan strategy
Britain will on Wednesday call for China and Russia to agree a coordinated international approach to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a haven for militants, according to a statement by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at the United Nations.
Foreign ministers from Britain, China, Russia, the United States and France will meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the UN General Assembly in New York.
Britain, which is currently co-ordinating the so-called P5 group of permanent United Nations Security Council members, will use the meeting to call for greater cooperation to improve international security, with a particular focus on Afghanistan.
Qatar’s ruler urges world leaders not to boycott Taliban
The ruling emir of Qatar, whose nation has played a pivotal role in Afghanistan in the wake of the US withdrawal, urged world leaders gathered at the United Nations on Tuesday against turning their backs on the country’s Taliban rulers.
Speaking from the podium of the UN General Assembly, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani stressed “the necessity of continuing dialogue with Taliban because boycott only leads to polarisation and reactions, whereas dialogue could bring in positive results.” His warning was directed at the many heads of state worried about engaging with the Taliban and recognising their takeover of Afghanistan.
US Def Sec thanks India for its cooperation on Afghan evacuation
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin in a phone call with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh has thanked India for its cooperation during the recent evacuation from Afghanistan and the two leaders committed to continue monitoring the situation in the war-torn country, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
The conversation between Austin and Defence Minister Singh came ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US this week to attend an in-person summit of Quad leaders in Washington and address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
UK minister sorry over Afghan interpreters’ data breach
Britain’s defence minister apologised and his ministry suspended an official on Tuesday after a “significant” data breach involving the email addresses of dozens of Afghan interpreters hoping to settle in the UK.
A Defence Ministry email to more than 250 Afghans who are eligible for relocation and still remain in Afghanistan was mistakenly copied to all applicants Monday instead of blind copied. British media reports said the people whose email addresses were distributed included some individuals who are in hiding from the Taliban.
“It is an unacceptable level of service that has let down the thousands of members of the armed forces and veterans. On behalf of the Ministry of Defense, I apologise,” Defense Minister Ben Wallace told Parliament.
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