Suicide bomber kills over 30 Afghan civilians during a protest

Nangarhar province has been one of the main strongholds of Daesh fighters since early 2015. (AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Suicide bomber kills over 30 Afghan civilians during a protest

  • Suicide bomber targets civilians attending rally
  • No one has claimed responsibility for the attack

KABUL: At least 32 Afghan civilians were killed and scores wounded on Tuesday when they were holding a rally against a local commander in the eastern province of Nangarhar, officials said.

The main insurgency group, the Taliban who are fighting to drive out the U.S.-led troops and topple the government, immediately distance itself from the attack which came hours after three small blasts took place in the provincial capital, Jalalabad.

Those explosions caused few casualties and apparently happened near schools in the city which has been a key target of bloody attacks for affiliates of Daesh in recent months.

Public health ministry’s spokesman Waheed Majroh in a message said that 128 people were wounded in the suicide attack.

“I feel profound indignation at this wave of attacks deliberately targeting civilians. Our deepest sympathy is with the victims…” the United Nations Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto said in a statement.

President Ghani also slammed the attacks, adding they can not deter Afghans from having a “bright future”.

Tuesday’s blasts come following three separate attacks by Daesh network in Kabul since last week, that have resulted in the loss of lives of some 30 civilians and have become cause of serious alarm for Afghans about the expansion and escalation of attacks by the group.

The rise of strikes by the group coincides with a series of gains by the Taliban in the northern areas where they have killed scores of government forces since Sunday.

The escalation of violence, compounded by deepening rift within the government leaders, has seriously impacted the reputation of the administration and raised further doubt about the prospect of next month’s parliamentary polls as well as the presidential one set for April.


British lawmaker calls for Asma Assad to be stripped of British citizenship 

Updated 20 February 2019
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British lawmaker calls for Asma Assad to be stripped of British citizenship 

  • The MP of the Liberal Democrats, Tom Brake, wrote to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, urging her to use her powers to deny Asma Assad of her citizenship
  • Asma used social media to support her husband’s leadership after a global condemnation of his alleged role in a chemical weapons attack on civilians

A prominent British politician has called for Asma Assad, the British wife of the Syrian President, Bashar Assad, to be stripped of her UK citizenship. 

The foreign affairs spokesman of the centrist party, the Liberal Democrats, Tom Brake, wrote to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, urging her to use her powers to deny Asma Assad of her citizenship after her social media posts in support of her husband’s regime.

 “The first lady of Syria has acted not as a private citizen but as a spokesperson for the Syrian presidency... Boris Johnson has urged other countries to do more about Syria, but the British government could say to Asma Assad, either stop using your position to defend barbaric acts, or be stripped of your citizenship,” Brake was cited by British daily the Guardian as saying.  

Asma used social media to support her husband’s leadership after a global condemnation of his alleged role in a chemical weapons attack on civilians.

She posted a message saying: “The presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic affirms that what America has done is an irresponsible act that only reflects a short-sightedness, a narrow horizon, a political and military blindness to reality and a naive pursuit of a frenzied false propaganda campaign.”

Conservative MP, Nadhim Zahawi, also joined the call to revoke her British nationality, calling Asma “very much part of the propaganda machine that is committing war crimes.”

Asma was born and raised in London to Syrian parents and left the UK in 2000 to live in Syria where she married Assad.