Taliban attack injures 12 as Ghani unveils peace plan

A Taliban attack on a foreign compound in Kabul has left at least 12 people injured. Above, members of the Afghan security forces cross a road after an attack near the parliament in Kabul. (Reuters)
Updated 29 November 2018
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Taliban attack injures 12 as Ghani unveils peace plan

  • Taliban claimed responsibility for the strike, which came hours after President Ashraf Ghani unveiled his peace plan with the extremists at a key global conference in Geneva
  • According to one police source, the attack targeted G4S, a firm that provides security for the British Foreign Office in Afghanistan

KABUL: A Taliban attack on a foreign compound in the Afghan capital left at least 12 people injured on Wednesday, officials said.

The militant group claimed responsibility for the strike, which came hours after President Ashraf Ghani unveiled his peace plan with the extremists at a key global conference in Geneva.

The night-time attack began with a suicide attack using a car bomb. According to one police source, the attack targeted G4S, a firm that provides security for the British Foreign Office in Afghanistan.

British, US and other foreign contractors live in fortified compounds close to the site of the attack in the eastern part of Kabul.

Various state offices, including the headquarters of the election commission, and military training facilities used by US and Afghan forces, are also located in the area.

Najib Danesh, a spokesman for the interior ministry, confirmed the attack, but had no further details.

The number of attackers remains unknown, and it is unclear if the compound’s security was breached.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the target was an “important base for occupying forces” which was used to coordinate and plan attacks throughout the country.

He said that the attack was carried out to avenge the deaths of civilians on Tuesday in southern Helmand province, where at least 20 people were killed in a joint ground and air operation.

A coalition spokesman said earlier that a joint patrol involving US advisers had been attacked by Taliban fighters. Airstrikes had been called in “self-defense,” he said. But he declined to say whether the Afghan or coalition carried out the strikes.

As the attack was unfolding in Kabul, gunmen opened fire on the home of a former intelligence chief, Amrullah Saleh, in a separate part of the capital. Both Saleh and his guest and successor, Rahmatullah Nabil, were unhurt, officials said.

“While I was hosted by Amrullah Saleh, his house was attacked by three attackers. The attack was quickly repelled by his guards and the attackers retreated. We are both fine and safe,” Nabil said in a tweet.

Both men have been long-time critics of the Taliban and Pakistan.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.


Maldives arrests ex-leader Yameen for money laundering

Updated 18 February 2019
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Maldives arrests ex-leader Yameen for money laundering

  • No comment from Yameen or his legal team yet
  • The court already froze the ex-president’s local bank accounts containing $6.5 million

MALÉ, Maldives: Maldivian authorities Monday ordered the arrest of former strongman president Abdulla Yameen over money laundering charges, officials said.
The arrest came after a court began a preliminary hearing into allegations that Yameen received nearly $1.5 million in illicit payments just before he lost his re-election bid in September.
“Prosecutors said that Yameen had allegedly attempted to bribe witnesses,” a court official said, adding that the former president would be taken to the Dhoonidhoo prison island near the capital.
Yameen, who came to power in 2013 and jailed many of his opponents or forced them into exile, had been summoned to the Criminal Court Sunday to formally receive his indictment.
During his five-year tenure, Yameen relied heavily on China for political and financial support as he came under criticism over his dismal human rights record.
The Indian Ocean archipelago nation of 340,000 Sunni Muslims is heavily in debt to China.
Authorities believe millions of dollars allegedly siphoned off by Yameen could be stashed abroad, and have said that talks are underway with foreign entities to repatriate any cash found.
The court has already frozen Yameen’s local bank accounts holding about $6.5 million, a decision the former leader has contested.
There was no immediate comment from Yameen or his legal team on the latest court order.