Afghanistan confirms killing of Pakistani Taliban leader

“US forces conducted a counterterrorism strike, June 13, in Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization,” a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan told Arab News. (AFP)
Updated 15 June 2018
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Afghanistan confirms killing of Pakistani Taliban leader

  • US officials claim the drone strike targeting the TTP chief is “not a violation” of the temporary truce offered by President Ghani to the Taliban militants
  • Fazlullah’s death is a major loss for Pakistani Taliban in years and apparently the first on the Afghan soil

KABUL: The leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Mullah Fazalullah, was killed on Wednesday in a US drone strike in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province, Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanesh said on Friday.
Fazalullah, who had a bounty of $5 million on his head, “was a terrorist leader,” Radmanesh told Arab News. “His death will have a multifaceted impact.”
A spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Col, Martin O’Donnell, told Arab News in an email: “US forces conducted a counterterrorism strike, June 13, in Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization.”
Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday said the Taliban is honoring its three-day cease-fire that began Thursday night in response to his truce. He expressed hope for its extension.
Ghani said he had spoken overnight with Saudi King Salman, who pledged his “full support for the truce and peace” in Afghanistan.
“This is the first cease-fire in the contemporary history of Afghanistan, and I want to congratulate the people for that,” Ghani added, saying he welcomes any step that leads to the end of bloodshed in the country.
Before declaring its truce, the Taliban unleashed a series of deadly attacks against government forces in various parts of the country, ignoring Ghani’s cease-fire, which began on Tuesday and will last for three more days. The US drone strike did not violate Ghani’s truce, O’Donnell said.


Indonesia sending back 547 containers of waste from West

Updated 46 min 12 sec ago

Indonesia sending back 547 containers of waste from West

  • Nine containers with at least 135 tons of waste were sent back to Australia on Wednesday
  • They were among 156 containers held in Tangerang port near Jakarta that will be returned soon to other countries

JAKARTA, Indonesia: Indonesia is sending 547 containers of waste back to wealthy nations after discovering they were contaminated with used plastic and hazardous materials, amid a growing backlash in Southeast Asia against being a dumping ground for the developed world’s trash.

Nine containers with at least 135 tons of waste were sent back to Australia on Wednesday, customs director Heru Pambudi said at a news conference in Jakarta.

“Some food still remains there with liquid flowing,” Pambudi said as he showed the contents of several containers.

He said 91 other containers will be returned to Australia after administrative processes are complete.

They were among 156 containers held in Tangerang port near Jakarta that will be returned soon to other countries, including the US, New Zealand, Spain, Belgium and Britain, he said.

Pambudi said the government has stopped more than 2,000 containers this year in several ports in East Java, Jakarta, Tangerang and Batam near Singapore. So far it has sent back 331, which will be followed by 216 others to French, Germany, Greece, Netherlands. Slovenia, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong. Authorities are still investigating the rest.

The government announced in July that it had sent back nearly 60 containers of waste from Australia that were supposed to contain only paper but included household waste, used cans, plastic bottles, oil packaging, used electronics, used baby diapers and used footwear.

Pambudi said several Indonesian-owned companies that imported the waste must return it to the countries of origin within 90 days. No other sanctions were declared, although importing hazardous waste is a criminal offense with penalties of up to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to 12 billion rupiah ($850,000).

China banned the import of plastic waste at the end of 2017, resulting in more used plastic being sent to developing Southeast Asian nations.

A study published in June last year in the journal Science Advances that used United Nations data found other nations will need to find a home for more than 110 million tons of plastic waste by 2030 because of the Chinese ban.

Indonesia and China themselves are among the world’s biggest producers of plastic waste, which is increasingly fouling their land, seas and beaches.