Taliban suicide attack on police HQ leaves tens injured in Afghanistan

Taliban previously attacked police headquarters in Afghanistan.(AFP/File)
Updated 05 May 2019

Taliban suicide attack on police HQ leaves tens injured in Afghanistan

  • Baghlan officials confirmed the explosion
  • Police spokesperson said they shot one of the attackers

KABUL: At least 20 people were injured after a Taliban suicide bomber drove an explosives-packed Humvee and blew himself up at the police headquarters in the northern Afghan city of Pul-e-Khumri, Afghan officials and the Taliban said on Sunday.

Many armed Taliban fighters entered the police headquarters after the blast and opened fire on security forces stationed there.

“Clashes have not stopped. 20 injured people were taken to the hospital from the blast site,” said Assadullah Shahbaz, a member of the Baghlan provincial council, adding they have sought immediate deployment from neighboring provinces.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the “big blast” and the clashes with the Afghan forces.

“Several other Taliban fighters are presently clashing with the Afghan forces,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman at the interior ministry in Kabul, said the Afghan forces have gunned down a Taliban fighter who tried to enter the police headquarters, but several Taliban fighters have penetrated the offices.

The Taliban have stepped up attacks on security installations to demoralize Afghan police and troops even as they are holding direct talks with the US officials to end the war in Afghanistan. Intense fighting continues across the country with the Taliban controlling or influencing more territory than at any point since their ouster at the hands of US-led troops following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.


IAEA urges Iran to explain uranium particles at undeclared site

Updated 21 November 2019

IAEA urges Iran to explain uranium particles at undeclared site

  • IAEA said in a report last week that its inspectors had "detected natural uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at a location in Iran

VIENNA: The UN nuclear watchdog on Thursday urged Iran to explain the presence of uranium particles at an undeclared site, as a landmark deal aimed at curbing Tehran's atomic activities threatens to collapse.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report made public last week that its inspectors had "detected natural uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at a location in Iran not declared to the agency".
The agency's acting head Cornel Feruta said IAEA and Iranian officials would meet in Tehran next week to discuss the matter, adding that the UN body had not received any additional information.
"The matter remains unresolved... It is essential that Iran works with the agency to resolve this matter promptly," he told IAEA member states at a meeting of the agency's board of governors.
A diplomatic source told AFP that the IAEA would send a high-ranking technical delegation to Iran next week.
The particles are understood to be the product of uranium which has been mined and undergone initial processing, but not enriched.
While the IAEA has not named the site in question, diplomatic sources have previously said the agency asked Iran about a site in the Turquzabad district of Tehran where Israel has alleged secret atomic activity in the past.
Sources say the IAEA took samples from the site in the spring and that Iran has been slow in providing answers to explain the test results.
The 2015 deal between Iran and world powers has been faltering since last year when the United States pulled out and started to reinstate punishing sanctions on Tehran, leaving the other signatories struggling to salvage the agreement.
Over the past few months, Iran has breached several parts of the deal it signed with the US as well as Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, in which it committed to scaling back its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
But Britain, France and Germany have said they are extremely concerned by Iran's actions in stepping up its uranium enrichment and other breaches.
Enrichment is the process that produces fuel for nuclear power plants but also, in highly extended form, the fissile core for a warhead.
On Monday, the IAEA confirmed Iran's stock of heavy water for reactors has surpassed the 130-tonne limit set under the agreement.
Heavy water is not itself radioactive but is used in nuclear reactors to absorb neutrons from nuclear fission.
Heavy water reactors can be used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons as an alternative to enriched uranium.
The IAEA has also said one of its inspectors was briefly prevented from leaving Iran, calling her treatment "not acceptable".
Iran has cancelled the inspector's accreditation, saying she triggered a security check at the entrance gate to the Natanz enrichment plant last month.
The IAEA has disputed the Iranian account of the incident, without going into details.