Taliban kill 12 Afghan policemen, troops in separate attacks

No group has claimed responsibility for the Dawlatzai attack. (AFP/File)
Updated 07 May 2019

Taliban kill 12 Afghan policemen, troops in separate attacks

  • The insurgents also killed eight members of the security forces in an earlier attack
  • Taliban attack Afghan forces almost on daily basis

KABUL: The Taliban targeted the police on Tuesday in Afghanistan’s eastern Laghman province, killing four police officers, including a district police chief, provincial officials said.
The attack came just hours after the insurgents struck security checkpoints in northeastern Takhar province’s Khwaja Bahaudin district late on Monday night, killing eight members of the security forces — three soldiers and five policemen.
In the Laghman attack, Arif Sadat, district police chief in Alingar district, was killed along with three others when his vehicle exploded near the district police headquarters, said Asadullah Dawlatzai, the provincial governor’s spokesman.
Four other officers were wounded in the attack, said Dawlatzai. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing but Dawlatzai blamed the Taliban who are active in the province and especially in Alingar district.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Takhar attack, which took place in Khwaja Bahaudin district, according to Wafiullah Rahmani, head of the provincial council.
The insurgents stage near-daily attacks on Afghan forces, even as peace efforts have accelerated to find an end to the country’s 17-year war.
In another report, from western Farah province, coalition forces on Sunday carried out airstrikes against Taliban-run heroin labs, killed 15 laborers, said Dadullah Qaneh, councilman in Farah.
But Mohibullah Mohib, the provincial police chief’s spokesman, said those killed in Bakwa district were all members of the Taliban.
The Taliban run most of Afghanistan’s drug trade and control vast opium poppy fields.


Iran records highest COVID-19 cases in over month

Updated 10 min 8 sec ago

Iran records highest COVID-19 cases in over month

  • Latest count takes the total cases identified in Iran since late February to 314,786
  • Iran made wearing masks mandatory in enclosed spaces
TEHRAN: Iran confirmed Tuesday over 2,700 new COVID-19 infections, its highest single-day count in more than a month, as the health ministry called for those without masks to be fined.
Deaths and infections from the novel coronavirus have been on a rising trajectory in the Islamic republic since hitting a months-long low in May.
This has prompted Iran to make wearing masks mandatory in enclosed spaces and reimpose restrictions lifted gradually since April to reopen the economy.
Despite the rule, people without masks can still be seen inside the capitals’ shops and banks, and state television often criticizes them for doing so.
“In the past 24 hours, new confirmed cases were reported to be 2,751,” health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in televised remarks.
The number is the highest since June 5, when the ministry reported 2,886 infections in one day.
The latest count takes the total cases identified in Iran since late February to 314,786, Lari added.
Another 212 people died from the virus during the past 24 hours, bringing the overall toll to 17,617.
Iran’s deputy health minister called for those who fail to obey the mask rules to be fined, as the only penalty currently in place is the refusal of service in public places.
“Deterrent methods must naturally be used, one of which is fining those not wearing masks,” ISNA news agency quoted Iraj Harirchi as saying.
But those “financially unable to buy masks must be exempted,” he added, without elaborating how that could be determined.
Iran has suffered a sharp economic downturn since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark nuclear agreement in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation.
It has seen a drop in non-oil exports compounded by a tumbling currency and runaway inflation, piling new pressure on those already dependent on government cash handouts.
Masks in Iran cost from about 15 US cents for simple surgical ones to 68 cents for multilayered ones with respirators, while the minimum wage is currently $2.60 per day.