Taliban kill 7 Afghan military personnel in raid on army post

The Afghan government has released Taliban insurgents from jail as part of peace negotiations with the group. Above, soldiers escort a Taliban prisoners convoy during their release from Bagram prison. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 24 June 2020

Taliban kill 7 Afghan military personnel in raid on army post

  • Kabul authorities accuse the insurgents of stepping up attacks against security forces in recent weeks

HERAT, Afghanistan: Taliban fighters killed as many as seven Afghan commandos in an hours-long attack on an army outpost, a lawmaker and the defense ministry said Wednesday.
The assault comes as Kabul authorities accuse the insurgents of stepping up attacks against security forces in recent weeks, after violence dropped across much of the country following a three-day cease-fire announced in May.
The Taliban raided the army outpost located in northwest Badhis province late Tuesday.
Badghis lawmaker Ziauddin Akazi said the insurgents attacked the Bala Murghab district outpost, triggering fierce fighting that lasted for about four hours.
“Most of those killed were members of commando and special forces,” Akazi said.
He said the attack came when a group of commandos and special forces traveled to the outpost from their base nearby.
The ministry of defense said seven security personnel were killed and five were wounded in the attack.
It said security forces later repelled the Taliban attack.
The Taliban have not commented.
In a separate incident in the northern Jawzjan province on Tuesday evening, a roadside bomb ripped through a rickshaw and killed six civilians, the interior ministry said.
Interior ministry spokesman Tareq Arian said the Taliban had placed the bomb on the road.


HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Updated 10 August 2020

HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

  • Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing

HONG KONG: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested over suspected collusion with foreign forces under the new national security law, his top aide said on Twitter, in what is the highest-profile arrest yet under the legislation.
Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing, which imposed the sweeping new law on Hong Kong on June 30, drawing condemnation from Western countries.
The new security law punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
Critics say it crushes freedoms in the semiautonomous city, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged pro-democracy protests last year.
“Jimmy Lai is being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time,” Mark Simon, a senior executive at Lai’s media company Next Digital, which publishes local tabloid Apple Daily, said early on Monday.
Police did not immediately comment.
Lai was also arrested this year on illegal assembly charges, along with other leading activists, relating to protests last year.
In an interview with Reuters in May, Lai pledged to stay in Hong Kong and continue to fight for democracy even though he expected to be one of the targets of the new legislation.