65 Taliban insurgents killed in eastern Afghanistan

65 Taliban insurgents killed in eastern Afghanistan
Captured Taliban insurgents are presented to the media after being detained with car explosive devices in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, December 10, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 24 September 2020

65 Taliban insurgents killed in eastern Afghanistan

65 Taliban insurgents killed in eastern Afghanistan
  • Paktika police spokesman Shah Mohammad Arian: In the clash, 65 Taliban fighters were killed and 35 others were wounded
  • The violence came a day after the Taliban said they had killed 28 Afghan paramilitary policemen in Uruzgan in southern Afghanistan

KHOST, Afghanistan: Afghan security forces have killed 65 Taliban militants during an intense battle in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Thursday, as fighting rages between the two sides despite ongoing peace talks.
The latest bloodshed came late Wednesday after the Taliban stormed a military headquarters building in the Wazi Khwa district of Paktika province.
“The fighting lasted several hours and in a retaliatory attack by the Afghan forces, the Taliban suffered heavy casualties,” Paktika police spokesman Shah Mohammad Arian told AFP.
“In the clash, 65 Taliban fighters were killed and 35 others were wounded. Unfortunately, three police forces were martyred and six others wounded.”
Bakhtiar Gul Zadran, the head of Paktika provincial council, confirmed the information.
The Taliban did not immediately comment.
The violence came a day after the Taliban said they had killed 28 Afghan paramilitary policemen in Uruzgan in southern Afghanistan.
The violence comes as Taliban and Afghan government negotiators are meeting in Doha, where they are trying to find a way to end 19 years of war.
A hopeful start to the peace talks September 12 was immediately marred by fresh violence across Afghanistan.
Negotiations are moving slowly, with the two sides trying to thrash out various parameters before deciding an agenda.


Pygmies, soldier killed in clashes over DR Congo park

Updated 02 December 2020

Pygmies, soldier killed in clashes over DR Congo park

Pygmies, soldier killed in clashes over DR Congo park
  • In 2018, Pygmies began to move onto land inside the perimeter of Kahuzi-Biega National Park and started to cut down trees, mainly to make charcoal
  • According to park authorities, Pygmies have destroyed vast acres of woodland — an act of deforestation that gnaws away at the habitat of endangered gorillas

BUKAVU, DR Congo: Three Pygmies and a soldier were killed in clashes near DR Congo’s Kahuzi-Biega National Park, military sources and local officials said Wednesday, as calls grow for protection of the country’s indigenous peoples.
The national park, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on Monday, is a haven for critically endangered gorillas but faces an emerging threat from a conflict between rangers and local Pygmies, who claim they were robbed of ancestral lands when the park was extended in the 1970s.
The central African country’s parliament is currently considering a law to guarantee the rights of Pygmies.
Clashes erupted on Monday in the nearby village of Kabamba in South Kivu province, military sources and the territory’s administrator Thadee Miderho said Wednesday.
In addition to the four killed, others were wounded, they said.
The Pygmies wanted to retrieve bags of charcoal seized by the military, according to Miderho.
In 2018, Pygmies began to move onto land inside the park’s perimeter and started to cut down trees, mainly to make charcoal.
According to park authorities, Pygmies have destroyed vast acres of woodland — an act of deforestation that gnaws away at the gorillas’ habitat.
Their return led to open conflict between Pygmies and rangers in which people on both sides have been killed.
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park celebrated 50 years of existence on Monday, priding itself as “a sanctuary and refuge” of eastern lowland gorillas.
Meanwhile a civil society group in the territory of Kabare wrote an open letter to UNESCO asking for it to help “save” the Pygmies.
“Fifty years later, the existence of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park = 50 years of suffering of our Pygmies brothers and sisters,” the group wrote.
In the capital Kinshasa, the National Assembly passed a bill on November 26 for the “protection and promotion of the rights of the indigenous Pygmy peoples,” which will now be considered by the Senate.
“In the Democratic Republic of Congo, unlike other indigenous ethnic groups, the Pygmies have not always received special attention as an indigenous group,” parliament acknowledged in a memorandum.
The proposed law guarantees the recognition of the culture of the Pygmies, easy access to justice and social services, and “full access to the land.”