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Daily Evacuation Brief | February 20, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
TORKHAM GATE CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC – Several reports began circulating on social media that the Taliban had closed Torkham gate to all traffic and were turning people back. We confirmed the gate was indeed closed and it sounds as if it is related to Paksitan’s refusal to honor medical visas for Afghans. A source in Kabul said the Taliban intended to take advantage of Pakistan’s weak economic position by closing the portal to trade and humanitarian goods deliveries. Most expect a settlement to be reached and the gate should reopen eventually. Late reporting confirmed that Spin Boldak-Chaman remains open. At-risk Afghans intending to attempt a crossing should call ahead and monitor relevant social-media channels to ensure it is open before embarking on their journey.
NOTED AFGHAN JOURNALIST RELEASED FROM CUSTODY IN KANDAHAR – Mohammadyar Majrooh, a reporter for TOLO News was released from custody in Kandahar after being detained on unspecified charges for five days.
PAKISTAN IDENTIFIES TTP MILITANTS RESPONSIBLE FOR KARACHI ATTACK – Police officials in Karachi say they have identified two TTP terrorists who likely planned the attack on the police headquarters on 17 February. Zala Noor and a man called Kifayatullah were fingered as the planners of the attack. Noor is reputedly from North Waziristan and Kifayatullah is said to have come from the Lakki Marwat area. The two had conducted surveillance of the police facility for at least a month prior to the attack. Both men escaped after the attack and are on the run. Pakistani police are in the process of searching several known residences and have interviewed family members of the suspects.
TALIBAN ENFORCES BAN ON RUPEES IN URUZGAN – Several small business owners in the capital of Uruzgan have been arrested for violating the ban on accepting Pakistani currency. Their shops have been closed. The arrests came after a fourteen-day ‘grace period’ had expired. It is believed that over 50 people were arrested and may face public lashings and/or heavy fines for violating the ban. Several locals who were interviewed about the arrests appear to approve of the Taliban’s move and say they want to trade in Afghanistan’s currency.
AS MANY AS 100 TRAVELERS TRAPPED IN SNOW ON THE KABUL-GHOR HIGHWAY – A convoy of mini-vans that have been stuck in heavy snow on either side of the Kotal-e-Bakak pass in Bamiyan contains approximately 100 people. Many of the passengers are said to be women and children and they are believed to have been trapped for the past three days. It is not clear if a rescue attempt is underway.
NEXT 24 HOURS
TROUBLE BREWING BETWEEN IRAN AND PAKISTAN ON THEIR SHARED BORDER – Iranian border guards reportedly slaughtered large numbers of donkeys, mules, and livestock in Baluchistan. A VIDEO of the incident has circulated on social media and locals on both sides of the border have vowed revenge against the Iranian border forces for the senseless slaughter. The animals represented the livelihoods of many who live in the area. Pakistan is sending troops to reinforce its side of the border and they will begin arriving today. There is a potential for local reprisals against the Iranian border forces that could escalate into a cross-border incident. It is not clear what caused the incident.
IAEA monitors say they have detected uranium that has been enriched to 84% purity in the country. The report has sparked rumors of emergency talks.
Iran continues to try and de-escalate tensions with Azerbaijan and has called on Bakhu to tone down the political rhetoric over the attack on its embassy in Tehran.
The Afghan ministry responsible for refugees says Iran expelled 6,000 Afghans over the past three days.
Another police official from the Karachi attack has died in the hospital.
Pakistani army units were being rushed to the Iranian border after an incident involving the Iranian border forces that are expected to raise tensions along the border.
The leader of the IMF warns Pakistan that recent taxes imposed by the regime fall heaviest on the poor and that the policy should be revamped.
By Susannah George - The Washington Post
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the group quickly launched what officials called a "purification" campaign aimed at stripping the country of civil laws and institutions to build an entirely Islamic society.
By Ayaz Gul - VOA
The Taliban said Sunday they were working to turn former foreign military bases in Afghanistan into special business and trade centers to promote “economic growth…
By The New Indian Express
A public spat between the powerful interior minister and deputy head of the Taliban, Sirajuddin Haqqani, and its reclusive supreme…
By Ariana News
There are no divisions in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) as unity has been a key to its success, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Sher…
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
The woman reportedly linked with the banned militant Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) was transported to Quetta for…
By Nizamuddin Rezahi - Khaama Press
These students will have to travel to Afghanistan and should enter Iran with passports and study visas to get enrolled in universities and educational…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Ariana News
The Islamic Emirate welcomes remarks by the Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari at Munich Security Conference deeming a…
By Bibi Amina Hakimi - TOLO News
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the allocation of $250 million from the United Nations global emergency fund to help the most vulnerable…
By Ahmad Sohaib Hasrat - Pajhwok Afghan News
Some Afghan citizens have been sent back from the airport by Saudi Arabia authorities over doubt on the validity of stickers showing…
THE DAILY WTF
By Ariana News
Akhundzada made the remarks in a meeting with religious scholars, governors and other civilian and military officials of Badakhshan, Herat…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 89.28 AFN (as of 20 FEB 2023)