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Daily Evacuation Brief | January 29, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
TIGHTENING THE NOOSE FOR WOMEN’S EDUCATION – A document attributed to the Ministry for Higher Education warns both private and public institutions to deny female students entry into programs. The letter also instructed both private and public institutions to deny entrance exams for women in the future. Finally, all higher education institutions are now required to notify the Ministry five days before any entrance exam process is to take place. Presumably, this last measure is intended to give the Taliban time to send monitors to testing sites. The letter has sparked outrage online and, if genuine, will almost certainly affect discussions about economic and humanitarian aid among the international community. While the Taliban has continued to say that ‘all’ Afghans deserve an education, the policies they are putting in place are durable and will be difficult to remedy should a reversal of the policy ever be made. The ban on taking the entrance exams is particularly troubling as it provides an excuse for more delays.
TALIBAN SAY THEY HAVE CLEARED ISIS-K FROM MAJOR CITIES – Perhaps in response to the killing of the ISIS leader in Africa, Bilal al-Sudani, a Taliban spokesman declared on Saturday that ISIS-K strongholds have been destroyed in much of the country and efforts are being made to clear the remaining operational cells from the Provinces. ISIS-K’s most recent release of its propaganda journal, Khurasan Ghag, clearly targets the Taliban and other international representatives in the country. The Taliban claims also fly in the face of the international consensus about ISIS-K’s capabilities in the country. The Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs stated on Friday that ISIS activities had increased significantly in recent months and questioned the Taliban’s ability to counter the terror group.
OFFICIAL DEATH TOLL FOR COLD SPELL RISES – As additional reporting continues to come in from rural areas, the Taliban said the death toll stands at 166. Reportedly, 200,000 livestock perished in the cold and the losses are expected to put a strain on domestic food production over the course of the year. Both figures are likely to continue increasing as more rural areas report casualties and losses.
MODERATE EARTHQUAKE FELT IN BADAKHSHAN – A 4.3 magnitude quake struck Badakhshan in the early morning hours of 28 January. No casualties or damage were reported. A more powerful quake struck along the Iranian-Turkish border that has so far resulted in 3 deaths and moderate structural damage.
PROTESTS AGAINST THE BURNING OF QURAN CONTINUED – While fewer Afghans participated in Saturday’s protests, there were still several hundred people in many of the city centers who turned out. Several clerics chose to make remarks and condemn the incident. The protests have been peaceful.
NEXT 24 HOURS
ISIS-K MAY RESPOND TO RECENT TALIBAN ANNOUNCEMENTS – The remarks by Zabiullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban, about the regime’s recent success in eradicating the terror group’s support bases throughout Afghanistan could provoke a response. Historically, ISIS-K has chosen to strike targets after similar comments have been uttered. While the Taliban has enjoyed some success in its recent counter-terrorism operations, most estimates suggest several thousand ISIS-K fighters remain in the country. Further fueling the risk of a possible attack is the loss of their top commander in Africa. Leaders may use the moment to ‘make a statement’ with an attack.
A 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck Northwestern Iran, along the border with Turkey. Early reports indicate that some people were killed.
The regime said a blast at a military depot in Central Iran was the result of multiple drone strikes. No further information was provided.
The regime claimed the murder of a security supervisor at the Azerbaijan Embassy was caused by a personal enmity and was not terror-related. The international community remains skeptical.
The stock market rebounded a bit on rumors that a deal with the IMF was likely.
Increased security for former Prime Minister Khan was reduced after an assessment that threats to his person have abated.
By Mariam Warda - Observer Research Foundation
Following the withdrawal of the erstwhile Soviet troops and the collapse of the communist regime, the Taliban, an ultraconservative political and religious group emerged in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s. The government’s inability to establish control outside of Kabul left the country open to harassment and violence from local militias and warlords. In 1994, a group of ex-fighters associated with a madrasah in Kandahar province defeated a local warlord and began stabilising the region. The group gained widespread support by promising security and religious fervour and quickly gained control of much of the country, including the capital, Kabul.
By 8 AM Media
Based on a copy of the letter issued by the Taliban-led Higher Education Ministry, gone viral on social media on Saturday, January 28, universities and…
By Nizamuddin Rezahi - Khaama Press
The latest economic developments and key economic indicators by the World Bank Afghanistan Economic Monitor indicate positive signs of economic revival in…
By Fatema Adeeb - TOLO News
The Islamic Emirate's spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid, added that efforts are being made to suppress this group in various parts of…
By Srikanth Kondapalli - Deccan Herald
The December 12 attack by the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) on Longan Hotel, which housed scores of Chinese nationals, left five…
By Yaghoub Fazeli - Al Arabiya
A drone attack targeted a military facility linked to Iran’s Defense Ministry in the city of Isfahan late on Saturday, resulting in an…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By John Baron - The Independent
In the tearing haste of Operation Pitting, the government devised schemes to enable Afghans who had…
THE DAILY WTF
By Patricia Gossman - Human Rights Watch
Five years ago, I interviewed a young Afghan woman who miraculously survived the devastating Taliban suicide bombing in…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 89.17 AFN (as of 29 JAN 2023)