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Daily Evacuation Brief | January 31, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
SUICIDE BOMBING OF MOSQUE IN PAKISTAN HAS LEFT SCORES DEAD AND WOUNDED – The announced death toll had risen to 44 as of this printing but more are expected as rescuers pull people from under the rubble. At least 150 were injured in the blast with many of those in critical condition. The Mosque in Peshawar was habitually frequented by police, the army, and bomb disposal squads. The Mosque was said to be full and the suicide bomber is thought to have positioned himself near the center of the congregation when he detonated his device. The roof collapsed and police officials say the falling debris was responsible for the majority of the deaths and injuries. It is believed that nearly 300 worshippers were inside the building when the blast occurred. Rescue efforts are continuing. Conflicting information has been reported about who was responsible for the blast with some people claiming to represent the TTP claiming they had carried the operation out while other TTP representatives stated that attacks on Mosques are prohibited in the terror group..
PASSPORTS – The latest information on the availability of passports indicates that the Directorate is primarily working on applications that were made (and paid for) prior to the most recent closings. Commercial passports are reportedly still being issued and require a business license. The cost for the commercial passport is said to be fixed at $615.00.
TALIBAN PRESSES IRAN ON TREATMENT OF AFGHANS – A spokesman for the Minister of Refugees and Repatriation said that concerns have been raised to their Iranian counterparts over the poor treatment of refugees in the country. Several videos began circulating in January of the appalling conditions Afghan refugees are facing in Iran. Earlier in 2022, similar videos resulted in large-scale demonstrations at the Iranian Embassy in Kabul.
OIC TO TALIBAN “REOPEN UNIVERSITIES FOR GIRLS” – The Organization for Islamic Cooperation urged the Taliban to join mainstream Islamic states and reopen education opportunities for girls and women. It is believed the most recent call came after the disturbing news that women would not be allowed to sit for University bans.
KABUL RESIDENTS MYSTIFIED OVER HIGHER ELECTRICITY BILLS – Residents are outraged by an increase in their monthly electric bills after receiving 1-2 hours of power per day over the last month. The former head of the national power company said it is likely that employees are not able to travel around the cities to read each customer’s usage and is making estimates instead.
NEXT 24 HOURS
SIGNIFICANT SECURITY OPERATIONS EXPECTED IN PAKISTAN IN WAKE OF MOSQUE BOMBING – Pakistani military and police are expected to conduct large-scale search operations that target suspected ISIS, TTP, and Balochistan Liberation Movement locations. According to a source in the Ministry of the Interior, the leadership of Police and Military units were incensed after the attack on their colleagues. The source went on to claim that many units have pledged to provide ‘no quarter’ to suspected terrorists as these security operations get underway. The source concluded by expressing an opinion that recently elevated security measures had been put in place based on the intelligence of a specific threat to the Pakistani police. Source believed the attack yesterday was the threat they were worried about. At-risk Afghans will see a significant security presence in cities throughout Western and Central Pakistan. While security checkpoints had already been activated in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, additional checkpoints (temporary) are planned. Security vehicle convoys are expected to be heavy and house-to-house searches are likely. Pedestrians and vehicle occupants can expect document searches as they travel around the city.
IRAN POINTS FINGER AT ISRAEL OVER ISFAHAN DRONE STRIKE – While Israel has carried out many attacks on Iranian facilities in the past, some security analysts are saying this attack is being viewed differently. Facing international criticism over support for Russia in the Ukraine War and the largest domestic protests in recent memory, there are concerns that Iran may react far differently in the past. Should military operations that target Israel directly, threatens Azerbaijan, or involves the targeting of US military forces in the Persian Gulf, it is likely that borders will be closed and all commercial traffic between Afghanistan and Iran will cease for at least a time.
The world is watching for a possible response from Iran after Israel's drone strikes on the Isfahan military facility. Israel is said to have claimed responsibility for the strikes in the US media. Iran has now blamed Israel for the strikes. Israel has conducted multiple attacks on Iran over the past two years. However, tensions with Ukraine and the domestic crisis in Iran have senior policy managers concerned that things could get out of control quickly.
Filmmaker Masoud Kimiai, likely the most prominent film industry icon in the country, has been slapped with a travel ban for supporting the protest movement.
Iran-backed militia in Syria reportedly evacuated their camps and hid in the countryside after aircraft sorties occurred over areas held by both regime forces and Iranian militias.
The suicide bombing on the Mosque yesterday has officially accounted for 63 killed and over 150 injured. It is still not clear who was responsible for the attack.
The Interior Minister announced that prior efforts to resettle and rehabilitate TTP militants were ineffective and the government has now adopted a firm policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and extremism. The mood in Islamabad is described as ‘dark’ and ‘vengeful’.
Pakistani police killed a man suspected of killing 2 ISI intelligence officers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 3 January. Pakistani authorities said Umar Niazi was attempting to slip across the border to Afghanistan when they confronted him. He died from wounds sustained in the gunfight.
By Junaid Kathju - NBC News
“From the weapons and equipment that we recovered, we realized that there was a spillover of high-tech weapons, night-vision devices and equipment, which were left by the Americans in Afghanistan [and] were now finding their way toward this side,” Maj. Gen. Ajay Chandpuria, an Indian army official, was quoted as saying by Indian media last year.
By Manoj Gupta - News 18
Senior Taliban functionaries are considering deposing supreme leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, top sources in Afghanistan said, as mounting frustration on…
By Devvrat Pandey - India Today
From a US-backed elected government to a hardliner Taliban regime, Afghanistan has witnessed a sea of changes in its administration and…
By Bibi Amina Hakimi - TOLO News
The retirees said that they have not received their pensions for the past two…
The toll from the deadly suicide bombing inside a crowded mosque inside Police Lines compound in Peshawar rose to…
By The New Arab
Abdul Mutalib Haqqani, the Taliban spokesperson for the movement's ministry of refugees and repatriation, told Saudi-based Arab News they have voiced concerns about…
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) award-winning programming is now available 24 hours a day for millions of Afghan listeners who have come to rely on the broadcaster in the…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan is facing one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, with more than half of its 38 million population facing hunger and nearly four million…
By Margaret Besheer - VOA
The U.N. humanitarian chief said Monday that he is awaiting a list of guidelines from Taliban authorities to allow Afghan…
THE DAILY WTF
Afghan girls who graduated from high school have criticized the Taliban’s decision to suspend the enrollment of female…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 89.15 AFN (as of 31 JAN 2023)