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Daily Evacuation Brief | March 19, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
COUNTER-TERRORISM OPERATION IN MAZAR-I-SHARIF TARGETS ISIS-K SAFEHOUSES – The Taliban claim to have targeted three ISIS-K hideouts in the recent security operations that rocked the capital of Balkh Province on Friday and early Saturday. Unconfirmed reports say that 5 ISIS-K fighters (in total) were killed and that Ustad Qais, a reputed senior commander of the terror group, was among the dead. The operations focused on houses in Police Districts 5, 6, and 8. 1 Taliban was reportedly wounded in the operations. Sources say that some of the ISIS-K members killed were Tajikistan and Uzbekistan nationals. Ammunition, weapons, and bomb-making materials were seized as well as several communication devices that were reportedly intact and contained information about the ISIS-K network in Afghanistan and also in Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. There are also unconfirmed reports of multiple non-combatant casualties that resulted from the six-hour melee. No further information was available.
PAKISTAN DRAMA – Former PM Imran Khan traveled to Islamabad to appear before a court in the Judicial Complex on Saturday. Before he arrived, Police and the former PM’s supporters had already clashed and tear gas was used by both sides in the streets surrounding the Judicial Complex. A judge allowed the former PM to sign an appearance form from his vehicle over fears that violence could escalate was he to enter the court physically. In Lahore, Police arrested over 60 PTI supporters and recovered several weapons when they entered the grounds of the former PM’s home. Police say they did not enter his residence at any time but Khan has disputed this account on Twitter. Those arrested stand accused of participating in the violence that took place on 15 March when Police attempted to serve the former PM with an arrest warrant. There have been some injuries reported from both the scuffle in Lahore and Islamabad but an accurate account was unavailable. The former PM returned to Lahore and is said to be preparing for a possible PTI gathering today.
MILD EARTHQUAKES REPORTED IN TAKHAR AND BADAKHSHAN – A 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook homes in Taloqan but no damage or casualties were reported. Shortly afterward, a 4.3 magnitude earthquake rattled windows in Fayzabad and no damage was reported from the subsequent quake.
TALIBAN BANS HEMP CULTIVATION – A nationwide ban on the growing of hemp was announced on Saturday. It is believed the ban will negatively impact nearly 100,000 people who rely on the crop for subsistence. Although an alternative crop was mentioned, the Taliban’s spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture did not give details.
NEXT 24 HOURS
ADDITIONAL COUNTER-ISIS-K OPERATIONS COULD TAKE PLACE – As witnessed in earlier successful counter-ISIS-K, Taliban security forces often launch follow-up operations based on intelligence gleaned from a successful operation. On several occasions, the subsequent operations occurred in distant Provinces. At-risk Afghans in Balkh and elsewhere should anticipate potential violent raids of suspected ISIS-K strongholds over the coming days.
LAHORE PTI RALLY COULD GO AHEAD, VIOLENCE POSSIBLE – While the Lahore High Court banned PTI from holding their rally today at Minar-e-Pakistan, the recent events surrounding former PM Khan could cause the leadership of the party to ignore the ban and the rally may go ahead as scheduled. Local eyewitnesses in Lahore say the city is in a ‘foul’ mood and that several PTI supporters continue to camp out around the city in anticipation of the event. Police have recalled many officers who were on leave and supporting units may have arrived from Islamabad overnight. Should the rally take place, a clash between police and PTI supporters is probable. At-risk Afghans in Lahore are advised to avoid the Minar-e-Pakistan area and to maintain distance from both groups of police and/or PTI supporters today.
The joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman between China, Russia, and Iran concluded on Saturday.
Iranians prepare to celebrate Nowruz across the country as many religious and political leaders call for calm during the holiday.
The regime sentenced 2 people accused of being involved in the Shiraz shrine attack.
Police say that criminal gangs have increased their activities across the country after a short respite while counter-terror operations had netted many criminals over the past five weeks.
3 reputed terrorists were said to have been killed by security forces in a counter-terrorism operation conducted in Balochistan on Saturday. The operation took place in the Awaran District.
8 people were killed in the Awaran District when their car was swept away in a flood on Saturday. Officials directed the national weather service to issue travel advisories due to heavy rains and snow melt.
By Kabir Taneja - Observer Research Foundation
The Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan is a new geopolitical reality that the world is still grappling with. Over the past year, the Taliban has continued its quest for diplomatic recognition with varying degrees of success. While most countries have shied away from affording the group any status of political normalcy, others such as Iran, Russia, and China, pushed by new challenges to the global order, have engaged with the group with more fervour and pragmaticism as the Ukraine Crisis split traditional diplomatic arrangements down the middle.
By Nizamuddin Rezahi - Khaama Press
Mr. Mujahid on Saturday wrote on Twitter that Taliban security forces launched special operations against the ISIS militants in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital city of…
By Mohammad Farshad Daryosh - TOLO News
In response to the new UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution concerning the call for an “independent assessment to address the…
By Ariana News
The Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) says the Islamic Emirate is committed to supporting journalists and that efforts have already begun to…
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
During the operation, at least ten workers from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf were injured, and over 30 were arrested, news agency…
By Hasrat - Pajhwok Afghan News
The Afghan and Pakistani authorities have agreed to open bus service between the two countries, according to Pakistani media…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
Pope Francis met hundreds of refugees on Saturday as he sought to promote legal migration routes to Europe as an alternative to smuggling operations that…
By Thanh Tan - Crosscut
In the days immediately following the fall of Kabul in 2021, as thousands of Afghans fled, the world was mortified by what they saw on…
THE DAILY WTF
By Holly Bancroft - The Independent
Desperate Afghans in hiding from the Taliban have been told they can come to safety in Britain only if their documents are…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 87.46 AFN (as of 19 MAR 2023)