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Daily Evacuation Brief | March 23, 2023
May the Spirit of Ramadan stay in our hearts and illuminate our souls from within.
LAST 24 HOURS
KABUL RAID TARGETS ISIS-K HIDEOUT, 3 DEAD – A night operation by the Taliban security forces targeted an ISIS-K safe house and resulted in the deaths of 3 ISIS-K leaders. The Taliban said the men were planning an attack(s) during the month of Ramadan. It is not clear what transpired and the location of the operation has been kept quiet.
NEW GOVERNOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK APPOINTED – The Finance Minister, Hidayatullah Badri, has been placed in charge of the Da Afghanistan Bank. His appointment has raised some questions among analysts and observers who say he is close to the Minister of Defense, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, and has expressed sympathies with those among the Taliban who are looking to chart a more inclusive way forward for the country. It is not clear what led to the removal of Mohammad Idris, the former Governor of the bank.
MINISTRY OF VICE AND VIRTUE FORBID INSULTS IN FARYAB – Checkpoints in Faryab have been established and members of the local Vice and Virtue Department have been stopping vehicles to remind drivers and passengers that public insults are akin to killing someone. It is believed the Ministry intends to set up similar drives in other Provinces throughout the month of Ramadan.
BADAKHSHAN REPORTS MAJORITY OF DAMAGE FROM EARTHQUAKE – Between 50-100 buildings have been severely damaged in the Province after Tuesday’s earthquake. Most of the damage occurred in Faizabad and involved roofs and walls collapsing. Water and sewage systems in the city were damaged and local health workers are concerned about a potential cholera outbreak.
NEXT 24 HOURS
RAMADAN – It seems analysts and others following events in Afghanistan are split over what will happen during Ramadan in Afghanistan. Some say the month will pass quietly while others contend that ISIS will adhere to historic norms and become particularly active across the country. A source in the Ministry of Defense maintains that the Taliban leadership has been preparing for stepped-up ISIS attacks for the past four months and pointed to the many recent clearing operations across the country as evidence. The source said that ISIS-K is known to have received a large shipment of cash that had been brought across the border from Pakistan in late December. The source said the general thinking among many in the Ministry of the Interior was that the funds were going to be used for a bout of attacks during Ramadan. The Taliban has experienced success with several of its counter-ISIS operations but it is not clear if these operations have degraded ISIS-K capabilities and there is concern among senior Taliban leaders that disaffected Taliban and Resistance members have joined the group in recent months. Internationally, ISIS has suffered many setbacks over 2022 and Afghanistan is one of the few places they have been able to operate nearly at will and have pulled off some high-profile attacks. At-risk Afghans should remain vigilant and recognize that traditional targets of ISIS-K (e.g. Shiite religious sites) could be attacked.
EARTHQUAKES CONTINUE TO RATTLE THE REGION – After Tuesday’s earthquake, Iran and Tajikistan both experienced moderate quakes between 5.1 and 6.2 magnitudes. There are concerns that a major earthquake could still hit the region. At-risk Afghans should be aware that Tuesday’s quake, while not as deadly as many first feared, likely caused internal damage to structures, especially load-bearing walls, floors, and roofs. A second quake of a similar or greater magnitude could cause these structures to collapse. At-risk Afghans should take appropriate actions at the first hint of an earthquake and local emergency managers in the region to advise people to not stay inside multi-floor buildings if tremors begin to be felt. We also recommend individuals/families keep a ‘go-bag’ at hand with important documents, some food, medications, bottled water, etc.
A 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck Northern Iran. The epicenter was reported to be approximately 60 km from the city of Gorgan. No reports of casualties have been received.
A US Judge ordered Iran’s Central Bank to pay out $1.68 billion to family members of troops killed in the Beirut bombing in 1983.
Israel officials again warned that air strikes would be triggered if Iran’s enrichment process achieves weapons-grade capacity.
Elections scheduled to take place in Punjab Province at the end of April have been rescheduled for October by the national election commission. Security was given as the primary reason for the postponement. The former PM’s party has rejected the decision.
Court holds ground against the Federal Investigation Agency which had asked it to cancel former PM Khan’s bail.
The official death toll from the recent earthquake stood at 12 as of publication time. Most expected the number to rise over the coming days.
A strong earthquake struck overnight near Khujand. There are varying estimates of the magnitude of the quake but it appears to be at least 5.9 and some damage has been reported so far.
Both governments of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are seeking to dispel a rash of rumors that have erupted among communities along their joint border. Some social media accounts were spreading rumors that a cross-border clash had taken place, but both governments have jointly denied any security issues.
SPOTLIGHT GENDER/EDUCATION (video)
Christiane Amanpour speaks with one Afghan girl inside Afghanistan, who is still being denied her right to education by the Taliban. "Today my heart really felt broken," she tells CNN.
By Fatima - Pajhwok Afghan News
Some people have complained against growing migration related fraud saying thousands of their dollars were embezzled on the bases of fake promises agents and…
By Al Arabiya
An overnight raid by Taliban forces in Afghanistan’s capital killed three members of ISIS, a Taliban spokesman said on…
By The New Arab
Badri, who acted as the Taliban's finance minister and oversaw budgets after they regained power in 2021, had already taken up his new role, finance ministry…
An earthquake of 6.5-magnitude shook and damaged buildings, triggered landslides and sent people running into the streets, BBC Urdu…
By Ariana News
Mawlavi Mohammad Yaqub Mujahid, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Minister of National Defense met on Wednesday with Abdulaziz Kamilov, the…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Al Jazeera
The United Kingdom has officially launched an independent inquiry into allegations that British armed forces carried out dozens of…
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers on Wednesday that the State Department has been putting together a review of the…
THE DAILY WTF
By Kent Masing - International Business Times
Some Taliban members secretly send their daughters to underground schools in Afghanistan or to foreign schools to continue their studies after the…
“Do as I say, not as I do!” TAD Staff
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 87.04 AFN (as of 23 MAR 2023)