Daily Evacuation Brief | March 3, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
TTP TARGETED IN AFGHANISTAN – A blast, reportedly from an IED, occurred in Khost Province on Thursday. Multiple sources said that at least 6 TTP personnel were killed and another 15 were wounded. No details have emerged about the location of the incident but several senior Commanders were among the dead and wounded. While no group has claimed credit for the attack, suspicion has fallen upon Pakistan’s intelligence service. The timing of the attack suggests Pakistan may have decided to act on threats to carry the terrorism fight into Afghanistan. Based on the identities of those confirmed to have been targeted, it seems clear the TTP has an internal security problem. To achieve such dramatic results, it is feasible to assume that planners have access to TTP schedules and locational information. The development puts the Afghan Taliban in a difficult position with regard to the TTP. If Pakistan is confirmed to have been behind the attack, Kabul will be prodded to take some form of reciprocal action to demonstrate their sovereign rule and head off a potential mutiny of between 5,000 and 7,500 fighters.
DUTCH SEISMOLOGIST WHO PREDICTED TURKEY QUAKE REPEATS WARNING OF MAJOR ‘EVENT’ IN EARLY MARCH – Frank Hoogerbeets, a seismologist in the Netherlands who accurately predicted the devastating quake in Turkey and Syria has issued a new warning of a potential 8+ magnitude earthquake could strike Asia and the Pacific. He says that planetary geometry between the 2nd and 5th of March could result in a mega-thrust earthquake anytime between 3-7 March. Mr. Hoogerbeets has issued several warnings in the past, including a warning for Afghanistan/Pakistan after the Turkey quake. Many of his warnings were false alarms. Elevating concerns, a 4.1 magnitude earthquake was reported in Badakhshan on Thursday. No damage or casualties have been reported from this event.
SALANG PASS CLOSED TO HEAVY TRUCKS FOR SNOW – Heavy snowfall on Thursday forced the closure of the road for commercial traffic. Work crews were attempting to clear the accumulation but have been hampered by maintenance issues and a reported lack of fuel. Private vehicles were still allowed to travel but many have run off the road and are mired in deep drifts.
FORMER AFGHAN SECURITY OFFICIAL EXECUTED IN PAKTIKA – Badr al-Din Haidari, a former soldier and police commander in the Province was placed on trial and was summarily executed after having been arrested three days earlier. He had initially fled to Pakistan but returned under the general amnesty program the Taliban claim to have put in place.
TALIBAN AGRICULTURE CHIEF IN PANJSHIR ARRESTED – Qari Mujib, the head of the provincial agriculture department was reportedly arrested over ties with ISIS-K. His arrest follows the detention of Mawlawi Rashid in Badakhshan who was the head of the provincial culture department. Both men are accused of collaborating with ISIS-K.
NEXT 24 HOURS
THE BOMBING ATTACK IN KHOST COULD STIR UP TROUBLE – It is not clear what actions Kabul may take in response to the operational strike on senior TTP leaders in Khost Province on Thursday. Taliban leaders may have a grace period as information continues to arrive over the attack, but if consensus over Pakistan’s potential involvement is reached, they may respond in any number of ways. While a direct military confrontation seems unlikely, it is possible that other punitive measures could be taken (e.g. expelling Pakistan’s diplomatic and consular staff, closing borders, etc). A key indicator that action may be imminent will be if the IEA’s Foreign Ministry calls Pakistan’s senior diplomat on the carpet or, if Afghanistan’s envoy in Islamabad may deliver a demarche to the Pakistani Foreign Minister. Alternatively, the incident could simply be ignored which may provoke a reaction by the TTP in Afghanistan. At the very least, the brazen attack will likely make all of Pakistan’s diplomatic and consular facilities in Afghanistan priority targets for the TTP. At-risk Afghans are encouraged to avoid these facilities for the next few days.
The US sanctioned nearly 30 Chinese firms for doing business with Iran’s military.
Several videos and photos have begun to emerge of the female students who have reportedly been poisoned. The evidence shows large emergency service responses to schools. In most reported cases, the poisoning agents were said to be inhaled by the students..
US and UK naval vessels apprehended an Iranian ship bound for Yemen with anti-tank missile components. In a joint announcement, the US and UK said the operation took place at the end of February.
National economists announced the trade deficit shrunk by over 30% in the past 8 months. However, the good news was tempered by the latest inflation figures which had risen to 31.5%. The rupee fell against the dollar after a brief rally last week.
The Prime Minister met with military leadership to discuss internal security matters and get an update on the counter-terror operations.
Bloomberg News reported that Pakistan must repay $7 billion in debt (including a $2 billion Chinese loan coming due) by June to secure the release of the IMF bailout program.
The Norwegian Refugee Council met with Tajik officials to discuss opening several Afghan refugee camps in the country. It was not clear if a decision had been made.
Russia announced a spate of upcoming visits after the US Secretary of State’s trip to the region infuriated Moscow. The Russian Prime Minister announced an upcoming visit and several trade deals were announced.
In Their Own Words: Civil Society’s Fight to Deny Taliban Legitimacy in Afghanistan
By Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
The strength and determination of the people of Afghanistan cannot be overstated. The Taliban’s illegitimate and violent assumption of power has created a hostile environment for women and girls, human-rights activists, journalists and those who dare to advocate for freedom and dignity. In an attempt to suppress civil society and dissent among the population, the Taliban has committed repeated human-rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests, torture and savage beatings. Yet in the face of this upheaval, the people of Afghanistan have relentlessly challenged the Taliban’s totalitarian regime. The group’s attempts to intimidate and eliminate political opponents as well as to silence Afghanistan’s diverse civil society have, by and large, failed. Prior to the Taliban takeover in August 2021, the emergence of a vibrant, diverse and active civil society had become a symbol of the country’s achievements over the past 20 years. During the past year of Taliban rule, however, much of that progress has been reversed, with people now living in constant fear or being forced to escape. Despite these odds, Afghanistan’s active civil society has managed to oppose the Taliban’s harsh policies and expose the regime’s crimes to the international community.
Six TTP terrorists including prominent commander killed in Afghanistan IED blast
By Samaa Web Desk
At least six terrorists of Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) including an important commander were killed and 15 others were injured in an…
In Kabul, lack of transparency alleged in aid distribution
By Afsana Haidari - Pajhwok Afghan News
A number of destitute people in Kabul are complaining about a lack of transparency in the distribution of aid and claim mostly undeserving individuals are given the…
IEA supreme leader meets with scholars and security ministers
By Ariana News
The leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlavi Hibatullah Akhundzada, has met with a number of scholars from Kandahar, Kabul, Kapisa, Baghlan, Faryab, Khost and…
India, China ties are abnormal, need to discuss border tensions openly: Indian Foreign Minister
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
On the side of the G20, Foreign Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated on Thursday that his discussions with his counterpart Qin Gang at their initial meeting focused on…
Afghan diplomats return to Turkey and Iran as Taliban pushes for relations thaw
By Ali M. Latifi - Middle East Eye
Earlier this week, Afghanistan’s Taliban government officially sent its representatives to the country's embassy in Tehran and its consulate in…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
An Afghan family’s dream ends in migrant shipwreck tragedy
By AMU TV
The wooden sailboat had been carrying around 200 migrants, many of whom were from Afghanistan when it crashed onto rocks in rough seas. So far close to 70 bodies…
Ned Price: Islamic Emirate Has Not Fulfilled Doha Agreement
By Fateema Adeeb - TOLO News
Ned Price in a press conference said that Islamic Emirate has not “fulfilled the Doha Agreement” in terms of engaging in political dialogue…
THE DAILY WTF
Violence against Journalists down by 14%, in Afghanistan
By Bakhtar News Agency
The Federation of Journalists and Reporters of Afghanistan held a conference, attended by a number of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and members of…
How many journalists are left? - TAD STAFF
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 88.81 AFN (as of 3 MAR 2023)