Taliban, US brace for more ISIS attacks after carnage at Kabul airport

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August 27, 2021

Kabul, Aug 27: US forces helping to evacuate Afghans desperate to flee Taliban rule braced for more attacks on Friday after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed around 90 people, including 13 US soldiers outside the gates of Kabul airport.

Two blasts and gunfire rocked the area outside the airport on Thursday evening, witnesses said. Video shot by Afghan journalists showed dozens of bodies strewn around a canal on the edge of the airport.

A health official and a Taliban official said the toll of Afghans killed had risen to 72, including 28 Taliban members. The US military said 13 of its service members were killed.

Islamic State (ISIS), an enemy of the Taliban as well as the West, said one of its suicide bombers targeted "translators and collaborators with the American army". US officials also blamed the group and vowed retribution.

General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said US commanders were on alert for more attacks by Islamic State, including possibly rockets or vehicle-borne bombs targeting the airport.

"We're doing everything we can to be prepared," he said, adding that some intelligence was being shared with the Taliban and that he believed "some attacks have been thwarted by them."

US forces are racing to complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan by an Aug. 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden, who says the United States had long ago achieved its original rationale for invading the country in 2001: to root out al Qaeda militants and prevent a repeat of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

Biden said he had ordered the Pentagon to plan how to strike ISIS-K, the Islamic State affiliate that claimed responsibility.

"We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay," Biden said during televised comments from the White House.

Video taken in the aftermath of the attack showed corpses in a waste water canal by the airport fence, some being fished out and laid in heaps while wailing civilians searched for loved ones.

"I saw bodies and body parts flying in the air like a tornado blowing plastic bags," said one Afghan witness. "That little water flowing in the sewage canal had turned into blood."
Zubair, a 24 year-old civil engineer, said he was close to a suicide bomber who detonated explosives.

"Men, women and children were screaming. I saw many injured people – men, women and children – being loaded into private vehicles and taken toward the hospitals," he said.

'Chaotic Evacuation'

A US Central Command spokesperson said 18 soldiers wounded in the attack were "in the process of being aeromedically evacuated from Afghanistan on specially equipped C-17s with embarked surgical units".

A Taliban official lamented the number of Taliban members killed in the ISIS attack.

"We have lost more people than the Americans in the airport blast," a Taliban official said, adding that the Taliban was "not responsible for the chaotic evacuation plan prepared by foreign nations".

A NATO country diplomat in Kabul said all foreign forces were aiming to evacuate their citizens and embassy employees by Aug. 30.

The Taliban would tighten security around the airport, said the diplomat who declined to be identified.

"Security is their responsibility," the diplomat said, adding that the Taliban should investigate the Islamic State network.

Western countries fear that the Taliban, who once sheltered Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, will allow Afghanistan to turn again into a haven for militants. The Taliban say they will not let the country be used by terrorists.

ISIS-K was initially confined to areas on the border with Pakistan but has established a second front in the north of the country. The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point says ISIS-K includes Pakistanis from other militant groups and Uzbek extremists in addition to Afghans.

Airlift Continues

The United States would press on with evacuations despite the threat of further attacks, McKenzie said, noting that there were still about round 1,000 US citizens in Afghanistan.

The pace of evacuation flights had accelerated on Friday and American passport holders had been allowed to enter the airport compound, said a Western security official stationed inside the airport.

In the past 12 days, Western countries have evacuated nearly 100,000 people. But they acknowledge that thousands will be left behind when the last US troops leave at the end of the month.

Several Western countries said the mass airlift of civilians was coming to an end and announced their last remaining troops had left the country.

The American casualties in Thursday's attack were believed to be the most US troops killed in Afghanistan in a single incident since 30 personnel died when a helicopter was shot down in 2011.

The US deaths were the first in action in Afghanistan in 18 months, a fact likely to be cited by critics who accuse Biden of recklessly abandoning a stable and hard-won status quo by ordering an abrupt pullout.

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November 16,2021

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Mangaluru, Nov 16: Six persons have been arrested in connection with an immoral policing case in the Surathkal town of Dakshina Kannada district, police said on Tuesday. 

The incident happened on last night, said the police, and the arrested persons have been identified as Prahlad, Prashanth, Guruprasad, Prateesh, Bharath and Sukesh. 

They are accused of offences punishable under Sections 354, 354 (D), 153 A, 341, 143, 147, 148, 323, 504, 506 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code. 

All the accused are said to be supporters or activists of a saffron outfit.

M Yasin, BSc student of Mukka Srinivas college and his classmate, girl student belonging to another religion, were the victims.

Police said that Yasin was dropping the girl on his bike to her apartment as per her request at 10 p.m. 

The miscreants, who spotted them near the apartment, stopped them and inquired about the boy’s name, and assaulted him for dropping the girl. They also threatened the girl and touched her inappropriately while assaulting Yasin.

The victim later lodged a complaint against the accused persons. The police are investigating the matter.

Incidentally, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai while answering a question on rising cases of immoral policing in Dakshina Kannada had stated that the responsibility lies with both parties and when sentiments are hurt there will be action and reactions.

The statement was condemned and various organisations and thinkers said Bommai’s neutral comments would encourage those indulging in moral policing.

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News Network
November 26,2021

Chikkaballapur, Nov 26: A 28-year-old man died after coming in contact with the electric fence of a tomato farm in Charakamattenahalli, Gauribidanur taluk of Chikkaballapur district. Hours later, the angry kin of the deceased youth beat the farm owner to death with wooden logs.

With tomato prices more than doubling and fetching Rs 200 per kg in auctions, the farm owner, Aswath Rao, 47, had erected an electric fence to protect his crop.
  
Cowherd Vasanth Rao from the same village was electrocuted when he came in contact with the fence on Wednesday night. As the news of Vasanth’s death spread on Thursday morning, his angry relatives rushed to the tomato farm where Aswath was resting. 

The mob attacked him and caused him grievous injuries. Other villagers rushed Aswath to hospital, where he succumbed.

Chikkaballapur SP GK Mithun Kumar said Aswath had grown tomato on his one-acre land. Police sources said amid the rising tomato prices, growers in the district also have to contend with robbers who steal the fruits.

Mithun Kumar, however, said it was illegal to erect a live electric fence around farmlands. He has asked Bescom authorities to take steps to prevent people from resorting to such steps as it could result in loss of not only lives but also cattle heads.

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News Network
November 19,2021

Lucknow, Nov 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the previous regimes had 'looted' Uttar Pradesh, even as he sought to woo Muslim women by referring to the law against triple talaq.

In his first public meeting at Mahoba, after announcing scrapping of the three farm laws, Modi made no reference to them but listed the measures initiated by the government for the benefit of the farmers.

"They (opposition regimes) never got tired of looting UP and we never get tired of working for the development of the state," the prime minister told the crowd after inaugurating several developmental projects at Mahoba.

Modi said that he had promised to the Muslim women of Mahoba a few years back that the government would scrap the menace of triple talaq. "The promise has been fulfilled," he added.

He said that the natural resources of the Bundelkhand region had been handed over to the mafia elements by the previous governments. "Now when the mafia elements are being bulldozed their sympathisers are feeling the pain," he said.

The prime minister said that his government had taken several steps for the welfare of the farmers. "Rs 1.62 lakh crore has been sent directly into the accounts of the farmers through the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi," he added.

Modi also said that the government had initiated several measures to prevent migration from the arid Bundelkhand region.

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