Taliban accuses Washington of breaching peace deal after US military conducts ‘defensive’ airstrikes on militants
The Taliban has accused the US of violating the landmark Doha agreement which envisions the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. The Pentagon, however, claimed the strikes came in response to a new Taliban offensive.
The militant group bemoaned “excessive” airstrikes on Sunday, warning the US of potential consequences if the hostilities continue.
“American forces have violated the Doha agreement in various forms by carrying out excessive airstrikes following the new developments in Helmand province,” Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi said in a statement.
Responsibility and consequences from continuation of such actions shall fall squarely on the shoulders of the American side.
Earlier this week, the Taliban launched a major offensive against Afghan government forces in the southern province of Helmand in an apparent attempt to capture its capital. The offensive invoked a response from the US-led coalition forces who launched airstrikes against the Taliban militants in an attempt to help the country’s government troops.
Despite the angry rhetoric of the Taliban, the US military did not seem to be ready to back down. Responding to the group’s complaints, spokesman for the US forces Colonel Sonny Leggett claimed the airstrikes did not actually breach the Doha agreement and are “consistent” with it.
“US airstrikes in Helmand and Farah have been and continue to be solely in defense of the ANDSF as they are being attacked by the Taliban,” Leggett tweeted, urging all the sides of the decades-long war to “reduce violence.”
The agreement between the Taliban and the US was signed in February this year in Doha, Qatar. The deal envisioned the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan, while the Taliban pledged to engage in talks with the country’s government to reach a peaceful settlement to the lengthy war.
The intra-Afghanistan talks kicked off in Doha last month. N
Pakistan blast: At least seven dead in Peshawar school attack
At least seven people have died after an explosion during a class at a religious school in Pakistan, police have said.
Children of various age groups are among the dead, an officer at the scene told the BBC.
Dozens of others were injured in the attack, which took place in the northern city of Peshawar.
No group has yet claimed responsibility. An investigation has been launched.
The city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.
Six years ago, gunmen stormed a military school in the city leaving more than 150 dead, including many children.
The blast took place at about 08:30 local time (03:30 GMT), police told the BBC.
About 60 people are understood to have been in the class at the religious school, known as a madrassa.
An eyewitness has told the police he saw a man enter the building with a bag of explosives shortly before the blast.
news agency that two teachers were injured.
Hospital officials told Reuters news agency that they had received dozens of injured, many with burns.
Duterte seeks best Covid vaccine deal but ‘will not beg’ or allow private suppliers to rip off Philippines
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would pursue a direct government-to-government deal for a coronavirus vaccine with either China or Russia, warning that ‘corrupt’ private suppliers could try to swindle his country.
“Let me tell everybody that we will not beg, we will pay,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday night, adding that while Manila is not seeking charity it also aims to sign a direct government-to-government deal without intermediaries.
The president did not indicate the status of vaccine negotiations with Beijing or Moscow, saying he merely mentioned the two countries as possible sources out of a “sense of urgency,” and that “all options” were still on the table.
The one that could give us the best interest for the country will be chosen.
Duterte stressed the need to obtain an inoculation directly from a friendly foreign state, rather than a private business, warning that such transactions could only bring “trouble” and that a government deal would mean “no corruption.”
Under its proposed national budget for 2021, Manila will devote some 2.5 billion Philippine pesos ($51.6 million) to vaccine procurement, which Duterte said would be overseen by Finance Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III.
“Since he is going to pay, I will listen to Sonny. If there are no funds, he will go to jail,” the president said, apparently threatening prison time for a member of his own cabinet.
Duterte previously torched Western pharma firms developing coronavirus immunizations, saying they were “all about profit,” pointing to some companies who asked for a “cash advance before they deliver the vaccine.” The leader gave a stern warning to any company who offered similar proposals, vowing “I’ll kick your a**.”
Though the president has offered to be the first in his country to take the jab developed in Russia, Sputnik V, it is not clear whether such an arrangement has been made. However, Moscow’s ambassador to the island nation, Igor Khovaev, recently stated the jab could be available to the Philippines by the end of the year.
Think your f
At least 7 killed, 70 wounded after bomb goes off at religious school in Pakistan – hospital official
At least seven people were killed and more than 70 wounded in an explosion inside a seminary in northern Pakistan on Tuesday morning. Children are among the victims.
The blast took place in Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Senior police official Wagar Azim told AFP that a bomb brought inside the Speen Jammat mosque, which also functions as a religious school for local children, went off in the middle of Quran studi
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