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US plan to leave Afghanistan “risks civil war” – BBC News



President Biden’s plan to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September 2021 “could lead to civil war”. That’s the warning from one of the country’s …

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Bomb Kills At Least 25 Near Girls’ School In Afghanistan Capital


KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A bomb exploded near a girl’s school in a majority Shiite district of west Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 25 people, many them young pupils between 11 and 15 years old, Afghan government spokesmen said. The Taliban condemned the attack apparently aimed at civilians, and denied any responsibility.

Ambulances were rushing to evacuate wounded from the scene of the blast near Syed Al-Shahda school, in the Shiite majority neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said.

Residents in the area said the explosion was deafening. One, Naser Rahimi, told The Associated Press he heard three separate explosions, although there was no official confirmation of multiple blasts. Rahimi also said he believed that the sheer power of the explosion meant the death toll would almost certainly climb.

Afghan school students are treated at a hospital after a bomb explosion near a school in west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday



Afghan school students are treated at a hospital after a bomb explosion near a school in west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

While no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, previous brutal attacks in the same neighborhood have been claimed by the Afghan Islamic State affiliate.

The radical Sunni Muslim group has declared war on Afghanistan’s minority Shiite Muslims. Washington blamed IS for a vicious attack last year in a maternity hospital in the same area that killed pregnant women and newborn babies.

In Dasht-e-Barchi, angry crowds attacked the ambulances and even beat health workers as they tried to evacuate the wounded, Health Ministry spokesman Ghulam Dastigar Nazari said. He implored residents to cooperate and allow ambulances free access to the site.

Images circulating on social media purportedly showed bloodied school backpacks and books strewn across the street in front if the school, and smoke rising above the neighborhood.

At one nearby hospital, Associated Press journalists saw at least 20 dead bodies lined up in hallways and rooms, with dozens of wounded people and families of victims pressing through the facility.

Outside the Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hospital, dozens of people lined up to donate blood, while family members checked casualty posted lists on the walls.

Both Arian and Nazari said that at least 50 people were also wounded, and that the casualty toll could rise. The attack occurred just as the fasting day came to an end.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters in a message that only the Islamic State group could be responsible for such a heinous crime. Mujahid also accused Afghanistan’s intelligence agency of being complicit with IS, although he offered no evidence.

Afghan men try to identify the dead bodies at a hospital after a bomb explosion near a school west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sat



Afghan men try to identify the dead bodies at a hospital after a bomb explosion near a school west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

The Taliban and the Afghan government have traded accusations over a series of targeted killings of civil society workers, journalists and Afghan professionals. While IS has taken responsibility for some of those killings, many have gone unclaimed.

IS has previously claimed attacks against minority Shiites in the same area, last year claiming two brutal attacks on education facilities that killed 50 people, most of them students.

Even as the IS has been degraded in Afghanistan, according to government and US officials, it has stepped-up its attacks particularly against Shiite Muslims and women workers.

Earlier the group took responsibility for the targeted killing of three women media personnel in eastern Afghanistan.

The attack comes days after the remaining 2,500 to 3,500 American troops officially began leaving the country. They will be out by Sept. 11 at the latest. The pullout comes amid a resurgent Taliban, who control or hold sway over half of Afghanistan.

The top U.S. military officer said Sunday that Afghan government forces face an uncertain future and possibly some “bad possible outcomes” against Taliban insurgents as the withdrawal accelerates in the coming weeks.

Associated Press Photographer Rahmat Gull and Kathy Gannon in Islamabad, Pakistan contributed to this report



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How to build a kamra-e-faoree (Afghan box camera)



The Afghan Box Camera Project provides a record of the kamra-e-faoree (instant camera) which as a living form of photography is on the brink of disappearing in Afghanistan.

In this video Manawar Shah, a young carpenter in Kabul, is building a kamra-e-faoree.

See the How to use a kamra-e-faoree video here: https://vimeo.com/32748604.

For more information and videos and a downloadable instruction manual on how to build an Afghan box camera visit http://www.afghanboxcamera.com

You can also find us on Facebook facebook.com/pages/Afghan-Box-Camera-Project/129532640494753.

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How to use an Afghan box camera “kamra-e-faoree”



The Afghan Box Camera Project provides a record of the kamra-e-faoree (instant camera) which as a living form of photography is on the brink of disappearing in Afghanistan.

In this video, Qalam Nabi, one of the last two remaining box camera photographers in Kabul demonstrates how to use his camera.

See the How to build a kamra-e-faoree video here: https://vimeo.com/62946374.

For more information and videos and a downloadable instruction manual on how to build an Afghan box camera visit http://www.afghanboxcamera.com

A project brochure can be downloaded at http://www.afghanboxcamera.com/book/ABCP_Brochure.pdf

You can also find us on Facebook facebook.com/pages/Afghan-Box-Camera-Project/129532640494753.

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Large Car Bomb Kills 9 In Afghanistan’s Capital, Official Says


KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A car bomb blast that rocked Afghanistan’s capital Sunday morning killed at least nine people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry.

Interior Minister Masoud Andarabi told reporters at the site of the attack that the attack wounded around 20 others, including a member of parliament, Khan Mohammad Wardak. Andarabi said the lawmaker was in “good condition.”

The interior minister added that the casualty toll could rise further.

The attack happened while the lawmaker’s convey was passing through an intersection in Kabul’s Khoshal Khan neighborhood. The blast set afire surrounding civilian vehicles, as well as damaging nearby buildings and shops.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a statement condemning the attack, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that the Taliban should stop violence against civilians and accept a ceasefire, to facilitate the current peace process.

Ghani’s statement did not directly lay blame on the Taliban for the car bombing or offer evidence that the group was responsible for it.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in the capital of Kabul in recent months, including on educational institutions that killed 50 people, most of them students.

IS also claimed responsibility for Saturday’s rocket attacks at the major U.S. base in Afghanistan. There were no casualties in that assault, according to NATO and provincial officials.

People gather near the site of a deadly bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)



People gather near the site of a deadly bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

A NATO official confirmed the attack and said initial reports indicated that the airfield was not damaged.

In another report from the southern Helmand province, the Afghan Defense Ministry in a statement confirmed that a suicide car bomber tried to attack an army checkpoint, but was identified and shot by soldiers.

Two soldiers were slightly wounded in the attempted assault in Nawa district, the ministry said.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack in Helmand.

Violence in Afghanistan has spiked even as the Taliban and Afghan government negotiators hold talks in Qatar, trying to hammer out a peace deal that could put an end to decades of war. At the same time, the Taliban have waged bitter battles against IS fighters, particularly in eastern Afghanistan, while continuing their insurgency against government forces.

Earlier this week, U.S. Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, held an unannounced meeting with Taliban leaders in Doha to discuss military aspects of last February’s U.S.-Taliban agreement.

The agreement, signed in Qatar where the Taliban maintain a political office, was intended to set the stage for direct peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

After talks with the Taliban, Milley flew to Kabul to consult with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. He said he emphasized to both parties the need to rapidly reduce levels of violence across the country.





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