Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jan. 31, 2018 Super Blue Blood Moon and Lunar Eclipse -

January 31 brings a lunar trifecta: the super blue blood Moon! This full moon is the third in a series of “supermoons,” when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit -- known as perigee -- and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It’s the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.” -  More, Nasa

'Super Blue Blood Moon' Coming Jan. 31, 2018 | NASA

Super Blue Blood Moon' Coming Jan. 31, 2018 | NASA

The Jan. 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it’s the third in a series of “supermoons,” when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit -- known as perigee -- and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.”

If you live in the western part of North America, Alaska, and the Hawaiian islands, you might set your alarm early the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 31 for a lunar trifecta: a pre-dawn “super blue blood moon.”  - Read More

Super Blue Blood Moon' Coming Jan. 31, 2018 | NASA

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Earthquake of 6.1 magnitude strikes Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 shook the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of any damage or casualties.

The quake, which was also felt in neighboring Pakistan, struck 270 km (167 miles) northeast of Kabul in the Hindu Kush mountains, at a deep 180 km, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said. - Read More

Earthquake of 6.1 magnitude strikes Afghanistan

Fact Check: Democratic Response To State Of The Union

Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., delivered the rebuttal to President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night. Democratic leaders called Kennedy a "relentless fighter for working Americans" in their announcement of his selection. At 37, Kennedy has served in Congress since 2013. - Read More,

Fact Check: Democratic Response To State Of The Union

Melania Trump arrived at State of the Union separately from the President

Washington (CNN) - In a break with longstanding tradition, Melania Trump opted to ride with the guests she invited to share her first lady's box during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. - Read More

Melania Trump arrived at State of the Union separately from the ...

President Trump 2018 State of the Union Address (C-SPAN)

TUESDAY: President Trump delivers State of the Union Address to a Joint Session of Congress – LIVE on C-SPAN, C-SPAN Radio, - More

President Trump 2018 State of the Union Address (C-SPAN)

Trump Issues Appeal for Unity in First State of the Union - nytimes

WASHINGTON — President Trump challenged Democrats on Tuesday night to join him in overhauling immigration policies and in rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure in his first State of the Union address.

Speaking to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Trump hailed what he called the “extraordinary success” of his administration’s first year, and sounded notes of unity and inclusion, steering clear of the nationalist rhetoric, political attacks and confrontational tone that have been his calling cards both as a candidate and a commander in chief.

“Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people,” Mr. Trump said to raucous applause from many Republicans, as Democratic leaders who have bitterly criticized his policies and messaging sat stone-faced in their seats.

“This, in fact, is our new American moment,” Mr. Trump said. “There has never been a better time to start living the American dream.”

The president delivered his address as investigations are intensifying into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Mr. Trump or his associates helped the effort or obstructed justice. As he took the dais at the Capitol, Mr. Trump had the weakest approval rating of any president of the modern era entering his second year in office, with 37 percent of Americans approving of his performance in the job.

But he stepped behind the lectern still popular with his most ardent supporters, who see him as an unpredictable and entertaining commander in chief who posts vitriol on Twitter against the advice of the White House staff, the Republican leadership and those closest to him. - Read More

Trump Issues Appeal for Unity in First State of the Union - The New ...

Trump’s First State of the Union Speech, Annotated - nytimes

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:

Less than one year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People – and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams. That night, our new Administration had already taken swift action. A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.

Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission – to make America great again for all Americans.

Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined. We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine. - Read More

A Transcript of the Speech, Annotated

Trump: 'The State Of Our Union Is Strong Because Our People Are Strong'

President Trump sought to strike a unifying tone with his first State of the Union address, but some of his rhetoric on immigration and his promise to put "America First" was clearly aimed at his base. - Read More, NPR

Trump: 'The State Of Our Union Is Strong Because Our People Are Strong'

Watchdog Report Shows Gaps In Information About Afghanistan War

As the U.S. sends thousands more troops to Afghanistan and ratchets up airstrikes, a new report from a U.S. military auditor suggests that the war is still at a stalemate, with signs of continued decline in Afghan government control.

And the amount of basic information available to the public about the war is getting smaller, making it more difficult for the U.S. taxpayer to understand how U.S.-supported forces are faring in their fight against the Taliban.

"The information that's being withheld the last three months is information we have reported on sometimes going back to 10 years," John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghan Reconstruction, tells Morning Edition. "So for 10 years this information was O.K. to tell the American people, the American taxpayer. But for some reason, the last two quarters ... we have been unable to report it to the American people."

The Pentagon continues to withhold facts such as the number of Afghan troops that have died and the number of the Afghan forces that have received training. This information was also not included in the report last quarter from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction — which was set up by Congress to audit U.S. spending in the country's longest-running war.

Congress has authorized these Afghan forces to receive $4.9 billion this fiscal year, and has appropriated $120.8 billion for Afghanistan reconstruction since 2002.

In August, President Trump announced a new Afghanistan strategy, committing more troops to the war with no timetable. Recent troop commitments will bring the number of U.S. service members in the country to about 15,000. - More, NPR

Watchdog Report Shows Gaps In Information About Afghanistan War

Trump To Make Bipartisan Pitch To A Divided Country In His First State Of The Union

President Trump is planning a bipartisan pitch to Congress with his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, but he will have his work cut out for him with a public that is more divided than ever.

A scripted speech like the State of the Union, with dedicated air time, gives Trump a prime opportunity to lay out his agenda and try to set a new tone.

The theme of the speech will be "building a safe, strong and proud America," a senior administration official told reporters, and the president will tout his "record-setting" accomplishments, which are "lifting all Americans." The speech will reflect on his first year in office and highlight the country's economic upswing.

The official said the speech will be forward-looking and optimistic, much in the vein of Trump's first address to Congress in February 2017, shortly after he was inaugurated, when he called for the "renewal of the American spirit."

Tuesday night, Trump is expected to focus on five major policy areas: jobs and the economy, infrastructure, immigration, trade and national security. The president is expected to unveil some new policy proposals, though the official would not elaborate on what those would be. - Read More, NPR

Trump To Make Bipartisan Pitch To A Divided Country In His First State Of The Union

CIA Director Has 'Every Expectation' Russia Will Try To Influence Midterm Elections

CIA Director Mike Pompeo says he has "every expectation" that Russia will try to disrupt midterm elections in November after U.S. intelligence uncovered interference in 2016.

In an interview with the BBC, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency was asked about concerns that the Kremlin might try again to influence the outcome of upcoming U.S. polls. He said: "I haven't seen a significant decrease in their activity."

"Of course. I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that," Pompeo told the BBC, adding, "but I'm confident that America will be able to have a free and fair election [and] that we will push back in a way that is sufficiently robust that the impact they have on our election won't be great."

In January 2017, a U.S. intelligence assessment concluded that Russia had authorized hacks into the Democratic National Committee and officials connected with the Clinton campaign. In addition, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate hearing that the hacking was one part of a coordinated effort that "also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, and fake news."

In October, the CIA was forced to walk back an assertion by Pompeo that U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that Russian interference did not affect the outcome of the election. - Read More, NPR

CIA Director Has 'Every Expectation' Russia Will Try To Influence Midterm Elections

Monday, January 29, 2018

Travel ban: US to again conditionally admit refugees from 11 nations - Deutsche Welle

The US will resume admitting refugees from countries that it said posed increased security risks. Officials will apply extra vetting to people from the mostly Middle Eastern and African nations.

The Department of Homeland Security will resume admitting refugees from 11 countries, US officials told reporters on condition of anonymity Monday, but displaced people will be subjected to additional screening and other new security measures. 

Advocates say the changes will still effectively block refugees. "Adding yet more hurdles to an already overly bureaucratic process will burden those seeking safety for themselves and their families," Amnesty International USA said in a statement.

The administration never made public which 11 countries US President Donald Trump effectively banned in October, but arrivals from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen decreased markedly during a 90-day review period that ended last week.

Administration officials offered no details about whom they would subject to the extra screening, citing security concerns. However, officials already demand that all applicants supply more detailed histories and evidence of their past activities, and many have to allow access to personal electronics and social media accounts. - Read More

Watchdog: Pentagon blocks information on insurgent dominance in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. military is keeping from the public more information that gauges the war in Afghanistan’s success, a government watchdog said after significant insurgent gains.

The Defense Department has restricted the pubic release of data on the number of districts and people living in territory under insurgent or government control, or areas contested by both, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, said in a report released late Monday.

“The number of districts controlled or influenced by the Afghan government had been one of the last remaining publicly available indicators for members of Congress ... and for the American public of how the 16-year-long U.S. effort to secure Afghanistan is faring,” John Sopko, the special inspector general, said in the report.

It’s the first time that SIGAR has been instructed not to release unclassified information to the American taxpayer in one of its quarterly reports, Spoko said, and will instead include the information in an annex unavailable to the public. The watchdog was given no justification for the new restrictions, according to the report. - Read More

Stars and Stripes

The Long War in Afghanistan May Never End - The National Interest

A United Nations report from last year describes the Afghanistan war as an “eroding stalemate” in which the Taliban have not only been able to expand, but also consolidate, the territory they hold.

However, recent developments, including the barbaric attack by the so-called Islamic State on the office of the Save the Children charitable organization in Jalalabad, are reminders of the need to assess the Afghanistan conflict in more than binary terms. The “eroding stalemate” is morphing into an uglier, more complicated conflict, that may soon resemble the Afghan civil war in the 1990s or even the present, intractable war in Syria, due to the absence of a holistic strategy and military escalation by all sides.

In Afghanistan, the Trump administration has notionally embraced the modest aims of its predecessor: the elimination of transnational jihadist threats and weakening of the Taliban enough that it feels compelled to come to the negotiation table. Toward this, the Trump administration has relied on the expanded use of blunt military force, a targeted increase in troops, and various forms of diplomatic pressure on Pakistan, where much of the Afghan Taliban leadership is based.

Regional actors, however, may view America’s intentions less charitably. For some, Trump’s mentioning of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal in his South Asia strategy speech last August, the criticism of China’s Belt and Road Initiative by two U.S. cabinet members, and a more assertive Iran policy suggest that an extended presence in Afghanistan serves other objectives for Washington.

Let us, however, assume that Washington’s aims in Afghanistan are indeed limited to destroying Al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State and punishing the Taliban so that its best option is to sue for peace. Even with these modest goals in mind, the grim reality may be that the Trump administration is giving America a second chance in Afghanistan it actually doesn’t really have. And as a result of its military-first strategy, in all likelihood, the United States will end up making things worse in Afghanistan, playing a Whac-a-Mole game till it withdraws from Afghanistan precipitously.

America, it must be recognized, is very much part of the self-perpetuating ecosystem of violence in Afghanistan. It rejected peace overtures by individual Taliban leaders in the years that followed the U.S. invasion. It empowered warlords who helped breathe life into the Taliban insurgency by 2006 by targeting Taliban figures who had abandoned militancy. These warlords also abused the local populace, kidnapped young boys, making them into sex slaves, and helped restore a drug trade that the insurgency now thrives off of. - Read More

The Long War in Afghanistan May Never End | The National Interest

مهلت اندکی برای درج شکایات افغان‌ها در مورد جنایات جنگی باقی مانده است

محکمه بین‌المللی جزایی زمینه‌ای را قربانیان جنایات احتمالی جنگی و جنایات علیه بشریت در افغانستان مهیا کرده است تا شکایات خود را درج کنند. این مهلت تا ۳۱ جنوری، یعنی دو روز دیگر، پایان می‌یابد. احسان قانع، پژوهشگر حقوقی و عضو گروه هماهنگی عدالت انتقالی در افغانستان در مصاحبه‌ای با دویچه وله راجع به چگونگی این روند و درج شکایات معلومات می‌دهد. - More

محکمه لاهه مجرمین جنگی در افغانستان را مورد پیگرد قرار می دهد ...


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U.S. sees Haqqani network behind ambulance bombing in Kabul

The United States has long blamed militant safe havens in Pakistan for prolonging the war in Afghanistan, giving insurgents from the Haqqani network a place to plot attacks and rebuild their forces.

“We are very confident the Taliban Haqqani network was behind the killing of more than 103 people this past Saturday,” said Captain Tom Gresback, a U.S. military spokesman for the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, without elaborating further on U.S. intelligence or offering any link to Pakistan.

Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also told Reuters the United States believed the attack was the work of the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network, which Washington and Kabul have long accused of being behind some of the Afghanistan’s most deadly attacks.

Afghanistan’s envoy to the United Nations, Mahmoud Saikal, on Monday suggested the plot was too complex for the Taliban to have developed on their own.

“Given the degree of sophistication ... can you expect an illiterate Taliban to come up with this kind of genius plot, using ambulances?” Saikal told Reuters in an interview, adding Kabul was still gathering information.  “It’s not a simple thing to do.” - Read More

Remarks by President Trump at Lunch with Members of the United Nations Security Council -

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Remarks by President Trump at Lunch with Members of the United Nations Security Council

Trump hosts lunch with U.N. Security Council for talks on N. Korea, terrorism - CBS News

President Trump hosted a lunch at the White House on Monday with the United Nations Security Council. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were both in attendance and flanked the president as he delivered remarks to reporters before the lunch. 

The president said the group would be discussing the administration's cooperation on a "range of security challenges including the de-nuking of North Korea very importantly, countering Iran's destabilizing activities in the Middle East, ending the Syrian conflict and confronting terrorism."

Mr. Trump said he was "proud" to work with the UNSC, saying "we've already done a tremendous number of coalition buildings" adding that the U.S. is "leading on the global stage to renew this founding principle of sovereignty." 

He added of the international body, "the power and respect it has all over the world is very, very excellent, but there's much work that we have to together do."

The meeting with Haley and Tillerson came on the eve of Mr. Trump's first State of the Union address, which will include foreign policy issues.

According to a senior administration official who previewed the speech in a background call to reporters, the president will emphasize rebuilding the military, and promoting peace through strength. He will also discuss a return to clarity in who America's friends and adversaries are.

The president told reporters during the lunch that the group would also be discussing efforts in defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan saying "I don't think we're prepared to talk right now" with regard to the terrorist group, calling it a "whole different fight over there."

"We don't want to talk with the Taliban, there may be a time but it's going to be a long time," he added. - More

Trump hosts lunch with U.N. Security Council for talks on N. Korea ...

Sunday, January 28, 2018

'Our blood doesn't matter?': Agony of families after Kabul blast

US President Donald Trump has called for "decisive action" against the Taliban, after it claimed responsibility for Saturday's suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan.

At least 103 people were killed and more than 230 others injured by explosives hidden inside an ambulance.  Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse reports from Kabul. - Read More

'Our blood doesn't matter?': Agony of families after Kabul blast

Afghanistan News - Today's latest from Al Jazeera

حمله اخیر در کابل حدود ۵۰ میلیون افغانی به شفاخانه جمهوریت زیان رسانده‌است

در حمله مرگبار انتحاری دیروز در شهر کابل تنها به شفاخانه جمهوریت حدود پنجاه میلیون افغانی زیان مالی وارد شده‎است.
رئیس این شفاخانه می‎گوید، در حمله مرگبار انتحاری روز شنبه شماری از ماشین‎های پیشرفته و دیگر داشته‎های طبی این شفاخانه ویران شده، به ساختمان این شفاخانه زیان‎های مالی وارد شده‎است و ۵ کارمند آن نیز زخم برداشته‎اند.

محمد هارون عارف رئیس این شفاخانه روز یکشنبه «۸دلو۱۳۹۶» در صحبت با رادیو آزادی گفت این یافته‎های نخستین آنان از زیان‎های برخاسته از این رویداد است و ممکن رقم این زیان‎ها بیشتر از این باشد.

​محمد هارون عارف در پیوند به تلفات برخاسته از این رویداد چیزی نگفت؛ اما در حالیکه یک روز از حمله انتحاری در چهار راه صدارت می‎گذرد، شماری از باشنده‎گان کابل هنوز در پی جستجوی پیکرهای ناپدید شده اعضای خانواده شان استند.

"زیان بسیار مالی به این شفاخانه وارد شده‎است، سرویس عاجل، بخش اداری و خدماتی زیان دیده‎است، شیشه‎ها شکسته، بخش‎های دیگر هم تخریب شده و وسایل طبی که قیمتی بود، ممکن پنجاه میلیون افغانی زیان به این شفاخانه رسیده باشد."

آقای عارف افزود که ساختمان شفاخانه جمهوریت از بهر باز سازی تخلیه شده‎است و تنها بخش عاجل آن دوباره فعال ساخته شده‎است.

وزارت امور داخله می‎گوید، در این رویداد ۱۰۳ تن کشته و ۲۳۵ تن دیگر زخم برداشته‎ان - Read More
رادیو آزادی / رادیوی اروپای آزاد

50 Percent for 5 Percent A Look at Germany's Extremely Unequal Wealth Distribution

European Central Bank statistics show that wealth distribution in Germany is extremely unequal. But a new analysis by the German Institute for Economic Research shows that the situation is even worse than initially thought.
The gathering of global political and industrial leaders in Davos each year leads many observers to wonder: Who benefits in the long term from economic growth and corporate profits? Society as a whole or just a select few at the very top? One way to approach that question is by looking at how the entire wealth of a given society is distributed among individual members of that society.

The problem, though, is that it isn't so easy to calculate that distribution. Official data does, of course, exist. In Germany it is compiled by the Federal Statistical Office, and the European Central Bank (ECB) has been doing the same for the eurozone over the last few years. That data shows an extremely unequal wealth distribution.

But in reality, wealth is even more concentrated than the data shows, because the statistics have a blind spot: The superrich and their assets are consistently underestimated. This is because, on the one hand, there are so few of them that they aren't adequately accounted for in randomized surveys. On the other hand, the statistics are based on voluntary responses - and willingness to participate demonstrably sinks as wealth among respondents increases.

When it comes to the superrich, however, there are relatively reliable estimates in the form of lists of the world's wealthiest people, with the one compiled by the US business magazine Forbes leading the way. A similar list is compiled in Germany by manager magazin. A team of tax experts led by Stefan Bach of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) has examined the wealth statistics compiled by the ECB and augmented them with lists identifying the ultrarich. And the team did so for three countries: Germany, France and Spain.

The result: The 45 richest households in Germany own as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. Each group possessed a total of 214 billion euros in assets in 2014. The following graphic illustrates the distribution of wealth in Germany as it stood three years ago. The top 10 percent of the population is shaded in hues of blue while the remaining 90 percent is shaded red.

In compiling the more precise statistics, the DIW team adopted an approach that the ECB itself proposed as a correction to its own wealth statistics. (You can find a detailed description of the methods used and the results compiled in this English-language discussion paper released by the DIW.) - Read More

50 Percent for 5 PercentA Look at Germany's Extremely Unequal Wealth Distribution

Saudi Arabia frees Prince Alwaleed and other billionaires held since November in graft crackdown - latimes

Saudi Arabia freed Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and several of the kingdom's most prominent businessmen from detention this weekend, clearing out the Ritz-Carlton hotel that served as a jail for the country's elite during a controversial crackdown on corruption.

Alwaleed, the billionaire chairman of Riyadh's Kingdom Holding Co. who owns stakes in Citigroup Inc. and Twitter Inc., returned home on Saturday after reaching a settlement with authorities, a senior government official said on condition of anonymity. He will remain at the helm of his company, the official said, declining to provide the other terms of the deal. Waleed al-Ibrahim, head of a major media firm, and retail billionaire Fawaz Al Hokair were also freed after agreeing to deals, another government official said.

The prince's release came just hours after Alwaleed told Reuters in an interview that he expected to go home soon and retain control of his company, calling his detention a "misunderstanding" and expressing support for the kingdom's rulers. With the suspects' names and evidence against them never officially announced, the detentions had raised concerns about transparency among foreign investors — vital to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to diversify the economy away from oil.

Kingdom Holding didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Through Kingdom, Alwaleed has built up a diverse portfolio, ranging from high-end hotels such as the Savoy in London and the Plaza in New York to Lyft and Apple.

Alwaleed has also had a long relationship with Disney, dating to 1994, when the prince agreed to buy about $300 million in newly issued Euro Disney stock. That deal helped restructure the debt of the then-flailing Euro Disney theme park.

Just last year, Alwaleed agreed to exchange nearly all of Kingdom's Euro Disney shares for Walt Disney Co. shares, allowing Disney to take full control of the Paris theme park during a time when the Burbank entertainment giant sought to delist Euro Disney from the Euronext stock exchange. Kingdom retains a 1% stake in Euro Disney. - More

Saudi Arabia frees Prince Alwaleed and other billionaires held since November in graft crackdown

Saturday, January 27, 2018

SEYASAT KHAREJI 27 Jan 2018 | سیاست خارجی: گفتگو با زلمی خلیل زاد، سفیر پیشین امریکا در افغانستان

سفیر پیشین امریکا در افغانستان و عراق و هم حزبی دونالد ترمپ، رییس جمهور امریکا در گفتگو با آریانانیوز اظهار نمود که با رییس جمهور و عطا محمد نور برای حل تنش ها جداگانه می بیند. - Read More

 سیاست خارجی: گفتگو با زلمی ..


UN condemns massive vehicle bomb attack in Kabul that leaves scores dead and wounded

27 January 2018 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the Security Council and the UN in Afghanistan have strongly condemned Saturday's massive vehicle bomb attack on a street near Government buildings in the Afghan capital, Kabul, which reportedly left 95 people dead and scores wounded..

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the deadly incident, in which the attackers reportedly used a vehicle painted to look like an ambulance, including bearing the distinctive medical emblem, what the UN Assistance Mission in the country, known as UNAMA, flagged as a “clear violation of international humanitarian law.”

In a statement from his Spokesman, Mr. Guterres said that indiscriminate attacks against civilians are grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and can never be justified.

“Those responsible for today's attack must be brought to justice,” he added.

The Secretary-General extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those injured. He also expressed solidarity with the Government and people of Afghanistan.

Separately, Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, noted that the explosion occurred near a High Peace Council facility in a civilian-populated area of Kabul.

“While the Taliban claim suggested the purpose of the attack was to target police, a massive vehicle bomb in a densely populated area could not reasonably be expected to leave civilians unharmed,” he emphasized.

Calling the attacks “nothing short of an atrocity,” the UNAMA chief said those who organized and enabled it must be brought to justice and held to account.- Read More

UN condemns massive vehicle bomb attack in Kabul that leaves scores dead and wounded