Five customs officials injured in Peshawar attack

Bureau Report

PESHAWAR: Five personnel of the Pakistan Customs sustained injuries when unidentified attackers opened fire at them in Mattani area, some 25 kilometres south of the provincial capital, on Saturday night.

Mattani police said a customs team performing duty on the Indus Highway came under attack at around 22:20 hours. Five of them sustained injuries in the attack, but all of them were out of danger,” Jawad Khan, a Mattani police station official, told Dawn.

He said the customs officials were attacked from two different locations on the main highway. He added that the customs personnel retaliated, but the armed men escaped.

The police official said that the injured persons were immediately shifted to Lady Reading Hospital. He said that a search operation was launched to trace the attackers.

Italian embassy in Sudan moves to Addis Ababa

Redazione ANSA

(ANSA) – ROME, MAY 28 – The Italian embassy in Sudan on Sunday moved to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa due to ongoing fighting between rival generals in Sudan which has reaped thousands of victims.
The Italian Ambassador to Sudan, Michele Tommasi, together with some collaborators and two Carabinieri units, landed Sunday morning in Addis Ababa, where the Italian Embassy in Khartoum “will be temporarily reconstituted at our diplomatic representation in Ethiopia,” said the Italian foreign ministry, the Farnesina.

"Ambassador Tommasi and our staff will continue to ensure that the office is fully operational from Addis Ababa, to best guarantee Italy's contribution to Sudan's pacification efforts," said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani.

Border Clashes Subside Between Iran, Afghanistan

Ayaz Gul

FILE - Afghan National Policemen (ANP) travel in their vehicle as the sun sets at Delaram district in Nimroz province, southern Afghanistan, Jan. 24, 2010.

FILE – Afghan National Policemen (ANP) travel in their vehicle as the sun sets at Delaram district in Nimroz province, southern Afghanistan, Jan. 24, 2010.


Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities and neighboring Iran said Sunday deadly clashes between their border security forces had subsided, with both sides engaging in talks to ease tensions.

The skirmishes erupted in the Afghan border province of Nimroz Saturday, killing two Iranian security forces and a Taliban border guard, officials in both countries said.

Both sides traded blame for the heavy exchange of cross-border gunfire, escalating Iran’s tensions with Afghanistan amid a dispute over water resources.

Sunday, the Iranian state-run IRNA news agency quoted a senior official as saying that “the situation is under control” in the conflict zone near the Sasuli border post in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Alireza Marhamati, the deputy provincial governor, said that “local Iranian and Afghan officials have held negotiations on the cause of the clashes and agreed to continue their talks.”

A spokesman for the Afghan Interior Affairs Ministry said in a statement that his government “does not want to fight with its neighbors” and insisted Iranian forces started the conflict, prompting Afghan border forces to retaliate.

Bilateral tensions have recently escalated over Iranian allegations that the Taliban are breaching a 1973 water-sharing treaty between Tehran and Kabul by blocking water flow from Helmand River, which flows from Afghanistan to Iran’s arid eastern border regions.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, during a visit to the border province, called on the Taliban to respect the treaty, which envisions shared water resources and outlines access to monitoring of the water level. Raisi warned the de facto Afghan rulers against violating the agreement and vowed to defend Iran’s water rights.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes dialogue and negotiation are a good path to addressing any issue. Making excuses for war and negative actions do not serve the interest of any of the parties,” Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khowarazmi wrote on his official Twitter account.

The United Nations says Afghanistan and Iran have suffered from a prolonged drought, and drought conditions have worsened over the past decade.

Last week, Afghan Foreign Affairs Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, responding to threatening statements by the Iranian leadership, said that Kabul was committed to the water treaty.

In a televised speech, Muttaqi urged Tehran not to overlook the region’s drought and try to resolve the issue in “face-to-face talks instead of making noises” through media.

“We also expect the officials of Iran to adjust their expectations in line with the treaty and base the criteria for judgment and comments on the provisions contained in the treaty,” he added.

Analysts warned that Afghanistan and the region at large could ill afford another conflict.

Torek Farhadi, a former Afghan official, said the Taliban would avoid a standoff with Iran. He noted that Afghanistan is fragile after 40 years of war, and four million Afghans live on Iranian soil as refugees.

“Sure, skirmishes and then a war can start with Iran, but soon Afghanistan will end up as the terrain for proxy wars with Teheran,” said Farhadi. “Arms and munitions will flow to Afghanistan to fight Iran, but the fighters would be Afghan youth, and the destruction will occur in Afghanistan. Not a good perspective.”

Iran has retained its embassy in Kabul along with nearly two dozen neighboring and regional countries since the Taliban seized power nearly two years ago, but it has not recognized the new Afghan government nor has the world at large.

The Taliban’s restrictions on women’s right to education and work as well as a lack of political inclusivity in their government have deterred the international community from granting them legitimacy.

Senior Al-Shabaab leader arrested in Somalia


Gulf Times

The Somali security forces announced the arrest of a senior Al-Shabaab leader in Lower Shabelle province, which is adjacent to the capital, Mogadishu.
According to the Somali News Agency (SONNA), the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) confirmed that army forces successfully captured one of Al-Shabaab’s top commanders on the basis of accurate intelligence, indicating that he had held several different positions in the ranks of Al-Shabaab for 16 years.
The arrest came after the armed forces intensified their operations against the movement’s militants in areas in southern and central Somalia.
For more than a decade, Somali forces have been fighting against Al-Shabaab, which has claimed numerous attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians and security personnel, and for several months Somali forces have successfully recovered several areas in central Somalia from the movement.

Number of Armenian POWs in Azerbaijan continues to grow

The number of Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijani prisons is constantly increasing instead of releasing them all, Armenian Ambassador-at-Large Edmon Marukyan says on Twitter.

“Two Armenian servicemen were illegally abducted from the Armenian sovereign territory. So the number of Armenian POWs in Azerbaijani prisons is continuously growing instead of releasing all of them. Azerbaijan must release all Armenian POWs and civilians since they are all illegally kept in Azerbaijani prisons,” he wrote.

Armenia News –