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Afghan branch of Islamic State group announces explosion in Kabul

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The Afghan branch of the “jihadist” group “Islamic State” (EI) announced the attack, as a result of which dozens of people were killed and injured at the Kabul airport today, according to the specialized website Internet Site Intelligence.

In a statement released by the Amak propaganda agency, the Islamic State of Khorasan (ISKP) claims that one of its militants bypassed “all security posts” and moved “five meters” from US troops, “before detonating his belt with explosives.

The communiqué mentions only one suicide bomber and only one bomb.

The Pentagon, however, reported two suicide attacks followed by gunfire, warning of the existence of a “series of active threats” against the airport in Kabul, ranging from a possible missile attack to a car bomb attack. …

However, a third violent explosion has already been heard in the Afghan capital, but there is no additional information yet.

The United States has threatened ISIS with reprisals.

According to General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), at least 12 American soldiers were killed and 15 injured in the attack, which killed dozens of people, but the total number of which is still unknown, the number varies depending on source. reports.

In recent years, the ISKP has attacked mainly the Shiite minority, and also clashed with the Taliban and US forces, which have about 2,000 members.

ISIS emerged in Afghanistan in 2015, gaining strength in various parts of the country, and has established its main stronghold in Nangarhar, an area bordering Pakistan, which plays a key role in communications between the two countries.

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The extremist group, made up mostly of former Taliban, announced its expansion into the Khorasan region, which historically includes parts of modern Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and began to attack civilians, as well as against US forces, Afghan and Pakistani women. …

As in the Middle East and Africa, IS does not respect borders or country designations and tries to conquer and expand territories beyond national borders.

However, unlike other branches of IS, Khorasan’s group is less visible in the media, as it is less active on the Internet and advertises less.

US and Afghan forces conducted several operations against these “jihadists” and even killed their leader in July 2016, after which in June 2017 the United States launched the “mother of all bombs” against the group’s bastion in Nangarhar.

According to a recent report from the United Nations Security Council, the Taliban also conducted operations against the ISKP, which was less active and was almost destroyed in 2019 after “successful military failures” that began in 2018.

However, this year the UN warned that since June 2020, the new leader of the Shahab al-Muhajir group “remains active and dangerous”, capable of “recruiting disaffected Taliban and other militants to replenish their ranks.”

Since 2015, the ISKP has reported nearly 100 attacks on civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has fought about 250 clashes with local forces, Taliban and US forces.

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EU close to compromise on lifting partial blockade of Kaliningrad – columnist

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Freight traffic through Lithuania to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad could resume within a few days. The information was disclosed to Reuters two sources familiar with the case say European authorities are seeking an understanding with Lithuania to resolve the dispute with Russia.

Since June 17, Lithuanian authorities have partially blocked the delivery of goods to the enclave, which mainly uses Lithuanian rail and road networks to transport goods.

The measure, justified by the fourth package of EU sanctions against Russia, affected the industrial sector, including the transportation of coal, metals and building materials, and became hotbed of tension with the Kremlin.

Kaliningrad. Could a partial blockade of the enclave lead to a Russian invasion of Lithuania?

Russian leadership accuses Lithuania of “unprecedented” measures what kind constitute a “violation of international law”. The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, guarantees that it does not apply any individual sanctions against Moscow, explaining this by the fact that it only implements the measures prescribed by Brussels.

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According to Reuters sources, who wished to remain anonymous, negotiations are underway to free the territory from sanctions. One of them says that despite the West’s willingness to continue to support Ukraine, it is proving difficult to maintain restrictive sanctions.

See also  Islamic State jihadist group announces attack on a mosque in Afghanistan
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Kyiv is negotiating with Moscow on the release of foreign fighters – News

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Moscow is holding captive “thousands” of Ukrainians and “military personnel from all over the world who have volunteered” to defend Ukraine, Zelensky reminded in statements to the US television channel NBC.

The head of the Ukrainian state thanked for the support of volunteer fighters, whom he considers “heroes”, and confirmed that negotiations are underway to release those who were captured.

“Everyone understands that the war in Ukraine today is here on this earth, but tomorrow it can happen anywhere in Europe, and the “day after tomorrow” can happen in the United States,” the Ukrainian president said.

Thus, he added, “it would be absolutely fair to say that the war in Ukraine is already a war in Europe and the United States, only – territorially – it is happening here.”

Zelenskiy’s announcement came on the same day that the defense of British citizen Sean Pinner, who was sentenced to death in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, announced that he had appealed the sentence.

Pinner, 48, was sentenced to death on June 9, along with fellow Briton Aiden Aislin, 28, and Moroccan citizen Braquim Saadoun, after being found guilty of participating in hostilities “as mercenaries” in support of Ukrainian forces.

Two Britons were captured by Russian forces during Moscow’s siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov, Brakim Saadoun was taken prisoner in March.

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Turkey lifts veto on Swedish and Finnish membership in NATO

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Turkey lifted its veto on Finland and Sweden joining NATO on Tuesday.

The leaders of the three countries met on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that Turkey has lifted its veto on Finland and Sweden joining the Atlantic Alliance after signing a memorandum that “answers Ankara’s concerns.”

“We have completed a very constructive meeting with the President [da Turquia, Recep Tayyip] Erdogan or President [da Finlândia, Sauli] Niinistö and the Prime Minister [da Suécia, Magdalena] Andersson, and I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement that paves the way for Sweden and Finland to join NATO,” Stoltenberg said.

The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) spoke at a press conference at the Exhibition Park of Madrid, in the northeast of the Spanish capital, where the summit of the leaders of the North Atlantic Alliance is taking place.

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Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO on May 18 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine ended the historic policy of neutrality.

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