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The US military confirms that a drone strike in Kabul killed ten civilians

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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On Friday, the US military revealed that a drone strike in late August in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed up to ten civilians, including seven children.

“Having fully evaluated the investigation’s findings and the supporting analysis by interagency partners, I am now confident that as many as ten civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that strike,” Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, told reporters during a Pentagon press briefing.

“We currently believe that the vehicle and those killed were not linked with ISIS-K or posed a direct threat to US forces,” he continued.

The general acknowledged that the lethal strike was “a sad blunder.” “As the combatant commander, I am entirely to blame for this strike and its awful outcome.”

On August 29, the United States Central Command announced that it had launched a drone strike on a vehicle in Kabul, claiming that it had eliminated an “imminent” threat posed by ISIS-K, an Afghanistan-based offshoot of the Islamic State, to the Hamid Karzai International Airport, where evacuations of US service members and personnel were underway.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, labeled it a “righteous strike” following proper protocols.

According to media sources, the US military may have hit the wrong target during the strike, resulting in civilian casualties.

The vehicle driver was identified as Zemarai Ahmadi, a 43-year-old electrical engineer working for Nutrition and Education International, a U.S. humanitarian organization based in Pasadena, California, by separate investigations by The New York Times and The Washington Post.

“We now know that Mr. Ahmadi had no link to ISIS-Khorasan,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement on Friday. “His actions that day were

absolutely innocuous and had nothing to do with the imminent threat we thought we faced, and Mr. Ahmadi was just as innocent a victim as the others sadly died.”

“We sincerely apologize, and we will make every effort to learn from this heinous error,” he continued.

The Pentagon chief also stated that he had requested a further examination of the recently concluded probe by US Central Command to evaluate whether “accountability mechanisms” and strike authorization and procedures needed to be changed in the future.

The Central Command declared on August 30 that it had completed the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, bringing an end to the country’s 20-year military presence, following botched evacuations that attracted harsh condemnation from both home and abroad.

The United States declared a “War on Terror” and invaded Afghanistan in 2001, shortly after al-Qaida terrorists hijacked passenger planes and carried out suicide assaults on US soil, killing almost 3,000 people.

Washington has expanded its military operations into several additional nations over the years, depending primarily on drone attacks for targeted executions. According to the group Airwars, US drone operations and airstrikes have killed at least 22,000 civilians over the last two decades.

 

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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Developmental projects of Maldives progressing substantially

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India’s Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar has affirmed that the developmental projects of the Maldives carried out with the assistance of India have been progressing considerably. The remarks were made by the minister during the Confederation of Indian Industry (CIIs) Annual Business Summit.

Speaking at the summit, Minister Jaishankar stated that some developmental projects were slightly politically influenced, hindering the progress. However, he assured that the progress of the projects have propelled at a notable rate.

Following the Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer’s official visit to India at the invitation of Minister Jaishankar, discussions were held highlighting the spectrum of initiatives across the nation has been kickstarted through loans and grants from the Government of India during the previous administration. He emphasised the current government’s commitment to prioritising the resumption and completion of these projects.

Meanwhile, the Government of India has reaffirmed its commitment to the development and prosperity of the Maldives by extending a budgetary support of USD 50 million to be repaid within a term of one year.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Police officers complete training to prevent maritime terrorism acts

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A team of 22 police officers has successfully completed a specialised training programme focused on thwarting maritime terrorism activities.

Entitled “Training on Strengthening Capabilities to Disrupt Maritime Crimes as Related to Terrorist Threats,” the program was conducted through a collaborative effort between the Maldives Police Service (MPS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Running from May 13 to 15, the intensive training equipped participants with essential skills and knowledge crucial for combating threats in maritime environments.

The concluding ceremony, graced by the presence of Chief Superintendent of Police Ibrahim Adnan Anees, Head of Marine Police, along with senior officials from the Marine Police Department, UNODC’s Head of Office Enrico Boninsegna, and course instructor Kenneth Alferdo Pennington, highlighted the significance of such initiatives in enhancing national security.

Addressing the gathering, Adnan underscored the importance of ongoing education and skill development, urging participants to actively apply the knowledge garnered from the program in their professional endeavors.

The training, conducted at Dhoonidhoo, Kaafu Atoll, imparted vital insights into the prevention and detection of maritime terrorism activities, emphasizing protocols for safe navigation in high-risk areas. Furthermore, officers received guidance on investigative procedures essential for effectively addressing such crimes, thereby bolstering the nation’s capabilities in combating maritime threats.

Source(s): PsmNews

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President reverts land act amendment to parliament

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has reverted the Ninth Amendment Bill to the Maldives Land Act to Parliament for further consideration.

This bill, which seeks to establish criteria for recipients of residential land and mandates that land be allocated within three months of the publication of the permanent list of recipients in the gazette, was initially passed during the twenty-second sitting of Parliament’s first session this year and sent to the President’s Office for ratification on May 2.

In returning the bill, President Muizzu invoked Article 91(a) of the Constitution, which grants the President the authority to return legislation to Parliament for reconsideration.

The President’s Office has confirmed this, indicating the need for further review and potential revisions to the proposed amendment.

Source(s): PsmNews

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