AFGHANISTAN

 

 

After a prolonged and disputed election, the contenders on Sunday agreed to form a government of national unity in which they will share power. Following the agreement, officials announced Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as president.

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has hailed Afghan leaders Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai of striking agreement on the structure of a national unity government that had been brokered by him as a measure to avoid Afghanistan from falling into turmoil following a disputed election. He has also asked the new president declared to be Ghani to sign the long-awaited bilateral security agreement (BSA) soon.

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The United Nations welcomed the agreement signed Sunday by the two presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to establish a government of national unity.

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Pakistani military fired dozens of rockets and artillery shells overnight into Afghanistan’s Kunar, officials said on Sunday, quashing speculations that it halted its shelling after no incident was reported in a couple of days earlier.

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Afghan security forces in several operations targeting militants in south and central region have eliminated 51 militants, said the Interior Ministry in a statement on Sunday.

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Afghanistan is set to announce presidential election results on Sunday, according to officials on Saturday, as the two candidates who have both claimed victory are in last-minute talks to avoid instability feared as an aftermath.

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Four policemen have changed sides in southern Helmand province, according to officials, the latest in a series of defections that are expected to discourage Afghan security forces as they are taking full responsibility from their international counterparts.

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Afghan candidates will appear today to sign and make public the agreement they have reached on the details of a national unity government, a vice-presidential candidate said.

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Rebels blew up a police checkpoint in eastern Laghman province on Saturday morning and eleven combatants from both sides died in the blast and ensuing clashes, local officials said.

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Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai have resolved conflicting points on how to share power in the national unity government, a local paper reported early Saturday.

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