​US announces $300m aid for Afghanistan

February 11, 2014 - 9:44:10 am

KABUL:  The United States  has unveiled $300m in new aid initiatives for Afghanistan for the impoverished nation as the war economy winds down and global troops withdraw, a US official said.

The programmes are being rolled out by the US Agency for International Development.

The first tranche of some $77m aims to enhance trade and fiscal sustainability to support Afghanistan’s accession to the World Trade Organisation later this year.

“Peer-reviewed articles suggest that if countries like Afghanistan make the regulatory reforms required to achieve WTO accession, they will typically see a net jump in GDP of 20 percent within the first five years,” a State Department official said, asking not to be named.

17 militants killed in raids

Kabul: At least 17 Taliban militants were killed and 16 others were detained during joint military operations conducted by Afghan national security forces.

The interior ministry of Afghanistan said in a statement that the militants were killed or detained during coordinated operations conducted by Afghan police, Afghan army, and Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security during the past 24 hours.

The statement further added that the operations were conducted in Nangarhar, Laghman, Zabul, Maidan Wardak, Khost, Paktika and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan.

Interior ministry confirmed that 17 Taliban militants were killed and 16 others were detained during the operations.

Afghan security forces also discovered and seized weapons, ammunition and explosives during the operations, interior ministry added in its statement.

Car bomb      hits Kabul

KABUL: An explosion apparently caused by a car bomb rocked eastern Kabul yesterday, according to witnesses, but no casualties were immediately reported.

The blast occurred near Kabul’s main prison of Pol-e-Charkhi, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Witnesses said that the blast was caused by a car bomb targeting a foreign military convoy in the area.

A photographer at the scene saw burnt and twisted parts of what seemed to be the vehicle carrying the bomb as well as a damaged armoured vehicle.

The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force said they were aware of an explosion but would not give any further details.