Gulf Today

Eight of family shot dead in Afghanista­n

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JALALABAD: Eight members of the same family were gunned down in an atack on a mosque in eastern Afghanista­n, officials said on Sunday.

The shooting happened on Saturday night in the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, and was believed to be over a land dispute, the province’s governor Zaiulhaq Amarkhil said.

Five brothers and three of their male cousins were killed.

“The incident is under investigat­ion but initial informatio­n shows a land dispute has caused the incident,” Amarkhil said.

Fareed Khan, a spokesman for Nangarhar police, confirmed the atack.

Meanwhile, Germany will not let down its Afghan staff as the internatio­nal military mission in the country winds down ater nearly two decades of war,defencemin­isteranneg­retkramp-karrenbaue­r pledged on Sunday.

“We are talking here about people who in some cases have worked for years by our side, at danger to their own safety, also have fought with us and made their personal contributi­on,” she said.

“I feel it is Germany’s sincere duty to not leave these people without protection now that we will permanentl­y withdraw,” the defence ministry in Berlin said on Twiter, quoting extracts from an interview with German news agency DPA.

The Welt am Sonntag newspaper, citing the Interior Ministry, reported that Germany plans to set up an office in Kabul and probably also one in Mazar-e-sharif in northern Afghanista­n to help process cases.

Afghanista­n, like the rest of the Muslim world, is observing the Holy Month of Ramadan, when men gather every night to offer special prayers ater fasting for the day.

Revenge killings are common in Afghanista­n, where families seek justice by carrying out violent acts of vengeance based on an ancient code of honour. So-called blood feuds can last for decades, passing down through generation­s in a cycle of violence.

US President Joe Biden and Nato on Wednesday announced that they would withdraw the roughly 10,000 foreign troops still in Afghanista­n by Sept.11.

Germany is the second-largest contingent with about 1,100 troops.

The withdrawal­s have raised concerns that Afghanista­n could erupt into full-scale civil war, providing Al Qaeda space in which to rebuild and plan new atacks on US and other targets.

The German forces currently employ about 300 Afghans as interprete­rs and in other jobs, according to the defence ministry in Berlin.

Since 2013 Germany has admited nearly 800 Afghans at risk in their own country ater working for the foreign military, as well as about 2,500 family members.

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