The South Asia Channel

10 Afghan Policemen Killed in Insider Attack; Modi and Hollande Launch International Solar Alliance; Bacha Khan University to Remain Closed After Terror Attack

10 Afghan Policemen Killed in Insider Attack; Modi and Hollande Launch International Solar Alliance; Bacha Khan University to Remain Closed After Terror Attack


Bonus Read: “Afghan Officials, Voicing Security Fears on Facebook, Are Fired for Their Trouble,” by David Jolly and Jawad Sukhanyar (NYT)

Bonus Read: “The U.S. Was Supposed to Leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now It Might Take Decades,” by Greg Jaffe and Missy Ryan (Post)

10 Afghan policemen killed in insider attack

Ten Afghan police officers in Chinarto district of Uruzgan province were poisoned on Monday by another policeman and then killed by Taliban militants working with the rogue officer (NYT, RFE/RL). According to district chief Faiz Mohammad, the officer poisoned his comrades and then invited Taliban fighters to the post, who shot the poisoned men in the head. The officer escaped with the Taliban. This is the second insider attack on the provincial police in less than two weeks.

Afghanistan arrests Haqqani Network members for TV station attack

Afghan forces arrested eight members of the Haqqani Network who are accused of orchestrating the suicide attack on TOLO TV station, Afghanistan’s largest private television network, on Jan. 21 (NYT,  Reuters). The National Directorate for Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, said the arrests were made in a district in southeast Kabul, and no further details were given.

–Alyssa Sims


Bonus Read: “Broader Understanding of Heart Disease Risk,” by Sumathi Reddy (WSJ)

Modi and Hollande launch International Solar Alliance

French President Francois Hollande and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in the northern city of Gurgaon on Monday (Indian ExpressHT). Hollande and Modi announced the ISA at the Paris climate conference in December with the goal of uniting over 120 countries under a single coordinated effort to increase the usage of solar power. The two leaders laid the foundation stone on Monday for the ISA secretariat, which will be housed in the National Institute of Solar Energy campus in Gurgaon. Hollande said the initiative will require about 1.2 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) to achieve the target of 1,000 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030. The French Development Agency will provide an investment of $300 million euros ($325 million) to fund the initiatives initial projects over the next five years.

French soldiers march in India’s Republic Day parade

A contingent of more than 70 French infantry troops participated in the military parade in India’s Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on Tuesday, marking the first time foreign soldiers have taken part in the parade (WSJNDTV). The French soldiers were already in India, taking part in “Shakti 2016,” an eight-day joint counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency exercise held in the western state of Rajasthan earlier this month. “As our guests, they have the special privilege” to lead the march, said an Indian defense ministry official. French President Francois Hollande, who arrived in India on Sunday for a three-day visit, was the guest of honor at the annual celebration. Republic Day marks the anniversary of the day when India officially became a republic on Jan. 26, 1950.

Bus falls into gorge, killing 10

At least 10 people died and 20 others were injured when a bus fell into a gorge in the eastern state of Meghalaya (NDTV). The gorge is about 100 meters (328 feet) deep and located in a remote area of the state, making recovery efforts difficult. Authorities fear that the death toll may rise as additional bodies are recovered.

–Udit Banerjea


Bonus Read: “Victim of Obama’s first drone strike: ‘I am the living example of what drones are,’” by Spencer Ackerman (Guardian) 

Bacha Khan University – targeted in terror attacks – to remain closed

Bacha Khan University, the site of last Wednesday’s terror attack carried out by four members of the Pakistani Taliban, will remain closed after briefly reopening on Monday (ReutersBBC). “We decided to keep the university closed for some time so we can repair the damaged building and further improve the security situation,” Fazal Rahim Marwat, a professor at the university, told Reuters. He also expressed the desire of other professors to have weapons for self-defense, a highly contested issue among the faculty.

Cold weather shuts schools in Pakistan’s most populous province

Due to cold temperatures and sick students, schools in Punjab are closed for five days (Reuters). A shortage of gas needed to heat the schools and persistent harsh weather has led the government to inform the 22.5 million students to stay at home. The school closings are not related to the recent spate of terrorist attacks.

–Albert Ford

Edited by Peter Bergen

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images