The South Asia Channel

Taliban Attack NATO Convoy in Kabul; Rebel Leader Held in Connection with Manipur Ambush; UN Body to Monitor Pakistan

Taliban Attack NATO Convoy in Kabul; Rebel Leader Held in Connection with Manipur Ambush; UN Body to Monitor Pakistan


Taliban attack NATO convoy in Kabul

A suicide attacker driving a vehicle filled with explosives targeted a NATO military convoy in the Afghan capital city of Kabul on Tuesday, killing one person and wounding at least 20 others (AP, RFE/RL). The explosion, which occurred less than half a mile from the American Embassy, was timed to take place as government employees were leaving work for the day. The Taliban sent a text message to the Associated Press claiming responsibility for the attack.

Afghans protests after US forces raid strongman’s village

Protesters in the northern province of Parwan blocked the main highway on Monday after American forces raided the village of a local strongman and blew up a weapons depot belonging to him (NYT, RFE/RL). The target of Monday’s raid was Jan Ahmad, a local commander who fought against the Soviets and then the Taliban. According to an aide to Ahmad, the raid was carried out at 4:30 a.m. and involved U.S. forces descending from helicopters. After they finished searching the home, soldiers blew up the weapons depot on the property. After the raid, shops in Charikar, the capital of Parwan province, remained closed and Ahmad’s supporters shouted, “Death to America” and “Death to the enemies of Islam” in the streets. Col. Brian Tribus, a spokesman for Gen. Campbell, said the raid had been conducted “to destroy a cache of munitions that could be used to conduct attacks against Afghans and coalition forces.”


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Rebel leader held in connection with Manipur ambush

Authorities in India said on Tuesday morning that a rebel leader has been arrested in connection with the killings of 20 of its soldiers in an ambush on a troop convoy last month in northeastern state of Manipur (BBC). The National Investigation Agency announced that the rebel leader Khumlo Abi Anal of the separatist National Socialist Council of Nagaland has been held in what is the first arrest in the case. The ambush occurred last month near the border with Myanmar. Indian army attacked rebel camps inside Myanmar days after the attack. Indian authorities said at the time that troops had destroyed two rebel camps in Myanmar and “returned safely,” but Myanmar later denied the reports.

Nestle India allowed to export noodles

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed Nestle India to export Maggi noodles, currently banned in Maharashtra and numerous other states in the country (HT, Hindu, IBT). A divisional bench of Justices V.M. Kanade and B.P. Colabawalla ruled that the company is “at liberty to export.” The company told the court that it was in the process of recalling and incinerating product packages. The next hearing will be on July 14. After samples of noodles manufactured in March 2014 were reportedly found to contain high lead content and monosodium glutamate (MSG), the brand is under scrutiny of various state governments and the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry.

Jayalalitha wins Tamil Nadu’s RK Nagar seat by nearly 150,000 votes

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary and chief minister J Jayalalithaa returned to the Tamil Nadu state assembly on Tuesday by a record victory margin from the constituency Radkhakrishnan Nagar in the city of Chennai (PTI, NDTV, IBT). Jayalalithaa polled 160,432 votes while her nearest rival, Communist Party of India’s C. Mahendran got 9,710 votes — a victory margin of 150,722 votes. The total electorate in the constituency is around 245,000, and the chief minister bagged more than 50 percent of that. Jayalalithaa was elected from the state’s central constituency of Srirangam in 2011 but lost that seat and the chief minister’s position after a trial court in Bengaluru convicted her in a corruption case. The Karnataka High Court upheld her appeal and acquitted her of all charges. Jayalalithaa was again sworn in as chief minister, but she had to get elected to the assembly within six months.


UN body to monitor Pakistan

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will be monitoring Pakistan’s enforcement of United Nations’ financial sanctions against terrorism through its associate body, the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), reports stated on Tuesday (ET, EconomicTimes). China reportedly attempted to keep Pakistan from scrutiny by the FATF, stating that since Pakistan was not a member of the FATF the matter could not be taken up at the conference that was being held in Brisbane from June 21 through the 26th. However, other members of the intergovernmental organization, such as India, argued that despite not being part of the FATF, Pakistan was part of the APG and as such should be subject to monitoring by the FATF. At the conference, India and the United States brought up Pakistan’s lack of conviction in freezing assets and implementing sanctions against terrorists.

MQM leader released from jail

Senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Rabita Committee member Amir Khan was released from a Karachi jail on Tuesday after an anti-terrorism court granted him bail (Dawn, ET). Khan was taken into custody on March 11 during a raid into the MQM’s headquarters in Azizabad. A case was registered against Khan for allegedly providing shelter to 26 wanted persons and for terrorist activities. The court granted Khan bail on Monday and the judge told Khan his bail was approved due to a faulty investigation. Khan cannot leave the country while on bail.

— Emily Schneider and Shuja Malik

Edited by Peter Bergen