Effort Underway to Retake Kunduz; India to Buy $3B in US Helicopters; Pakistani Man Arrested as Juvenile Executed

Event Notice: “Objective Troy: The Hunt for Awlaki,” Thursday, October 1, 12:15 pm to 1:45 pm, (New America) Afghanistan Effort underway to retake Kunduz On Tuesday, Afghan forces began an offensive to retake Kunduz from the Taliban, who gained control of the city the day before (BBC, VOA, TOLO News, Pajhwok). The Taliban sealed the ...

Afghan security forces gather at the roadside a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz, on September 29, 2015.  Afghanistan on September 29, 2015, mobilised reinforcements for a counter-offensive to take back Kunduz, a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city in their biggest victory since being ousted from power in 2001.   AFP PHOTO        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan security forces gather at the roadside a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz, on September 29, 2015. Afghanistan on September 29, 2015, mobilised reinforcements for a counter-offensive to take back Kunduz, a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city in their biggest victory since being ousted from power in 2001. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan security forces gather at the roadside a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city of Kunduz, on September 29, 2015. Afghanistan on September 29, 2015, mobilised reinforcements for a counter-offensive to take back Kunduz, a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city in their biggest victory since being ousted from power in 2001. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Event Notice: “Objective Troy: The Hunt for Awlaki,” Thursday, October 1, 12:15 pm to 1:45 pm, (New America)

Afghanistan

Effort underway to retake Kunduz

Event Notice: “Objective Troy: The Hunt for Awlaki,” Thursday, October 1, 12:15 pm to 1:45 pm, (New America)

Afghanistan

Effort underway to retake Kunduz

On Tuesday, Afghan forces began an offensive to retake Kunduz from the Taliban, who gained control of the city the day before (BBC, VOA, TOLO News, Pajhwok). The Taliban sealed the four entrances to the city on Monday and captured government buildings, the police headquarters, and the prison, freeing 500 inmates (TOLO News). Afghan forces sent to Kunduz to launch an assault were ambushed by the Taliban on their way to the city, but according to the Ministry of Defense, military reinforcements have surrounded the city and recaptured the police headquarters and central jail. U.S. forces carried out an airstrike outside the city Tuesday morning “to eliminate a threat to coalition and Afghan forces,” said Col. Brian Tribus, a spokesman for the United States forces in Afghanistan. There is no word on casualties yet.

Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour released a victory statement, saying: “The citizens of Kunduz city should be aware that the Islamic Emirate has no intention of transgressing against their personal property, carrying out extrajudicial killings, looting or breaching the inviolability of homes” (NYT).

This is the first time since falling out of power that the Taliban have controlled a major city (Post). It comes on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the National Unity Government.

ISIS renews Nangarhar checkpoints attacks

Achin district chief Haji Ghalib told Pajhwok Afghan News that 600 militants with the Islamic States (ISIS) once again attacked security posts in the Achin district of Nangarhar province at 3 am Tuesday morning (Pajhwok). Just two days ago, on Sunday, 300 ISIS fighters attacked several checkpoints in Achin district, but were repelled by Afghan forces.

CEO Abdullah speaks at United Nations

On Monday, CEO Abdullah Abdullah spoke at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, and called on Pakistan and the international community to support Afghanistan (UN). Abdullah said: “We call on Pakistan to do what its leadership promised to us a few months ago when they agreed to crack down on known terror outfits. We also call on regional stakeholders and our international partners to realize the gravity of the situation, and use their good offices or any effective means to support our aspirations for a genuine and durable confidence-building process leading to talks with willing Taliban and other armed opposition groups.”

India

India to buy U.S. helicopters worth $3 billion

A few hours before the meeting between between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama, Indian Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar announced on Monday that a deal had been reached between then U.S. government, the Indian government, and the American firm Boeing, according to which India will be buying 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers (HT, Hindu). This deal had been delayed a number of times while the costs had already been negotiated in 2013, and many had expected it to be completed during the visit of U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in June of this year.

RBI cuts repo rate by 50 basis points to 6.75 percent

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a decrease in the repo rate by 50 basis points to 6.75 percent (Reuters, LiveMint). Repo rate is the interest rate at which the central bank lends money to commercial banks. With consumer price inflation in India at record low levels, this is the fourth such rate cut by the RBI this year, and it is also twice as large as experts had predicted. The central bank also cut the gross domestic product growth target for 2016 to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent.

Modi concludes U.S. visit with Obama meeting

Prime Minister Modi concluded his five day visit to the United States with a meeting with President Obama, where both leaders focused on the upcoming climate change conference in Paris (BBC, IBT, Hindu). Speaking at the Leaders’ Summit on U.N. Peacekeeping at the United Nations earlier, Modi announced that India would commit an additional 850 troops to the U.N. peacekeeping missions around the world. He highlighted that 180,000 Indian troops have participated in U.N. peacekeeping missions, more than from any other country. Modi also called for reforms of the U.N. Security Council, where India hopes to get a permanent seat. Over the course of his trip, Modi visited numerous tech company headquarters on the west coast in an effort to increase their investments in India.

Pakistan

Man arrested as juvenile executed

On Tuesday, Ansar Iqbal was hanged in Sargodha 16 years after being arrested for the murder of a neighbor (Reuters). Iqbal’s family claims he was a juvenile at the time of the crime and submitted Iqbal’s school records and birth certificate, which gave his age at 14 and 15 respectively. Pakistani law prohibits executing individuals arrested as minors.

Woman dies after in-laws force her to drink acid

On Monday, 25-year-old Takreem Bibi died in the Daska area of Punjab province from ingesting acid that her in-laws forced her to drink for not bringing enough dowry (RFE/RL). Takreem, who had only been married for three weeks, was taken to the hospital by neighbors. The in-laws frequently beat Takreem for her lack of dowry and have since fled the house. Last week in Daska, a 26-year-old woman was poisoned to death by her husband for her insufficient dowry.

— Courtney Schuster and Shuja Malik

Edited by Peter Bergen

STR/AFP/Getty Images

Courtney Schuster is a research associate with the International Security Program at New America and an assistant editor with the South Asia Channel.

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