Strong earthquake shakes Asian cities

BBC News

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake has been felt across a number of major cities across south-west Asia. The earthquake struck in Afghanistan, close to its border with Tajikistan, at 10:28 GMT, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). There are reports the tremor was felt in Kabul, Islamabad, Lahore and Delhi, forcing residents to leave their homes. The latest quake, in the sparsely-populated Hindu Kush mountains, struck at a depth of 210km, the USGS reported. It was the same depth as the 2015 quake.


Travelling with James Mattis, Donald Trump's Pick for Secretary of Defense

The New Yorker

In September, 2011, I met General James Mattis, then in charge of U.S. Central Command, at its headquarters, in Tampa, Florida. Central Command directs American military forces in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The General's staff had agreed to allow me to travel with him on an extensive tour of "the sandbox," as American military officers sometimes call the region. The itinerary was the sort that a travel agent on hallucinogens might propose: Tampa-Amman-Cairo-Doha-Abu Dhabi-Islamabad-Kabul, plus a final stopover in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I would be the only reporter on his plane for eight days or so.


Alleged leader of China consulate attack in Pakistan reported killed in Afghanistan

The Japan Times

QUETTA, PAKISTAN - One of the alleged masterminds of an attack by a Pakistani separatist group on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi last month has been killed in Afghanistan along with five associates, the insurgent group that claimed the attack said on Wednesday. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), which opposes projects linked to China's Belt and Road infrastructure initiative in resource-rich Baluchistan, issued a statement on Tuesday confirming the death of Aslam Baloch, one of its leaders. "The important BLA commander Aslam Baloch, along with five associates in the organisation were martyred in an enemy attack on Monday," Jiand Baloch, a spokesman for the separatist group said in a statement that gave no details. Pakistan's Samaa Television reported that Aslam was killed along with a number of his commanders in a suicide attack in Aino Maina in Kandahar province. A spokesman for the Pakistani foreign ministry did not respond.


US envoy on Afghan peace takes his mission to Pakistan

FOX News

FILE - This March 2009, file photo, shows Zalmay Khalilzad, special adviser on reconciliation in Kabul, Afghanistan. Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington's newly named point man, tasked with finding a peaceful end to Afghanistan's 17- year war, is in Pakistan to seek the new government's help pushing the Taliban to the table, according to a U.S. Embassy statement Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. ISLAMABAD – Washington's newly named point man tasked with finding a peaceful end to Afghanistan's 17-year war is in Pakistan to seek the help of the new government in Islamabad in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table, the U.S. Embassy said Tuesday. A former U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Pakistan from neighboring Afghanistan. His tour of the region will also include Middle East stops in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.


Taliban Says Held 'Extensive Talks' With U.S. Officials, Reconvening Saturday

U.S. News

KABUL/PESHAWAR,Pakistan (Reuters) - Taliban and American officials holding talks in Qatar on ways to end the war in Afghanistan have held "extensive" discussions on how foreign troops could be withdrawn and on how to guarantee the country would not be used again by outside forces to attack other countries, the Taliban said in a statement on Thursday.