Taliban supreme leader makes rare appearance to mark Eid al-Fitr | Taliban News

Haibatullah Akhunzada appeared for under the second time since taking management of the Taliban in 2016 and hailed the ‘safety’ state of affairs in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s supreme chief Haibatullah Akhunzada appeared for under the second time since taking control of the Taliban in 2016 to inform worshippers celebrating Eid al-Fitr that the Taliban had achieved freedom and safety since seizing energy final 12 months.

Flanked by safety, Akhunzada spoke days after a strong explosion ripped by a mosque in Kabul, killing greater than 50 worshippers after Friday prayers – the newest of a sequence of assaults on civilian targets in Afghanistan throughout Ramadan.

“Congratulations on victory, freedom and success,” Akhunzada informed hundreds of worshippers on Saturday on the Eidgah mosque within the southern metropolis of Kandahar, the group’s de facto energy centre. “Congratulations on this safety and for the Islamic system.”

Whereas the variety of bombings throughout the nation has dropped since Kabul fell to the Taliban final August, assaults soared over the ultimate two weeks of Ramadan, which ended on Saturday for Afghans.

Dozens of civilians have been killed within the primarily sectarian assaults – some claimed by the ISIL (ISIS) armed group – focusing on members of the Shia and Sufi Muslim communities.

Taliban chief Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada is seen in an undated {photograph} [File: Reuters]

Akhunzada delivered his transient handle from one of many entrance rows of worshippers in Kandahar with out turning to face the group, in line with social media posts. Taliban officers didn’t permit journalists to strategy him. Two helicopters hovered over the mosque for the two-hour occasion.

In October, he had visited the Darul Uloom Hakimiah mosque in Kandahar, in line with an audio recording circulated by Taliban social media accounts.

On Sunday, many Afghans stayed indoors after the latest lethal assaults.

“The state of affairs of our folks could be very unhappy, particularly after what occurred within the mosques,” Kabul resident Ahmad Shah Hashemi stated. “Many younger and outdated folks have been martyred. The folks of Afghanistan don’t have anything however sorrow.”

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Akhunzada’s low profile has fed hypothesis about his function within the new Taliban authorities – shaped after the armed group took management of Kabul on August 15 – and even rumours of his demise.

Akhunzada, believed to be in his 70s, has been the non secular chief of the Taliban since 2016. He succeeded Mullah Akhtar Mansoor who was killed in a US drone strike inside Pakistan.

His public profile has largely been restricted to the discharge of messages throughout Islamic holidays, and Akhunzada is believed to spend most of his time in Kandahar.

On Friday, in a message launched before Eid al-Fitr, he made no point out of the bloodshed that has rocked Afghanistan over Ramadan, as an alternative praising the Taliban’s constructing of “a powerful Islamic and nationwide military” and “robust intelligence organisation”.

He additionally referred to as on the worldwide group to recognise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Taliban-led authorities is but to be recognised by any nation because it returned to energy final August, 20 years after it was toppled in a US-led invasion.

Honduras ex-President Hernandez makes first US court appearance | Courts News

Juan Orlando Hernandez faces drug trafficking and weapons fees after being extradited to america this week.

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has made his first look in US courtroom after being extradited to the nation to face drug trafficking and weapons fees.

Hernandez, 53, appeared by way of video hyperlink in federal courtroom in New York on Friday. He was not required to enter a plea, and his attorneys didn’t request bail for him however mentioned they might accomplish that at a later date, the AFP information company reported.

A US choose set a Could 10 arraignment listening to for Hernandez, the place he will probably be formally requested whether or not he pleads responsible or not.

Hernandez was extradited on Thursday afternoon from the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, on a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) aircraft certain for the US.

That very same day, US federal authorities unsealed an indictment towards the previous president, accusing him of collaborating in a “corrupt and violent drug-trafficking conspiracy to facilitate the importation of a whole bunch of 1000’s of kilograms of cocaine into america”.

He’s accused of getting facilitated the smuggling of some 500 tonnes of cocaine – primarily from Colombia and Venezuela – to the US by way of Honduras since 2004, beginning lengthy earlier than his presidency.

In flip, he acquired “tens of millions of {dollars} in bribes … from a number of narcotrafficking organizations in Honduras, Mexico and different locations”, US prosecutors allege, together with roughly $1m from Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

However the ex-president, who served two phrases between 2014 and January 2022, has maintained that he’s harmless. He misplaced his immunity from prosecution when he handed energy over to Honduras’s first feminine president, Xiomara Castro, in January.

A ruling by the Honduran Supreme Court docket in late March cleared the way for Hernandez to be extradited to face fees in a New York courtroom.

The US Justice Division mentioned in an announcement on Thursday that Hernandez – as soon as seen as a key US ally within the warfare on medicine – “was allegedly paid tens of millions of {dollars} in cocaine proceeds which he used to complement himself, finance his political campaigns, and commit voter fraud whereas the folks of Honduras endured situations of poverty and rampant violence”.

The US indictment charged Hernandez with three counts of drug and weapons offences that might land him many years in jail if convicted.

Damian Williams, the US legal professional for the Southern District of New York, mentioned throughout a information convention on Thursday night that Hernandez was concerned in “rampant corruption and big cocaine trafficking” that spurred violence in Honduras.

“Honduras grew to become probably the most violent international locations on this planet throughout the defendant’s presidency, and whereas Hernandez amassed cash and political affect, the folks of Honduras endured situations of poverty and violence,” he mentioned.

Hernandez has denied the allegations. In a video message launched Thursday, he mentioned: “I’m harmless; I’ve been and I’m being unjustly subjected to prosecution.”