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The US military confirms that a drone strike in Kabul killed ten civilians

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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On Friday, the US military revealed that a drone strike in late August in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed up to ten civilians, including seven children.

“Having fully evaluated the investigation’s findings and the supporting analysis by interagency partners, I am now confident that as many as ten civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that strike,” Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, told reporters during a Pentagon press briefing.

“We currently believe that the vehicle and those killed were not linked with ISIS-K or posed a direct threat to US forces,” he continued.

The general acknowledged that the lethal strike was “a sad blunder.” “As the combatant commander, I am entirely to blame for this strike and its awful outcome.”

On August 29, the United States Central Command announced that it had launched a drone strike on a vehicle in Kabul, claiming that it had eliminated an “imminent” threat posed by ISIS-K, an Afghanistan-based offshoot of the Islamic State, to the Hamid Karzai International Airport, where evacuations of US service members and personnel were underway.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, labeled it a “righteous strike” following proper protocols.

According to media sources, the US military may have hit the wrong target during the strike, resulting in civilian casualties.

The vehicle driver was identified as Zemarai Ahmadi, a 43-year-old electrical engineer working for Nutrition and Education International, a U.S. humanitarian organization based in Pasadena, California, by separate investigations by The New York Times and The Washington Post.

“We now know that Mr. Ahmadi had no link to ISIS-Khorasan,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement on Friday. “His actions that day were

absolutely innocuous and had nothing to do with the imminent threat we thought we faced, and Mr. Ahmadi was just as innocent a victim as the others sadly died.”

“We sincerely apologize, and we will make every effort to learn from this heinous error,” he continued.

The Pentagon chief also stated that he had requested a further examination of the recently concluded probe by US Central Command to evaluate whether “accountability mechanisms” and strike authorization and procedures needed to be changed in the future.

The Central Command declared on August 30 that it had completed the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, bringing an end to the country’s 20-year military presence, following botched evacuations that attracted harsh condemnation from both home and abroad.

The United States declared a “War on Terror” and invaded Afghanistan in 2001, shortly after al-Qaida terrorists hijacked passenger planes and carried out suicide assaults on US soil, killing almost 3,000 people.

Washington has expanded its military operations into several additional nations over the years, depending primarily on drone attacks for targeted executions. According to the group Airwars, US drone operations and airstrikes have killed at least 22,000 civilians over the last two decades.

 

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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Top10 students need to become teachers: Dr. Aishath Ali

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Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali has stated that students who were placed in the Top 10 need to become teachers and educators.

She made the statement speaking in the Top Achiever’s Award 2019 ceremony, held Sunday night.

In her address, the Minister said that Maldives had the capacity to press ahead in academic endeavors, and one of the ways to do this was to invest in teachers. Therefore, she said, it was imperative that the best minds present head towards teaching and educating.

The Minister said that in the past 30 years, several thousand Maldivians had been placed in the global top ten. Success, she added, was not solely dependent on academic achievement but also on how much one contributed to the society and country.

Dr. Aishath further commended the parents for their unwavering belief in their children and the innumerable sacrifices.

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Maldives to host an annual invitational football tournament

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Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof says that the President has instructed him to host an annual invitational football tournament.

Speaking to the press, Minister Mahloof said the success of the Oooredoo SAFF Championship highlighted the passion the country has toward football. This, he said, was the core factor for the success of the tournament. Based on this, the Minister said that the President had given a recommendation that the Maldives must host an annual invitational tournament.

Mahloof did not reveal additional details. However, he said that Bassam Adeel Jaleel, President of the Football Association of the Maldives, we’re hammering out the details.

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President says government stands ready to support all students to achieve their ambitions in their field of choice

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that his government has and will continue to stand ready to fully support all students to achieve their career ambitions in their field of choice. The President made this statement tonight at the official awarding ceremony for A-Level Top Achievers of 2019 held at Thaajuddeen School. President Solih said that the students, now graduates, are at an important crossroads where they have to contemplate and decide on the road to take for their future. He urged students to make full use of the higher education and training opportunities offered to them by the government, in the Maldives or abroad, and fulfil their dreams in their field of choice.

President Solih congratulated all the top achievers who received awards, naming them the true guests of honour at the ceremony tonight. He stated that in addition to the students, their educators, including teachers, lead teachers and principals, and parents also deserve praise and appreciation for enabling the students to reach their dreams. The President extended his gratitude to all educators and parents for their diligence in helping the younger generations achieve their potential.

Speaking further, President Solih advised students to align their goals with the fast pace of today’s world, utilising modern technology and science for innovation and out-of-the-box thinking to create openings and develop themselves in professions that hold their interest. He urged students to aim to use the tools and opportunities available to them in today’s modern world in innovative and creative ways rather than chasing after a specific job immediately following graduation. The President described diversity and innovation as crucial for swift economic and national development, calling on parents and educators to foster creativity and innovative thinking in whichever field holds the childs’ interests.

President Solih also underlined the central role of teachers and educators in the nation, stating that there are 9119 teachers in the Maldives today; 6498 permanent Maldivian teachers, 1730 expatriate teachers and 891 temporary teachers. He expressed concern that the number of temporary teachers is on the rise, and that a lack of interest in the teaching field could lead to students not receiving the ideal education and nurture they need to achieve their individual dreams. He revealed that the government aims to conduct research into the state of the education sector and teaching vocation to determine the reason for the scarcity of permanent Maldivian educators. He further urged more Maldivians to join the vocation, stating that the younger generations need Maldivian teachers who can train them in the holy principles of Islam and foster future generations of innovative, empathetic and patriotic individuals.

Concluding his statement, President Solih entreated parents and teachers to support the government to shape the younger generations into creative thinkers who can surmount the challenges of the 21st Century, praying to Almighty Allah to bless the efforts.

First Lady Fazna Ahmed and Vice President Faisal Naseem accompanied the President in conferring certificates and awards to the top achievers at tonight’s ceremony.

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