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British journalist among number of people detained in Kabul

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KABUL: A number of Afghan people and two journalists have been detained in the capital. One of the journalists is a British national and formerly belonged to BBC. Both were on assignment with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Afghan nationals (UNHCR). Meanwhile, in northern Afghanistan, an explosion outside a mosque has killed on person and injured 14 others.

Journalists Andrew North’s partner Natalia Antelava tweeted: “Andrew was in Kabul working for the UNHCR & trying to help the people of Afghanistan. We are extremely concerned for his safety & call on anyone with influence to help secure his release.”

The UNHCR said in a statement: “We are doing our utmost to resolve the situation, in coordination with others. We will make no further comment given the nature of the situation.”

The Taliban have not yet commented on the alleged incident.

It comes after senior British diplomats met with leading Taliban figures in Oslo to discuss the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The UK does not recognise the Taliban regime, which took power in Afghanistan last year during chaotic scenes as Western forces pulled out of Kabul.

The United Nations’ World Food Programme has warned that 8.7 million people in Afghanistan are at risk of starvation.

The UK withdrew its diplomats from Kabul last year, but Boris Johnson’s special envoy to Afghanistan joined counterparts from America and other allies for behind-closed-door discussions with Taliban envoys.

Meanwhile, one person is dead and 14 others were injured after an explosive device went off in front of the main mosque in western Afghanistan, the provincial health chief Mohammad Asif Qanet said Friday.

Qanet said the dead and the 14 wounded, with one in critical condition, have been taken to hospital following the blast that took place at the main gate of the mosque in Qala-e-Naw city, capital of western Afghanistan’s Badghis province.

Four children were among the injured, the official added.

Baz Mohammad Sarwari, director of Information and Culture of Badghis province, has also confirmed the explosion, saying the blast occurred at 2 pm local time and an investigation has been initiated.

According to Sarwari, 10 suspects have been arrested, and no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the incident.

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