The Latest: Taliban fire weapons into air, at least 2 killed

ISTANBUL — An official at Emergency Hospital in Kabul says two people were killed and 12 wounded after Taliban fighters in the capital fired their weapons into the air in celebration.

Taliban in Kabul fired into the air Friday night to celebrate gains on the battlefield in Panjshir province, which still remains under the control of anti-Taliban fighters.

The hospital official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Twitter criticized the practice of firing into the air and called on the militants to stop it immediately

Tolo TV reported 17 bodies and 41 wounded people were transferred to Emergency Hospital.

— By Tameem Akhgar


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UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations chief will convene a ministerial meeting in Geneva on Sept. 13 to seek a swift scale-up in funding to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where nearly half the country’s 38 million people need assistance.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric made the announcement Friday and said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also appeal “for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to make sure Afghans continue to get the essential services they need.”

Dujarric said the U.N. appeal for $1.3 billion for 2021 to help more than 18 million people is just 40% funded, leaving a $766 million deficit.

“Afghanistan faces a looming humanitarian catastrophe,” the U.N. spokesman said. “One in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from. Nearly half of all children under the age of 5 are predicted to be acutely malnourished in the next 12 months.”

Earlier Friday, Dujarric said the secretary-general is “very grateful for the generosity” of Denmark, Kazakhstan, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the United States for making available facilities and transport for the temporary relocation of U.N. staff in Afghanistan.

Dujarric announced Aug. 18 that about 100 of the U.N.’s 300 international staff were being moved to Kazakhstan to work remotely because of security concerns.