Afghanistan: Brother of country’s former vice president ‘shot dead by Taliban’ in Panjshir province

Rohullah Azizi – the brother of Afghanistan’s former vice president – has been shot dead by the Taliban, his nephew has said.

Mr Azizi, the brother of Amrullah Saleh, was travelling in the northern Panjshir province when his car was stopped by Taliban fighters at a checkpoint.

“As we hear at the moment Taliban shot him and his driver at the checkpoint,” Shuresh Saleh said.

Mr Azizi was an anti-Taliban fighter and his nephew said it was unclear where he was headed when the Taliban stopped him.

He added phones were not working in the area.

Amrullah Saleh led forces resisting the Taliban in Panjshir, which was the last holdout province in Afghanistan to be overrun by Taliban fighters.

Videos shared online showed the Taliban allegedly opening fire on anti-Taliban fighters in Panjshir, who had been arrested.

Sky News has contacted Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s official spokesperson, for comment on the incident.

A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report released on 11 September said Afghanistan was teetering on the brink of “universal poverty” that could become a reality next year unless efforts are made to bolster to the economy.

The UNDP report outlined four scenarios that project Afghanistan’s GDP will decline between 3.6% and 13.2% in the next fiscal year.

That is in sharp contrast to the expected 4% growth in GDP before the Taliban took control of Kabul on 15 August.

“Afghanistan pretty much faces universal poverty by the middle of next year,” said Kanni Wignaraja, the UNDP’s Asia-Pacific director. “That’s where we’re heading – it’s 97-98% [poverty rate] no matter how you work these projections.”

Currently, Afghanistan’s poverty rate is 72%.

Last week, foreign nationals, including 13 Britons, boarded a Qatar Airways flight out of Kabul and a second flight landed in Doha on Saturday morning.

Many on the second flight were dual nationals – Afghans with American, French, Canadian, Dutch or British passports and one, who spoke to Sky News in Doha, said he feels safe now but is angry at the West.

Abdul, from London, said: “I as a British citizen and also as an Afghani citizen, I’m a dual national, I call on the international community, especially those countries that are involved in Afghanistan conflict and in Afghanistan politics, they shouldn’t let Afghanistan alone (sic).”

More flights carrying people stuck in Afghanistan are expected in the coming days, providing the new regime continues to cooperate.

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