Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani signed a decree on Monday to pardon and release about 400 Taliban inmates, according to the president’s palace.
The inmates are included in the 5,000 prisoners listed by the Taliban group.
The palace tweeted that Ghani signed the decree late Monday evening for pardon of punishment of convicted Taliban prisoners, reports Xinhua.
The move came one day after participants of a 3,400-member Loya Jirga, or the Grand Assembly, voted for the release of 400 hardcore Taliban inmates.
A peace deal agreement signed between the US and Taliban in Qatar in February required the Afghan government to free 5,000 Taliban inmates in exchange for Taliban's release of 1,000 soldiers or government staff.
Since early March, the Afghan government had released 5,100 Taliban inmates and Taliban freed 1,000 Afghan soldiers or government staff.
Under the agreement, US and NATO-led coalition forces would leave Afghanistan by July next year depending on whether the Taliban outfit meets the conditions envisaged in the agreement, including severing ties with foreign terrorist groups.
However, the presidential palace said provisions of the issued decree about Taliban pardon do not prevent individuals from suing for their right.
It was not immediately known when the 400 Taliban inmates will be freed.
According to unnamed officials, following the release of 400 Taliban inmates, the long-delayed peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government will begin later this month.
US President Donald Trump abruptly exited from a briefing escorted by a Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room following a ‘shooting’ outside.
The incident took place while he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon, reports AP.
He returned minutes later, saying there was a “shooting” outside the White House. However, Trump said that the incident was under control.
“There was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital,” Trump said.
The president said the shots were fired by law enforcement, saying he believed the individual who was shot was armed.
“It was the suspect who was shot,” Trump said.
Trump said he was escorted to the Oval Office by the agent. The White House was placed on lockdown following the incident.
The shooting took place near 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, just blocks from the White House, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation who were not authorised to speak publicly about it.
Law enforcement officials were still trying to determine the suspect's motive.
The Secret Service tweeted Monday night that the male subject and a Secret Service officer were transported to a local hospital.
“At no time during this incident was the White House complex breached or were any protectees in danger,” the agency said.
The District of Columbia fire department said the suspect suffered serious or possibly critical injuries. Authorities were investigating whether he has a history of mental illness.
Trump praised the work of Secret Service personnel for keeping him safe. Asked if he was shaken by the incident, Trump asked reporters: “I don’t know. Do I seem rattled?”
Nepali has decided to extend suspension of domestic and international flights as well as public transport until August 31 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision came on Monday as the Himalayan country was witnessing resurgence of the Covid-19 cases.
The nearly four-month long lockdown was lifted on July 22 and the people's movement was eased out in the country.
Nepal’s Finance and Communication Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada told The Rising Nepal, a government-owned newspaper, that domestic and international flights as well as all the public transport would be suspended till August 31.
An aide to a minister also confirmed the cabinet decision to Xinhua.
On July 20, the Nepal's cabinet had decided to resume domestic and international flights which have remained suspended since March 22, from August 17 along with the decision of lifting the lockdown.
Earlier, the Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation recommended continuing to suspend flights.
The Nepali government has also decided to enforce strict surveillance in the border areas and in Kathmandu Valley to monitor the human movement.
At least 20 potentially dangerous chemical containers remain at the Beirut port, destroyed in a massive explosion last week, a member of a French cleanup team said.
Chemical experts and firefighters are working to secure them, after finding one that was leaking.
Some of the containers were punctured in last week’s blast, said Lt Anthony, a French chemical expert at the site.
He said the French and Italian chemical experts working at the port have so far identified more than 20 containers carrying dangerous chemicals.
“We noted the presence of containers with the chemical danger symbol. And then noted that one of the containers was leaking,” he told The Associated Press in a TV interview on Monday.
The experts are working with Lebanese firefighters to secure all of the containers and analyse their contents, he said. “We need to clean everything and put all in security.”
He didn’t identify what chemicals were involved or provide further details.
Lebanese officials have not commented on the potential chemical risks at the port.
“There are also other flammable liquids in other containers, there are also batteries, or other kind of products which could increase the risk of potential explosion,” Anthony said, describing huge containers tossed around the port by the powerful force of the blast.
The explosion last Tuesday in the port killed at least 160 people and injured about 6,000 others.
It is believed to have been caused by a fire that ignited a 2,750-ton stockpile of highly volatile ammonium nitrate.
The material had been stored at the port since 2013 with few safeguards despite numerous warnings of the danger.
The chemical experts are among scores of French emergency workers helping search for bodies, aiding the sick and cleaning up after the blast. Nearly 50 French police are also in Beirut helping investigate what happened.
Global COVID-19 cases have surpassed 20 million according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, reports Xinhua.
The global case count reached 20,011,186, with a total of 734,664 deaths worldwide, the CSSE data showed on Tuesday morning.
The United States, the worst-hit country by the pandemic, has recorded 5,089,416 cases and 163,425 fatalities, accounting for a quarter of the global caseload.
Brazil is the second hardest-hit country with 3,057,470 cases and 101,752 deaths.
Meanwhile, India has confirmed more than 2.2 million cases.
Countries with more than 400,000 cases also include Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Peru. Other countries with over 30,000 deaths are Mexico, Britain, India, Italy and France, according to the center.
The world has seen soaring new infections over the past months. Global cases topped 10 million on June 28 and doubled just 43 days later.
Coronavirus was first reported in China’s Wuhan province in December last year and later it spread across the globe rapidly.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11.