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The Year Celebrity Love Died: Celebrity Couples have called it Quit in 2016

Labelled as the split of all splits of 2016, the Brangelina breakup leaved their fans heartbroken

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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Twiiter
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December 29, 2016: The year 2016 is full of broken engagements, broken vows, and the splits of both long-term and newer relationships. It surely takes a lot to hold a marriage and relationship together, but the fairy tale romances of some celebrity couples have come to a bitter end.

Here, a depressing look at the couples who called it quits this year:

Farhan Akhtar and Adhuna Bhabani: On January 21, 2016 the couple officially announced that they had “mutually and amicably decided to separate” after 16 years of marriage. Both Farhan and Adhuna chose to stay mum over the reason for their divorce. But several rumours indicated that Farhan’s extra-marital affair with Aditi Rao Hydari resulted to their divorce.

Farhan Akhtar and Adhuna Bhabani. Twitter

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Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif: The breakup of the most adorable Jodi of Bollywood caused quite a stir in the industry. While both the stars kept mum about the reason, a wave of speculations had risen with everyone trying to guess what the cause might be. It is also said that Ranbir and Deepika’s closeness during the promotions of their film Tamasha, led to this break-up.

Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. Twitter

Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora: The couple announced their separation on 28 March 2016. The happy couple last came together for a reality TV show based on love and positivity ‘Power Couple.’ The couple has been married for over 17 years and has a son. It is believed that Malaika decided to move out of the Khan household along with her son Arhaan.

Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora. Twitter

Sushant Singh Rajput and Ankita Lokhande: One of best-looking TV couples ended their 6-year-long relationship, which began on the sets of their debut TV show, ‘Pavitra Rishta.’ Sushant had announced in January 2016 that he would tie the knot with Ankita by the end of this year. But their relationship took another turn.

Sushant Singh Rajput and Ankita Lokhande. Twitter

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: Labelled as the split of all splits of 2016, the Brangelina breakup left their fans heartbroken. On September 20, 2016, Angelina Jolie announced she was divorcing Brad Pitt. The two got together in 2004 after starring in Mr And Mrs Smith. They got married in 2014 in France, and have six children together three of whom were adopted.

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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: The split between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard took a serious and ugly turn. Heard accused Depp of domestic abuse. On the set of “The Rum Diary” in 2009, their love story began In February 2015 they exchanged wedding vows, but sources close to the couple said their fights began within three months.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Twitter

Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart: It seemed like Jennifer Lopez had finally found her everlasting love, Casper Smart who reportedly was a dancer or something before becoming a full-time boyfriend. Smart cheated on Lopez twice. The couple ended their relationship in August 2016.

Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart. Twitter

– Prepared by Ruchika Kumari of NewsGram. Twitter: @RuchiUjjaini

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)