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More trouble in Afghanistan

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sun 11 Nov - 16:01

11 November 2012 Last updated at 14:23
Afghan attack kills newborn baby and mother

Continue reading the main story

Taliban Conflict



  • Inside Camp Bastion
  • What's behind insider attacks?
  • Marching forwards
  • Taliban fighters switch sides

A mother and her newborn baby were among six people killed when a roadside bomb exploded in eastern Afghanistan, officials have said.

The bomb hit a group returning home from hospital, striking their vehicle as it travelled through Khost province, on the Pakistan border.

Taliban insurgents frequently use roadside bombs to target security forces in Afghanistan.

The same roads are used by civilians who often become the victims.

Two more women and two men were also among those killed in Sunday's attack, AFP reports.

"A pregnant woman was taken by her family to a hospital last night at 10pm, and they were making their way home in the morning with their newly born baby when the bomb hit," Zarmaeed Mokhlis, governor of Khost's Sabari district, told Reuters.

A Taliban spokesman said the group was aware of the Khost incident, the news agency reports, but could not immediately confirm or deny involvement.

According to the United Nations, some 1,145 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in the first six months of the year.

It blames 80% of these deaths on insurgents, with more than half caused by roadside bombs.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Mon 12 Nov - 8:04

British soldier dead in fresh 'green on blue' attack in Afghanistan


A British soldier died today after an ''insider attack'' at his base in Afghanistan, hours after forces gathered to remember fallen comrades at Remembrance Sunday services across the country.








Group Captain Portlock RAF as he lays a wreath at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, as the Royal Air Force representative Photo: PA





By Andrew Hough, and Ben Farmer in Kabul

11:00PM GMT 11 Nov 2012




The soldier, from The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed in a "green on blue" attack while in Patrol Base Shawqat, in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.


The gunman was wearing an Afghan army uniform. The soldier's next of kin has been informed, the Ministry of Defence said.


The death brings the number of British servicemen killed by Afghan soldiers or police to 12 this year, compared to just one in 2011, three in 2010, and five in 2009.


At least 54 international troops have died as a result of such attacks, in which Afghans turn their weapons on their coalition colleagues.











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The death came hours after simple services were held in Kabul and at bases in Helmand, including at Camp Bastion and British headquarters in Lashkar Gah.

Major Laurence Roche, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said tonight: ''I am very sorry to report the death of a soldier from The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, who was shot by an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform at his base in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.

''This is incredibly sad news for the battalion and everyone serving in Task Force Helmand.

''As we mark Remembrance this weekend, our thoughts now turn to the soldier's family and friends whose loss is so much greater than ours."

A spokesman for the Nato-led coalition said: “An individual wearing Afghan army uniform turned against coalition members, killing one.

"We have not determined at this time if the shooter was an Afghan National Army member or an infiltrator. The shooter was wounded in an exchange of fire and is now in custody.”

Gen Syed Malook Safi of the Afghan army’s 215 Maiwand Corps said shooting had broken out after an argument between British and Afghan forces.

News of the killing came after the Queen led the nation in honouring the fallen today, as the country fell silent to remember its war dead.

In scenes replicated at memorials across the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations, the monarch laid the first wreath at the Cenotaph to commemorate members of the Armed Forces who died fighting in all conflicts since the First World War.

Services to mark Remembrance Sunday were held across the country.

At Camp Bastion, the biggest British base in Helmand province, servicemen and women from the Army, Navy and Air Force gathered.

Lt Col Richard Parry, spokesman for British forces in the province, said: “They gathered to remember colleagues who have fallen. It was very simple service remembrance service.”

Members of the Afghan army and police also attended. There was also a wreath-laying ceremony at the British embassy in Kabul.

Britain has around 9,500 troops currently in Afghanistan, and the total will fall to 9,000 by the end of the year. A total of 438 British troops have died in the 11-year-long Afghan campaign, including 43 this year.

A significant pull out of British forces is expected to be announced early next year.

General Sir David Richards, Chief of the Defence Staff, confirmed today that “thousands” of troops would be withdrawing in 2013.

Britain, along with its Nato allies, has agreed to pull out all combat troops by the end of 2014, though a smaller deployment of military trainers and special forces are expected to remain.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Fri 16 Nov - 8:04

We have failed in Afghanistan and should pull out immediately says Paddy Ashdown


It is "crystal clear" that the war in Afghanistan has been lost and continuing to fight is not worth the life of one more British soldier, according to Lord Ashdown.








Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES





By Lucy Kinder

7:29AM GMT 16 Nov 2012





The former Liberal Democrat leader urged British troops to "get out" of Afghanistan as soon as possible, to avoid "wasting" any more lives.


He said: "The only outcome of staying longer is more deaths for no purpose; most of them now caused not by the enemy in front of our troops, but by the enemy among them."


Writing in The Times he cited the statistic that so far this year 61 coalition soldiers have been killed by members of the Afghan National Army or Police- 14 of them have been British.


Last month a British Army commander warned that the threat to British troops posed by their Afghan allies has increased and more attacks can be expected.


Brigadier Doug Chalmers said that the rise in insider attacks is partly “statistical,” suggesting that a certain percentage of the Afghan forces will always be unreliable.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Tue 27 Nov - 17:33


  1. Home»
  2. News»
  3. World News»
  4. Asia»
  5. Afghanistan







  1. Kabul Bank 'diverted £540 million to group of 12 in massive fraud'

Afghanistan's biggest private bank was a massive fraud scheme from its founding, with £540 million ($861 million) diverted to a clique of beneficiaries including the president's brother, a British-funded audit has found.








Kabul bank, Afghanistan Photo: ALAMY






By Ben Farmer, Kabul

2:57PM GMT 27 Nov 2012





Kabul Bank used deposits to make huge fraudulent loans to a small circle of shareholders, political figures and their companies, with little expectation they would be repaid.


Staff were ordered to forge documents to create proxy loans under fictional names, or the names of cleaners and drivers. Millions were also plundered by shareholders in fraudulent expenses, rent and purchases.


At the same time 10 airline pilots were on the payroll, apparently to help smuggle vast sums of cash out of the country to Dubai via Kabul airport.


New details of the scale of fraud have been disclosed in a forensic audit of the bank, which needed a bail-out to survive when the wrongdoing emerged in 2010.


The bank's near collapse triggered a financial crisis and became emblematic of the rampant crony capitalism which has undermined the Afghan state since 2001.



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Kabul Bank had been hailed as proof of progress and modernisation in the country and held the salaries of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, policemen and government staff paid by international donors including America and Japan.

But the nine-month-long audit conducted by Kroll, a global investigations firm, for the Afghan central bank found that it was a well concealed Ponzi scheme allowing shareholders to siphon off deposits.

Sources familiar with the audit told The Daily Telegraph that when the bank foundered, 92 per cent of its loan portfolio, or $861 million, was ultimately made out to 12 individuals.

Mahmoud Karzai, the president's brother, received $30.5 million (£19.1 million), Kroll found. He disputes that total, denies any wrongdoing and says he has repaid his loans. Haseen Fahim, a brother of the vice president, also received millions. Both men used loans to buy large shareholdings in the bank.

The audit found the chairman, Sher Khan Farnood, and chief executive, Khalilullah Frozi, profited most by keeping two sets of books and fabricating loans to divert money to themselves and their other shareholders. Both men are being held by the Afghan intelligence service and are currently on trial for fraud.

The bank's credit department used 114 rubber stamps for fake companies to forge loans and sham accounting firms were set up to authenticate the paperwork.

Shareholders invested much of their money in Dubai's property bubble at a time when American and Afghan authorities were worried that millions of dollars was being smuggled from Kabul airport each day.

The audit found payments to 10 Pamir Airways pilots for "cash shipments". Hundreds of millions was transferred out of the country via a money exchange firm owned by Mr Farnood.

Kabul Bank's plunder caused fury among donors weary of Mr Karzai's inability or unwillingness to confront such corruption. Britain and others last year threatened to halt aid payments unless the audit was conducted and the culprits were prosecuted.

Sir William Patey, then British ambassador to Kabul, said Afghanistan had to take action against Mr Farnood and Mr Frozi.

"Kabul Bank is so symbolic, because it's two people who have been caught, bang to rights, they've been caught red-handed," he told the Guardian.

"All the rest remains allegations and suspicions, so that's why it's a kind of litmus test. If you won't do these ones, what chance the rest?"

========================================

Why don't we get out of Afghanistan NOW.!!

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  malena stool on Tue 27 Nov - 19:45

What a wonderful testament to the hundreds of British and American men and women who have been killed and wounded in what is one of the most corrupt countries on this planet.

Bring our troops home now and let Afghanistan revert to its pre stone-age culture.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Thu 29 Nov - 12:20

Afghan Girl's Throat Slit Over Refusal To Wed


A 15-year-old is killed in Afghanistan after her family reject an offer of marriage.


9:02am UK, Thursday 29 November 2012

Even after the end of the Taliban regime, abuse against women remains rife












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A 15-year-old girl in Afghanistan has been murdered after her family refused a marriage proposal.

The teenager had her throat slit as she was carrying water from a river to her village home in the northern Kunduz province on Wednesday.

Two men have now been arrested over the attack.

Police said one of suspects had earlier proposed to the girl but the offer had been rejected by her family.

A police spokesman added: "The two men attacked her and slit her throat with a knife.

"They were arrested and are in police custody."

Extreme violence against women and girls remains a major problem in the conservative Muslim nation more than a decade after US-led troops brought down the notoriously brutal Taliban Islamist regime.

Figures from Oxfam show 87% of Afghan women have experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage.

Last month a 20-year-old woman was beheaded by her husband's family in the western province of Herat after she refused to become a prostitute, police said. Four people were arrested over the brutal killing.

And in September, five people were arrested over the public flogging of a 16-year-old girl for allegedly having an affair.

The girl was whipped 100 times in front of village elders and family members in the central Ghazni province. Her alleged boyfriend was fined.

Unmarried girls are often confined to the home and forbidden from maintaining any contact with men outside the immediate family.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  wjk on Thu 29 Nov - 13:09

Its truely shocking in this day and age!
It says 87% of women have experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage, I bet its more than that!

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Thu 29 Nov - 13:19

wjk wrote:Its truely shocking in this day and age!
It says 87% of women have experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage, I bet its more than that!

wjk......and this is a RELIGION they follow?? The Middle East really is barbaric , just thank your lucky stars you weren't born in the Middle East.!!!Having said that, the Muslim Women who live near me , although all you can see are their eyes, do seem to have become quite Wesrternised .

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  wjk on Thu 29 Nov - 13:37

Panda wrote:
wjk wrote:Its truely shocking in this day and age!
It says 87% of women have experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage, I bet its more than that!

wjk......and this is a RELIGION they follow?? The Middle East really is barbaric , just thank your lucky stars you weren't born in the Middle East.!!!Having said that, the Muslim Women who live near me , although all you can see are their eyes, do seem to have become quite Wesrternised .
But they don't speak to anyone, Panda. There are a few at my grandsons school, and I see them morning and evening everyday when I drop him off and pick him up, but they will not make eye contact at all with any of us and just stick together. I've tried to engage with one lady who I remember when my daughter was pregnant and she was too, they were at the clinic together but she is determined to stick with the other muslim women.
I wonder what their lives are REALLY like behing closed doors, Panda?

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Thu 29 Nov - 13:56

Your'e right wjk, they are not at all sociable and it would be nice if they didn't hide their faces now they are in the Western World . Where I live was considered a middle class area a few years ago but the Muslims are everywhere , even taking over schools, they make no effort to integrate, but get all the Benefits, Britain really is a soft touch and now we have 300,000 immigrants the Border Agency has lost.!!!!!

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  wjk on Thu 29 Nov - 14:20

Spot on, Panda.
Bl**dy Boarder Agency! Total waste of time and money!!

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sun 2 Dec - 7:32

wjk wrote:Spot on, Panda.
Bl**dy Boarder Agency! Total waste of time and money!!

Are they a Private Agency or a Government?

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Suicide Bombeers Attack US Base

Post  Panda on Sun 2 Dec - 7:41

Suicide Bombers Attack US Base In Afghanistan


Militants detonate a car bomb at the entrance to an airfield in what Nato describes as a failed attack.


6:46am UK, Sunday 02 December 2012

Taliban are claiming responsibility for the attack




Taliban suicide bombers have attacked a US base in Afghanistan with explosives and gunfire, sparking a two-hour battle with American forces.

Militants detonated a car bomb at the gate of Jalalabad Airfield before American helicopters opened fire on the militants.

Local police officials said a dozen bodies in Afghan police and military uniforms were around the entrance.

It was not immediately clear whether the dead were Afghan security forces or militants dressed in uniforms, a tactic the Taliban sometimes deploys during its attacks.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed the militants stormed the base, but a spokesman for the Afghan Defence Ministry, General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, said none of the militants had been able to enter.

The Nato military coalition also described it as a failed attack.

Lieutenant Colonel Hagen Messer, a spokesman for the international military coalition, said: "We can confirm insurgents, including multiple suicide bombers, attacked Jalalabad Airfield this morning.

"None of the attackers succeeded in breaching the perimeter."

He said the fighting had ended by mid-morning, and one member of the Afghan security forces had been killed.

Several foreign troops were wounded, but Lt Col Messer did not give any numbers or details.

"The final assessment of what happened this morning is not yet complete, but initial reports indicate there were three suicide bombers," he added.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Thu 20 Dec - 9:45

Hamid Karzai welcomes Britain's Afghan troop withdrawal


President Hamid Karzai has welcomed the announcement that Britain will pull thousands of troops out of Afghanistan next year, saying his country was ready to take over security responsibilities.








President Hamid Karzai Photo: AFP/GETTY





8:23AM GMT 20 Dec 2012




Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday said that he will withdraw almost half of the country's 9,000 troops from Afghanistan next year as Nato hands over to Afghan forces.


The announcement comes as Nato prepares for a full security handover at the end of 2014, despite fears that a civil war could follow, and amid a spike in "insider attacks" on foreign troops by Afghans in uniform.


Karzai said the decision was "well-timed" and insisted his war-scarred nation was ready to take charge of its own security.


"The president ... welcoming the announcement said: 'the Afghan national forces are ready to provide the security and defend their country'," a statement from Karzai's office said.


"The decision by Britain is a well-timed decision."



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Cameron said the withdrawal of around 3,800 British troops by the end of 2013 was possible "because of the success of our forces and the Afghan National Security Forces".

There are currently more than 9,000 British troops serving in Afghanistan with the Nato force – the second largest force in the country after the United States.

Britain has lost 438 troops in Afghanistan since the operation to topple the Taliban began in October 2001 following the 9/11 attacks.

Most British troops are stationed in southern Helmand province, one of the toughest battlegrounds against the Taliban.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Fri 21 Dec - 8:30

David Cameron tells British troops: you've paid a heavy price in Afghanistan


British troops have paid a “very heavy price” fighting the Taliban but Afghanistan remains “a deeply challenged country”, David Cameron has said.








Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron eats dinner with British soldiers during a visit to Forward Operating Base Price in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters





By Tim Ross, Political Correspondent, Camp Price, Afghanistan

10:00PM GMT 20 Dec 2012


168 Comments




The Prime Minister insisted British and coalition military action had made Afghanistan safer and less able to harbour terrorists.


Paying a secret visit to troops in Helmand, where he attended the Royal Marines’ carol service, Mr Cameron acknowledged the scale of the task facing Afghans as coalition forces withdraw.


On Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced that 3,800 of the 9,000 British troops in Afghanistan would return home by the end of next year.


Mr Cameron flew secretly to Afghanistan on Thursday to meet troops at Camp Price, a forward base, 20 miles east of Camp Bastion, Britain’s operational HQ.


Speaking to reporters during the day, Mr Cameron said he believed Afghan forces were acquiring the “capability” to control the country. He conceded that Afghanistan was still a “deeply challenged country”, adding that it was still “a far better place” than when the campaign began in 2001.



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“We have paid a very heavy price but I think the reason for coming here in the first place, which was to stop Afghanistan becoming a haven for terror ... I think it was the right decision.”

The Prime Minister disclosed that he was seeing fewer terrorist threats crossing his desk from the region than in previous years. “Far fewer come from this part of the world than was the case when we first came to Afghanistan,” he said.

The Afghan forces were doing “better than expected,” he said, enabling British troops to come home.

“This is withdrawal, this is draw-down based on success, not on failure. We are confident it can be done while making sure Afghanistan does not return to become a haven of terrorism, which is why we came here in the first place.”

Brigadier Bob Bruce, Commander of Taskforce Helmand, who is in charge of almost 6,000 British soldiers, said the Afghan security forces were increasingly effective. “The insurgency is still there, but it doesn’t dictate things,” he added.

Downing Street on Thursday announced £230 million for projects including upgrading equipment to detect and neutralise Taliban roadside bombs, which have claimed hundreds of lives.

During his visit, Mr Cameron ate with marines, and then joined them for their carol service, on a freezing night under the stars at Camp Price.

At times the 200 or so troops who had gathered outside for the service struggled to make their voices heard above the clatter of helicopters taking off and landing in the dark nearby. The marines of 40 Commando have hoisted a Christmas tree onto the roof of their bar, decorating it with lights.

The Prime Minister’s journey was nearly thwarted by freezing fog at Camp Bastion. Eventually, he was taken by a Chinook helicopter, which sped low across the desert to Camp Price.



















































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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Mon 24 Dec - 9:13

Afghan Policewoman Kills US Adviser In Kabul


An investigation is under way to determine whether the killing of a US adviser in Kabul was intentional.


8:51am UK, Monday 24 December 2012

The adviser died at the Kabul police headquarters in the Afghan capital










  • An Afghan policewoman has shot dead an American adviser outside the police headquarters in Kabul.

    The circumstances of the killing were not immediately clear, however the shooting could be another insider attack by Afghans against their foreign allies.

    A NATO command spokesman, US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Lester T. Carroll, said the shooter was taken into Afghan custody shortly after the incident.

    "We can confirm that a civilian police adviser was shot and killed this morning by a suspected member of the Afghan uniform. The suspected shooter is in Afghan custody," Mr Carroll said.

    The slain adviser was a contractor but the name and nationality of the deceased were being withheld.

    Kabul's Deputy Police Chief Mohammad Daoud Amin said an investigation is under way to determine whether the killing was intentional or accidental.

    It is not known whether the victim was a military or civilian adviser.

    The killing came just hours after an Afghan policeman shot five of his colleagues at a checkpoint in northern Afghanistan late on Monday.

    The attacker then stole his colleague's weapons and fled to join the Taliban, said deputy provincial governor in Jawzjan province, Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani.

    More than 60 international allies, including troops and civilian advisers, have been killed by Afghan soldiers or police this year, and a number of other assaults are still under investigation.

    NATO forces, due to withdraw from the country by 2014, have speeded up efforts to train and advise Afghan military and police units before the pullout.

    But the surge in insider attacks is throwing doubt on the capability of the Afghan security forces to take over from international troops and has further undermined public support for the 11-year war in NATO countries.

    More than 50 Afghan members of the government's security forces have also died this year in attacks by their own colleagues.

    Taliban militants claim such attacks reflect a growing popular opposition to both foreign military presence and the Kabul government.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Tue 25 Dec - 3:24

Afghan policewoman shoots dead American in Kabul


An Afghan policewoman shot dead an American contractor in Kabul's police headquarters in what appeared to be the first insider attack by a female member of the local security forces.








Afghan police stand guard outside the police compound where an Afghan policewoman shot dead a US military adviser Photo: EPA






By Ben Farmer, Kabul

12:38PM GMT 24 Dec 2012





The officer killed the contractor with a single shot from her service pistol, Afghan officials said, and her motive was not immediately clear.


The killing means around 60 troops and civilian workers have been shot dead by their allies this year, accounting for around one-in-seven of all international deaths in the Afghan campaign in 2012.


The police woman was arrested after the killing and was on Monday being questioned.


Mohammad Daoud Amin, Kabul's deputy police chief, told the AP news agency she was called Nargas and was a mother of four.


She had worked for a human rights department of the police for two years and was licensed to carry a pistol. He did not know if the killer and victim had known each other.



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    21 Dec 2012

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    20 Dec 2012

  • David Cameron tells British troops: you've paid a heavy price
    20 Dec 2012

  • Karzai welcomes Britain's Afghan troop withdrawal
    20 Dec 2012


A statement from the Nato-led coalition said: "A contracted civilian employee of the [coalition] died after being shot by a woman wearing an Afghan police uniform in Kabul, Afghanistan today. The incident is currently under investigation."

While the Taliban claim many of the killings have been carried out by their supporters or infiltrators, Western commanders believe most have arisen from grievances or misunderstandings escalating into violence.

Afghan forces have suffered similar levels of insider attacks.

Also on Monday, police said an officer at a checkpoint in northern Afghanistan shot dead five of his colleagues and then joined the insurgents.

The gunman and victims were part of the Afghan Local Police (ALP), a US-backed community defence militia raised to guard villages against Taliban attacks.



===========================

It is thought all these killings are the result of the Taliban recruiting from the Afghan Police and Army.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  malena stool on Tue 25 Dec - 12:25

Yet another reason for our western governments to question the sense of throwing away lives, good intentions and resources on a treacherous culture which has yet to prove it has come out of the dark ages.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sun 27 Jan - 2:15

Afghanistan: Suicide Bomb Kills 10 Policemen


Two senior police officers are among those killed in the blast in the northern city of Kunduz, while another 19 people are hurt.


3:53pm UK, Saturday 26 January 2013

The suicide bomber in Kunduz was on a motorcycle






At least 10 policemen have been killed and 19 more people wounded in a suicide attack in a crowded area of the northeast Afghan city of Kunduz.

The head of the provincial counterterrorism department and the traffic police chief were killed in the attack, carried out by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle, police said.

Those wounded include 14 other policemen and five civilians.

There was no claim of responsibility for the bombing, which took place at around 5.20pm (12.50 GMT).

Such attacks have in the past been blamed on Taliban who are leading an insurgency against the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

It was one of two bombings reported in the country in the day.

Earlier, a remote-controlled bomb planted on a bicycle exploded, killing one police officer and one civilian in the eastern city of Ghazni. Another five people were wounded.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Tue 29 Jan - 22:08


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  1. Afghan war base 'should have had safety improvements'

Safety improvements should have been made to an Afghanistan war base before two soldiers were killed, their colleagues told an inquest.








Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi, left, and Corporal Andrew Robert who were killed at the base Photo: PA





5:31PM GMT 29 Jan 2013




Lance Corporal Neil Mackie and Private James Gosling appeared at the joint inquest in Oxford into the deaths of Corporal Andrew Roberts, 32, and Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi, 31, who were killed by enemy mortar fire while inside the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ouellette in the northern part of Nahr-e-Saraj district in Afghanistan's Helmand province on May 4 last year.


The victims, attached to 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Battlegroup, died from horrific injuries after the mortar crashed near a tented zone where the men had an outdoors 9am briefing on mental health.


L/cpl Mackie told the coroner Darren Salter that the FOB had previously been attacked by insurgents but after the men's deaths improvements were made which he was struck by when he returned to FOB Ouellette several months later.


"I can honestly say the developments that took place between that incident and seven months later were astounding – it should have happened earlier.


"The protection near the tented accommodation was unsatisfactory.



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"The nearest hard cover was a fair distance away."

He said there was more Hesco barrier protection and higher walls upon his return.

"If the same incident happened again in the same location the difference would be unquantifiable.

"Where the tented accommodation was there was much more hard covering and reinforcement but there were only two hard covered buildings when this happened.

Father-of-three Cpl Roberts, who was born in Middlesbrough, and Pte Silibaravi, of Fiji, were pronounced dead at the military hospital shortly after being hit by mortar fragments.

They were not wearing protective body armour as the threat level was at its lowest – dress state one, meaning body armour only had to be near at hand.

But L/cpl Mackie said for days beforehand there had been talk of raising the level.

"Previous IDF attacks had taken place before I arrived in March," he said.

"I wasn't too thrilled to be going, if I am honest."

Pte Gosling added that a sergeant major had visited after the men's deaths and said the protection was insufficient.

He said: "I felt the protection at FOB Ouellette could have been to a higher standard ...

"It is a shame it took an incident like that for something to be done."

The dead soldiers were both bomb disposal experts from the Royal Logistic Corps.

Cpl Roberts was on his second tour of Afghanistan and had served on operations in Bosnia and Iraq.

The Section Commander in 23 Pioneer Regiment was responsible for leading a team trying to detect improvised explosive devices in high-risk areas.

Lieutenant Leigh Rickards also said protection should have been better.

"It could have been better and it is unfortunate it's taken an event like this for it to change."

The base was previously attacked on March 11 when shelling landed 100 yards outside and on March 21 when mortars landed about 60 yards away.

The inquest heard that on the day of the fatal assault a surveillance balloon, which provides panoramic cover, was not working.

Army investigations established that the mortar was fired from about 1.5 miles away from a recoilless anti-tank gun.

Three rounds were fired.

Two landed outside the compound, one landed inside, killing the two men and injuring six others.

The coroner recorded verdicts of unlawful killing while on active service

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Cameron to host Chequers Afchanistan sunnit

Post  Panda on Sun 3 Feb - 10:19

Cameron to host Chequers Afghanistan summit


David Cameron will meet the Afghan and Pakistani presidents tonight in the latest round talks aimed at preventing a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan when British troops leave next year.








British troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan in 2014. Photo: PA





8:00AM GMT 03 Feb 2013




The Prime Minister will dine with Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari at Chequers as part of his ongoing efforts to help to strengthen Afghanistan-Pakistan relations and promote regional peace and stability.


It comes ahead of in-depth discussions tomorrow focusing on how the Pakistanis and international community can support the Afghan-led peace process.


Foreign ministers, Chiefs of Army Staff, Chiefs of Intelligence and the chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council are expected to attend the third trilateral session since last summer.


Today a senior Afghan commander said withdrawing British troops could spark a 'global jihad' and allow the Taliban to return to power.


Colonel Amin Jan of the Afghan National Army told the Mail on Sunday that Afghan troops, trained by the British for three years, are too weak to defeat the Taliban.


Asked if 2014 was the right time for a handover, Col Jan said: "No, I would say that it is too early, because the situation will not have ended. If the British leave, the jihadists will see it as a good sign. A worldwide jihad will take place."

Asked if the ANA alone could defeat the Taliban, he said: "Our leaders might say we are able to do the task, but it will be difficult.

"We have enough soldiers, we have the quantity, but we need the quality. We need more professional and better trained commanders."

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "As the Prime Minister has set out previously, a stable Afghanistan is not just in the interests of Afghans, but also in the interests of their neighbours and the UK. We share the same vision for Afghanistan: a secure, stable and democratic country that never again becomes a haven for international terror.

"We are working together to achieve it and Afghanistan's neighbours have a vital role to play. It is vital not just for the future security of their citizens, but for their prosperity too."

==========================================

Did the invasion of Iraq solve it's problems? If David Cameron agrees to an extention of time for our troops he will certainly not be re-elected. The truth is that the Taliban, Al Queda and all the other splinter qroups will never be defeated because they are so hard to identify.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  malena stool on Sun 3 Feb - 11:58

Talks can never resolve a religious guerrilla war contested by different factions of the same religion with foreign insurrectionists putting their two pennyworth in and a neighbouring major power seemingly giving solace and support to all sides.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sun 3 Feb - 12:24

If Cameron agrees to an extension of British Troops departure from Afghanistan there will be Hell to play, not least from the Public.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  malena stool on Sun 3 Feb - 12:28

Panda wrote:If Cameron agrees to an extension of British Troops departure from Afghanistan there will be Hell to play, not least from the Public.
If he puts his 'Dictator hat' and extend our stay, he'll cause problems with his own parliamentary sycophants, surely resulting in his downfall.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sun 3 Feb - 13:17

malena stool wrote:
Panda wrote:If Cameron agrees to an extension of British Troops departure from Afghanistan there will be Hell to play, not least from the Public.
If he puts his 'Dictator hat' and extend our stay, he'll cause problems with his own parliamentary sycophants, surely resulting in his downfall.

Cameron knows he is between a rock and a hard place because UKIP is becoming very popular with the U.K. Voters ,but his own Party is not in favour, neither is big business or the LibDems. Now he is getting involved in Foreign Affairs to try to prove what a dynamic PM he is, but mud sticks and his friendship with Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks will be remembered, especially when her Trial starts.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

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