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More trouble in Afghanistan

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Fri 10 Aug - 8:45

10 August 2012 Last updated at 08:07








US soldiers killed in 'green-on-blue' Afghanistan attack



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Taliban Conflict



  • Life after Nato in wild east
  • Rogue soldiers
  • Nato's exit strategy Watch
  • Taliban strength

Three US soldiers have been killed by a gunman wearing Afghan army uniform in Helmand province, Nato has said.

Afghan officials told Reuters news agency that the three people killed were special forces members.

The official said they were shot while attending a meeting in the Sangin district late on Thursday.

It is the latest in a series of so-called "green-on-blue" attacks, where men wearing Afghan army uniforms turn their guns on coalition troops.

On Tuesday a US Nato soldier was killed by two gunmen wearing Afghan army uniform in eastern Afghanistan

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Thu 16 Aug - 14:06

7 Americans among 11 dead in Afghan helicopter crash



By Joe Sterling, CNN
August 16, 2012 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)



STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Seven Americans died, NATO's International Security Assistance Force says
  • Four Afghans also died: three soldiers and an interpreter
  • The incident occurred in southern Afghanistan


(CNN) -- Seven American service members were among the 11 people killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

Three members of the Afghan National Security Forces and an Afghan civilian interpreter also died in the crash of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The precise location of the crash was not released.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, the ISAF said in a news release.

It comes two days after one of the bloodiest days in Afghanistan so far this year, with three separate attacks leaving at least 47 people dead and at least 145 wounded, according to government and police officials



















































































.


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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Fri 17 Aug - 16:26

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Aug 17, 10:38 AM EDT
Another Afghan police attack kills 2 US servicemen

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A newly recruited Afghan village policeman opened fire on his American allies on Friday, killing two U.S. service members minutes after they handed him his official weapon in an inauguration ceremony. It was the latest in a disturbing string of attacks by Afghan security forces on the international troops training them.

Later Friday, an Afghan soldier turned his gun on foreign troops in another part of the country and wounded two of them, a spokesman for the NATO coalition said.

The attacks in the country's far west and south brought to seven the number of times that a member of the Afghan security forces - or someone wearing their uniform - has opened fire on international forces in the past two weeks.

Such assaults by allies, virtually unheard of just a few years ago, have recently escalated, killing at least 36 foreign troops so far this year. They also raise questions about the strategy to train Afghan national police and soldiers to take over security and fight insurgents after most foreign troops leave the country by the end of 2014.

The NATO-led coalition has said such attacks are anomalies stemming from personal disputes, but the supreme leader of the Taliban boasted on Thursday night that the insurgents are infiltrating the quickly expanding Afghan forces.

The top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, said in response: "The pride of the Afghan people has been smeared by killers who pose as soldiers and police."

Friday's deadly attacker in the far western province of Farah was identified as Mohammad Ismail, a man in his 30s who had joined the Afghan Local Police just five days ago.

He opened fire during an inauguration ceremony attended by American and Afghan forces in the Kinisk village, the Farah provincial police chief Agha Noor Kemtoz said.

"As soon as they gave the weapon to Ismail to begin training, suddenly he took the gun and opened fire toward the U.S. soldiers," Kemtoz said.

Ismail was shot and killed as the coalition and Afghan forces returned fire, the police chief said.

A spokesman for the international coalition force, Jamie Graybeal, confirmed that two American service members were killed Friday by a member of the Afghan Local Police.

The ALP is different from the national police and represents a village defense force under the Ministry of Interior that is being trained by international forces, including U.S. special forces.

Graybeal gave no other details on the Farah attack other than confirming the shooter had been killed.

Kemtoz, the police chief, said the attack took place about 8 a.m., after the U.S. forces arrived in the village to train the local police. He said one Afghan National Police officer was also seriously wounded in the shooting.

Later Friday, an Afghan army soldier fired on coalition troops in the southern province of Kandahar. Two of the international troops were wounded but none was killed in that shooting, Graybeal said. He added that the soldier was shot and died later Friday of his wounds.

So far in 2012, there have been 29 attacks reported on foreign troops by Afghans they are training, compared to 11 attacks in 2011, according to an Associated Press count, and five attacks in each of the previous two years.

Seven such attacks have come in the past two weeks alone, with six American troops killed last Friday in two separate shootings in Helmand province in the south and another American killed a few days previously on a U.S. base in Paktia province in the east.

The trend raises questions about potential resentment by Afghans after more than a decade of international presence following the American-led intervention to oust the Taliban from power for harboring al-Qaida's leadership after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The insider attacks also renew concern that insurgents may be infiltrating the Afghan army and police, despite intensified screening.

Insurgent infiltration or recruitment was behind only about 10 percent of this year's reported attacks on coalition forces by Afghan allies, Graybeal said earlier this week, citing investigations into attacks before those of the past week.

Graybeal insisted the deadly violence is relatively small scale compared to the nearly 340,000 Afghan security forces now being trained.

The international coalition has said that Afghan forces are increasingly able to lead operations and already have started to assume responsibility for security in areas of the country that are home to 75 percent of the Afghan population.

However, the Taliban have been quick to seize on the increasing number of attacks as a sign of Afghan rejection of foreign forces and the insurgents' own successful recruitment.

The group's supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar said Thursday night that the insurgents "have cleverly infiltrated in the ranks of the enemy" and were successfully killing a rising number of U.S.-led coalition forces.

"The Afghan army and national police are trying to build a better future for the Afghan people, yet Omar wants to stop these efforts," NATO's Allen said in his statement.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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

Havn't enough British and US Soldiers died , and for what? Another invasion gone bad , bring all

the troops home NOW.


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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sun 19 Aug - 8:02

19 August 2012 Last updated at 02:21








Nato air strikes in eastern Afghanistan kill Taliban



Continue reading the main story

Taliban Conflict



  • Life after Nato in wild east
  • Rogue soldiers
  • Nato's exit strategy Watch
  • Taliban strength

More than two dozen suspected Taliban militants have been killed in an air strike carried out by Nato in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance has said.

Nato carried out the strike in the Chapa Dara district of Kunar province, on the border with Pakistan.

Senior officials in Kunar told the BBC the militants arrived in "dozens of vehicles" to burn houses of villagers and "possibly execute people".

The area is regularly shelled from the Pakistani side.

Pakistanis and Afghans accuse each other of failing to act against militant attacks inside each other's territory.

Earlier reports of the Kunar air strike gave conflict accounts of the numbers killed.

Local officials said 46 suspected Taliban members had died.

Taliban leaders, however, said 13 had been killed and 10 wounded.

There were no reports of civilian casualties.

District police chief Najibullah Gujar told AFP news agency the militants had gathered to publicly execute a man accused of killing another man from a rival family.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sun 19 Aug - 12:32

19 August 2012 Last updated at 10:31

strike in Afghanistan kill top Taliban leader



Continue reading the main story

Taliban Conflict



  • Life after Nato in wild east
  • Rogue soldiers
  • Nato's exit strategy Watch
  • Taliban strength

A top Taliban commander and his deputy have been killed in an air strike carried out by Nato in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance has said.

"Maulawi Nur Mohammad, and his deputy, Atiqullah were among the dozens of heavily armed insurgents killed in a precision air strike," Nato said.

They were the senior commanders in the Chapa Dara district of Kunar province, on the border with Pakistan.

The area is regularly shelled from the Pakistani side.

Pakistanis and Afghans accuse each other of failing to act against militant attacks inside each other's territory.

Senior officials in Kunar told the BBC the militants arrived in "dozens of vehicles" to burn houses of villagers and "possibly execute people".

In its statement, Nato said that Afghan and coalition security forces had seen "a large group of heavily armed insurgents engaging in insurgent activity" before launching "a precision air strike".

It said the troops had confirmed that "the strike had not injured any civilians or damaged any civilian property".

The statement said "Muhammad, also known as Turabi, was the senior Taliban leader for Chapa Dara district". It gave no second name for Atiqullah, who was also known as Khalid.

Local officials said 46 suspected Taliban members had died.

Taliban leaders, however, said 13 had been killed and 10 wounded.

District police chief Najibullah Gujar told AFP news agency the militants had gathered to publicly execute a man accused of killing another man from a rival family.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Tue 21 Aug - 12:12




Aug 21, 5:55 AM EDT
Afghan militants hit US military chief's plane

By KAY JOHNSON
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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Militants fired rockets into a U.S. base in Afghanistan and damaged the plane of the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff while he was on a visit, but the general was not near the aircraft, a spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition said Tuesday.

The rocket strike that hit the plane of U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey was yet another propaganda coup for the Taliban after they claimed to have shot down a U.S. helicopter last week.

It also followed a string of disturbing killings of U.S. military trainers by their Afghan partners or militants dressed in Afghan uniform. Such attacks killed 10 Americans in the last two weeks alone.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place Monday night at the Bagram Air Field outside Kabul, saying Dempsey's plane was targeted by insurgents "using exact information" about where it would be.

Two maintenance workers were slightly injured by shrapnel from the two rockets fired into, coalition spokesman Jamie Graybeal said.

Dempsey "was nowhere near" the plane when the rockets hit near where the aircraft was parked, the spokesman added.

Dempsey had finished his mission in Afghanistan and had left by Tuesday morning on a different plane, said Graybeal. A helicopter on the base was also damaged in the attack, according to NATO.

Graybeal cast doubt on the idea that Dempsey's plane may have been hit by any precision attack. He said that insurgent rocket and mortar attacks are "not infrequent" at Bagram and that such fire most often comes from so far away that it's virtually impossible to hit specific targets.

Bagram is a sprawling complex about an hour's drive north of Kabul that usually serves as the first point of entrance for U.S. officials visiting the country. It is the hub for military operations in the east of the country and the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan.

Dempsey was in Afghanistan to discuss the state of the war after a particularly deadly few weeks for Americans in the more than 10-year-old war as international forces begin drawing down.

He and the chief of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. James R. Mattis, met with NATO and U.S. Afghan commander Gen. John Allen in Kabul and also with a number of senior Afghan and coalition leaders.

Among the topics was the escalating number of "insider attacks" in which Afghan police or soldiers or militants dressed in Afghan uniform turn their guns on coalition military trainers. Once an anomaly, such attacks have been climbing in recent months. There have been 32 such attacks so far this year, up from 21 for all of 2011, according to NATO.

Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar last week said the insider killings were the result of an insurgent campaign of infiltration, though NATO has said it's too early to tell if the attacks were related to the insurgency of caused by personal disputes turned deadly.

The Taliban also claimed to have shot down a U.S. military helicopter that crashed during a firefight with insurgents in a remote area of southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing seven Americans and four Afghans on board in one of the deadliest air disasters of the war.

U.S. officials, however, said initial reports were that enemy fire was not involved in the crash.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Fri 24 Aug - 8:30

Attacks on Afghan Troops by Colleagues Are Rising, Allies Say






Aref Karimi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Afghan police officers in a drill during a graduation ceremony in Herat Province in May.

By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. and GRAHAM BOWLEY


Published: August 23, 2012













KABUL, Afghanistan — Even as attacks by Afghan security forces on NATO troops have become an increasing source of tension, new NATO data shows another sign of vulnerability for the training mission: even greater numbers of the Afghan police and military forces have killed each other this year.





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So far, Afghan soldiers or police officers have killed 53 of their comrades and wounded at least 22 others in 35 separate attacks this year, according to NATO data provided to The New York Times by officials in Kabul. By comparison, at least 40 NATO service members were reported killed by Afghan security forces or others working with them.

Both figures fall under what officials call insider attacks, and both numbers have climbed sharply over the past two years, Western officials say. But while officials say that a vast majority of attacks on Western forces are born out of outrage or personal disputes, the Afghan-on-Afghan numbers are said in larger part to reflect a greater vulnerability to infiltration by the Taliban.

Further, there are concerns about cultural clashes within the rapidly expanding Afghan forces themselves, Afghan and NATO officials say, raising questions about their ability to weather the country’s deep factional differences after the NATO troop withdrawal in 2014.

“Three decades of war can play a pivotal role in the internal causes,” said Maj. Bashir Ishaqzia, commander of the Afghan National Police recruitment center in Nangarhar Province. He said one of the biggest challenges for the army and police forces was a lasting “culture of intolerance among Afghans, as well as old family, tribal, ethnic, factional, lingual and personal disputes.”

Afghan and American officials said Thursday that some explanations for the rising number of Afghan-on-Afghan attacks were intuitive: there are about three times as many Afghan security force members as there are NATO and American troops, and only a portion of the Afghan forces regularly work side by side with Western troops. So insider attacks figure as a lower percentage of killings within the Afghan forces, or so-called green-on-green attacks, than they do in Afghan-on-Western violence, known as green-on-blue attacks.

Still, officials noted a growing concern about the issue. In a news conference on Thursday addressing Afghan attacks on Western forces, Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of American and NATO troops, confirmed that Afghan-on-Afghan attacks were seen as an intensifying problem.

“Indeed, the Afghan casualties are higher than ours in this regard,” he said, speaking to Pentagon reporters by satellite from Kabul.

In the briefing, General Allen provided a new perspective on the insider killings of NATO troops. Previously, military officials had said that Taliban infiltration or impersonation of Afghan security members could be blamed for only about 10 percent of such attacks. In addition, the general noted that, roughly, 15 percent of attacks might be caused by Taliban coercion of soldiers or police officers, either directly or through family members.

Taliban influence and outright infiltration is thought to play an even larger role in Afghan-on-Afghan violence, Afghan officials said.

One reason Afghan forces are more at risk of infiltration is that they typically live in compounds without anything near the protection found at bases with American troops, said Gen. Aminullah Amar Khail, former commander of the border police in eastern Afghanistan.

“The enemy would prefer to focus full attention on targeting American and coalition forces,” General Khail said. “But normally they do not have easy access to foreign soldiers.” He said green-on-blue episodes tend to happen only at training centers and joint Afghan-NATO bases and outposts, while green-on-green attacks “have happened everywhere.”

“Infiltrators have easy access to the Afghan police and soldiers,” he said.

He said one point of vulnerability is that Afghan forces sleep together well away from American troops and their upgraded security, making it easier for an impostor to kill Afghans as they doze.

That was the apparent plan in Oruzgan Province this spring when an Afghan policeman on late-night guard duty at a checkpoint allowed Taliban fighters to enter and kill nine other officers in their beds. The Afghan Interior Ministry said evidence indicated the guard was a Taliban infiltrator.

Afghan and American officials have expressed increased urgency about improving the vetting of new army and police recruits — a critical issue as those forces rapidly expand and work alongside Western trainers. Still, General Allen noted that the international coalition remained committed to the strategy of working directly with the Afghans as trainers as those forces assume greater responsibility for security.



  • 1
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Reporting was contributed by Thom Shanker from Washington; Sangar Rahimi, Habib Zahori and Jawad Sukhanyar from Kabul; and an Afghan employee of The New York Times from Khost Province.







A version of this article appeared in print on August 24, 2012, on page A10 of the New York edition with the headline: Attacks on Afghan Troops by Their Colleagues Are Rising Sharply, Allies Say.








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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sun 26 Aug - 17:09

Leader of Haqqani network 'killed by drone'


A CIA drone strike in Pakistan may have killed the operational commander of the Haqqani network, the insurgent group behind some of the most high-profile attacks on Western and Afghan government targets in Afghanistan.








A series of drone strikes in North Waziristan this week suggest the CIA was after a high-value militant target in the unruly area Photo: AP





6:09PM BST 25 Aug 2012




Pakistani military and intelligence officials said Badruddin Haqqani, who is also believed to handle the network's vital business interests and smuggling operations, may have been killed during a drone strike this week in Pakistan's tribal North Waziristan region.


One senior Pakistani intelligence official said Badruddin had fled a compound that he and other militants were in after it was hit by a missile, then was killed by a second drone strike on a car that he was in.


There was no official word on Badruddin's fate from the Haqqani network. Other intelligence officials were more cautious.


"Our informers have told us that he has been killed in the drone attack on the 21st but we cannot confirm it," said one of the Pakistani intelligence officials.


If Badruddin's death is confirmed, it could deal a major blow to the Haqqanis, one of the United States's most feared enemies in Afghanistan.


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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Mon 27 Aug - 8:35




Aug 27, 3:13 AM EDT
Afghan officials: Insurgents behead 17 civilians

By MIRWAIS KHAN
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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghan officials say Taliban insurgents have beheaded 17 Afghan civilians for taking part in a music event in a Taliban-controlled area of southern Afghanistan.

The Interior Ministry says the attack happened Sunday in Helmand province and that gunfire was also involved.

Helmand provincial government spokesman Daoud Ahmadi says the attack happened in Musa Qala district. Ahmadi says all of the victims had their heads chopped off. He says it was not clear if they were shot first.

The Musa Qala government chief says the people had gathered for a celebration and were playing music and dancing and the insurgents wanted to stop the event. Neyamatullah Khan says the area where the slaughter took place is completely in Taliban control and so he does not have more details yet.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Mon 27 Aug - 17:21

Afghan security forces kill 2 U.S. troops, 10 Afghan soldiers in 2 attacks



From Qadir Sediqi, for CNN
August 27, 2012 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)



U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen said last week an estimated 25% of "green-on-blue" attacks are carried out by Taliban infiltrators.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • NEW: The two U.S. troops were killed by an Afghan soldier in eastern Afghanistan
  • The deaths raise the number of troops killed in such attacks to at least 42
  • A group of Afghan soldiers turn their guns on their own unit, killing 10, officials say
  • The Interior Ministry says the Taliban is behind the beheadings of 17 people

(CNN) -- An Afghan soldier killed two American troops Monday in the latest attack by Afghan security forces on coalition soldiers, authorities said.

The killings occurred the same day 10 Afghan soldiers were killed when members of their own unit opened fire on them at an army post in southern Helmand province, according to provincial officials.

The latest attacks come at a sensitive time for the United States and its NATO-led allies, who are preparing to withdraw the majority of their troops by 2014 under a plan that requires Afghan forces to take responsibility for the country's security.

A defense official not authorized to speak on the record confirmed the nationality of the two Americans. The official said circumstances are still under investigation, but it appears to be an insider attack.









Pentagon: Afghans killing U.S. troops










Special Ops troops lured then killed
With Monday's killing of the two, at least 42 NATO troops have been killed in attacks by Afghan forces or insurgents disguised as soldiers or police, according to coalition officials.

U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, chief of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, said last week that an estimated 25% of such attacks are carried out by Taliban infiltrators.

The coalition did not provide details of the attack in eastern Afghanistan, saying only that NATO "troops returned fire, killing the ... soldier who committed the attack."

Afghan authorities, meanwhile, are investigating the attack by five soldiers on their own unit in Helmand's Washir district, which killed 10 people and wounded four, said Daud Ahmadi, a spokesman for Helmand's provincial governor.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the killings, and the governor's spokesman did not outline a possible motive for the attack.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, authorities accused the Taliban of beheading 17 people, including two women, in the Shah Karez region of Helmand province north of Kandahar, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

The attack occurred Sunday, the ministry said. The provincial government confirmed the beheadings but stopped short of accusing the Taliban, saying officials were still investigating to determine who was responsible.

Neither the ministry nor the provincial governor provided details about a possible motive for the attack.

if(typeof CNN.expElements==='object'){CNN.expElements.init();}

CNN's Chelsea J. Carter and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Wed 29 Aug - 18:08

29 August 2012 Last updated at 15:49

intelligence chief Nabil removed by Karzai


The move comes ahead of the expected naming of new defence and interior ministers by Mr Karzai
Continue reading the main story

Taliban Conflict



  • Life after Nato in wild east
  • Rogue soldiers
  • Nato's exit strategy Watch
  • Taliban strength

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has removed the head of the intelligence service, Rahmatullah Nabil.

Mr Karzai's office said a decision had been taken to limit the term of the office to two years.

However, there are reports that Mr Karzai was unhappy with the agency's performance in combating the militant Taliban movement.

Mr Karzai is also expected to announce replacements for two security ministers who were dismissed by parliament.

Interior minister Bismillah Khan and Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak were removed by MPs for failing to tackle insecurity and over corruption allegations.

A statement from Mr Karzai's office thanked Mr Nabil for his service and said he would take up a post as ambassador to a foreign country.
Security concerns
Reports say that Mr Khan will be re-introduced to the cabinet as defence minister.

Senior officials told the BBC that the current deputy interior minister Mujtaba Patang will be promoted to replace Mr Khan as interior minister.

Both appointments have to be approved by parliament, which may cause friction between parliament and Mr Karzai.

"We hope that we get new faces rather faces which have already been examined and which the people are not happy with," Hajji Almaas Zahed, an MP from Parwan province, told Reuters.

The moves comes amid concerns over the ability of the Afghan armed forces to combat the Taliban, and to prevent them infiltrating the security forces.

Most of the 130,000 Nato-led troops foreign troops in the country will leave by the end of 2014, and are gradually handing over responsibility for security to their Afghan counterparts.

In 2010, Mr Nabil's predecessor as head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Amrullah Saleh, resigned from his post, saying he disagreed with Mr Karzai's policy of encouraging talks with the Taliban.




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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Fri 31 Aug - 6:34

This was a T.V. Report this morning. The British and American Forces are offering an Amnesty and a small some of money for those Taliban who hand in their weapons. The idea is catching on and over 500 have handed in their weapons. Among these are weapons so old they could not have been used and their owners so old they could never have fired them., wily lot these Afghans. !!!

One Man, who looked to be about 40 said he handed his weapon in because he wanted to get married and his intended is still in school, 15 yrs old and she and her Headmistrress persuaded him to hand in his gun.


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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sat 1 Sep - 9:33




Sep 1, 4:09 AM EDT
Double suicide attack kills 12 in Afghanistan

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Two suicide attackers, one driving a fuel tanker, blew themselves up near a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing at least 12 people, officials said.

The attack around dawn in the town of Sayed Abad in Wardak province, about 70 kilometers (40 miles) from Kabul, served as a reminder that even after a decade of fighting, tens of thousands of U.S. and foreign troops are still engaged in a war that shows no signs of slowing down despite the start of a withdrawal of coalition forces.

The U.S.-led NATO coalition said that no American or coalition troops were killed in the blasts. It confirmed that a number of troops were wounded, but did not say how many, in accordance with coalition policy.

Shahidullah Shadid, a spokesman for the Wardak provincial governor, said one suicide bomber detonated a vest rigged with explosives outside a compound housing the district governor's office, while another in a fuel tanker detonated his bomb on a road separating the compound from the base. He said the dead included eight civilians and four Afghan police.

"It was a very powerful explosion. It broke windows all over the area," said provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Qayum Bakizai. "Most of the injuries are from broken glass from the windows of homes and shops. It was so powerful we couldn't find much of the truck."

The governor's office said in a statement that 59 people were wounded - 2 NATO troops, 47 civilians and ten Afghan police officers.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, which he said was targeting the U.S. base.

Last year, the same base in Wardak was the target of another suicide bombing. That blast, which occurred on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States, wounded 77 American soldiers and killed five Afghans. No U.S. troops were killed when the massive truck bomb exploded outside the base.

In a separate incident Saturday, NATO said that two U.S. soldiers were killed in eastern Ghazni province. It did not provide any further information or details about the deaths, the first this month. A total of 53 foreign troops were killed in Afghanistan in August.

The United States and other countries have already begun drawing down their forces in Afghanistan as part of a strategy that aims to hand over security responsibility to the Afghans by the end of 2014, when nearly all foreign troops are set to leave the country. President Barack Obama has pledged to remove 23,000 U.S. troops by the end of September, bringing the number of American forces down to 68,000.

There are currently 129,000 troops serving with the coalition, according to US Maj. Gen. Joseph Reynes Jr., director of operations at the Allied Joint Forces Command in Brunssum, the Netherlands. He said earlier this week that the number will drop to 108,000 by the end of October and dip under 100,000 by the end of the year.

The troops are to be replaced by Afghan army and police units, but many have questioned the effectiveness of an Afghan force that has high desertion rates and is often poorly disciplined. The Afghan security forces are supposed to reach a high of about 350,000 at the end of the year.

---

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sun 2 Sep - 14:35




Sep 2, 7:02 AM EDT
US halts training some Afghan forces after attacks

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The U.S. military has halted the training of Afghan government-backed militias for at least a month to give the Americans time to redo the vetting of new recruits after a string of attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on their international allies, officials said Sunday.

There have been 34 insider attacks this year - at least 12 in August alone - that have killed 45 international troops, putting intense strain on the relationship between coalition forces and the Afghans they live and work with. The shootings also have thrown doubts on one of the pillars of the U.S.-led coalition's planned withdrawal by the end of 2014 - training Afghan forces so they can take the lead for security in the country.

Lt. Col. John Harrell, a spokesman for U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan, said the pause in training affects about 1,000 trainees of the Afghan Local Police, a militia backed by the government in Kabul.

"The training of the ALP recruits has been paused while we go through this re-vetting process, to take a look at this process to see if there's anything that we can improve," Harrell said. "It may take a month, it may take two months, we don't know."

International forces have been re-vetting Afghan forces across the board, but U.S. special operations forces decided to stop training the ones they were responsible for - the 16,000-strong ALP - while redoing the background checks.

Afghan Local Police forces that have already been trained will continue to operate, and the government will continue to recruit new members, Harrell said.

Col. Tom Collins, a spokesman for the international military coalition in Afghanistan, also said there was no set date for the training of the local police to resume.

The pause in training for the government-backed militias was first reported by the Washington Post.

Harrell said the Americans last month also put a two-week pause on operations by the Afghan special forces last month to re-vet those soldiers for any potential ties to insurgents. He did not say whether any suspicious links were uncovered.

The international forces in Afghanistan have been revisiting both security for their forces and re-examining the backgrounds of the Afghan forces in the wake of the recent attacks on international troops.

The Post also reported that training of special operations forces had been halted, but a spokesman for the NATO training mission in Afghanistan, or NTM-A, which oversees this training said there has been no such pause.

"There has been no halt in training with NTM-A assets as they relate to special forces," said Maj. Steve Neta of the Canadian military. He also said no other training programs involving the traditional military or police have been halted for re-vetting.

The head of the Afghan special operations forces said there has been no pause to the training of his forces. The program to train Afghan special operations forces had already been on break for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and had been scheduled to restart in mid-September.

"It will continue. It is not ended at all. After the 15th of September we restart," Brig. Gen. Sayed Karim said.

The United States and its allies have been training the Afghan army and police so that they can gradually take over security for the country by the end 2014. They hope to have about 350,000 Afghans trained and ready by the end of the year, and gradually have been putting them in the lead for security in parts of Afghanistan since last year. The U.S.-run ALP project is much smaller and currently has about 16,000 members around the country.

The most recent insider attack took place last week when an Afghan army soldier turned his gun on Australian soldiers, killing three of them and wounding two more in Uruzgan province, according to the Australian military.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office condemned an operation by international troops to catch the shooter, describing it as unilateral and saying it resulted in the deaths of a 70-year-old man his 30-year-old son.

Karzai's office said in a statement late Saturday that the operation took place without the coordination or approval of provincial authorities and violated an agreement that calls on Afghan troops to lead night raids.

The U.S.-led international coalition responded by saying that Afghan officials approved and supported the strike.

In a related incident, NATO said it arrested a Taliban insurgent who was responsible for the May 12 shooting of two members of the British military in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province in the south.

At the time the man was a member of the Afghan police. An accomplice was shot and killed at the scene. The man, who was not further identified, was arrested along with another suspected insurgent on Aug. 30 in the Hisarak district of eastern Nangarhar province.

Prior to the two most recent attacks, coalition authorities said they believed that 25 percent of this year's attacks had confirmed or suspected links to the Taliban, which sometimes has infiltrated the ranks of the Afghan army and police and in other cases is believed to have coerced or otherwise persuaded legitimate members of the Afghan forces to turn on their coalition partners.

Also Sunday, seven people were killed in an apparent clash between rival tribal leaders in eastern Kunduz province. The violence broke out when gunmen from one village killed the brother-in-law of a tribal leader in another, said Sarwar Husseini, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

---

Associated Press

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Tue 4 Sep - 20:11

4 September 2012 Last updated at 15:31

funeral bomb: Suicide attacker 'kills 25' in east


Tribal elders and local intelligence officials blamed the Taliban for the bombing
Continue reading the main story

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A suicide bomber has attacked a funeral ceremony in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, killing at least 25 civilians including the son of a district governor, officials have said.

Several hundred villagers and officials were attending the funeral of an influential tribal elder in the remote border district of Dur Baba.

The district governor Hamesha Gul was among 30 people injured, police say.

Locals recently staged an uprising against Taliban insurgents in the area.

Tribal elders and local intelligence officials in the district blamed the Taliban for the bombing, describing it as a revenge attack by militants in response to the uprising.

"The suicide attacker was walking among [the mourners]," a witness told the BBC.

"He was recognised by the brother of the district governor of Dur Baba. But as soon as he tried to arrest him, the attacker detonated his suicide vest. There is blood, and body parts [everywhere]. It was a packed funeral.''

Another witness told the BBC that he was at the back of the crowd of mourners when the bomb went off.

"Someone shouted that there was a suicide attacker," he said, "and there was a stampede. When I woke up, I saw bodies and blood everywhere."

Correspondents say that while the Taliban have not so far admitted responsibility for the attack, they often target government officials and their opponents at public functions, including funerals and weddings

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Thu 6 Sep - 17:09

Afghanistan fires hundreds of troops over insider attacks



By Josh Levs, CNN
September 6, 2012 -- Updated 1546 GMT (2346 HKT)






Afghanistan 'insider attacks' spark concern



Source: CNN





STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • NEW: ISAF official says "entire leadership of Afghanistan" is committed to stopping attacks
  • 35 attacks this year have killed 45 people, International Security Assistance Force says
  • 76 attacks since 2007 have killed 114 people, ISAF says
  • 2 died Wednesday in a copter crash, and a Taliban leader was killed Tuesday, Afghanistan says

(CNN) -- Afghanistan has fired hundreds of troops as part of its investigation of insider attacks, the country announced Wednesday.

"Based on our investigations, hundreds of Afghan army soldiers have been detained and sacked from the army over the incident of insider attacks," said Gen. Zahir Azimi, a Defense Ministry spokesman.

The country launched investigations in coordination with international forces, he said. "This is a big concern for the Afghan president and the Afghan Defense Ministry."

U.S. Special Operations Forces have suspended the training of some police recruits while they double-check the background of the current police force, NATO's International Security Assistance Force announced Sunday.

The moves follow a growing number of attacks on NATO troops by people dressed as Afghan police or soldiers.



Training halt after green-on-blue attack









Pentagon: Afghans killing U.S. troops






Special Ops troops lured then killed
This year, 35 such attacks have killed 45 people, U.S. Army Maj. Adam Wojack, a spokesman for the ISAF, told CNN on Wednesday.

3 Australian troops killed in 'green-on-blue' attack

Since the first known attack in 2007, 114 people have been killed in a total of 76 attacks, Wojack said.

"The entire leadership of Afghanistan is seized by this and committed to stopping it, from the president on down." Lt. Gen. James Terry, commander of ISAF Joint Command, said Wednesday.

Steps are being taken to increase "our vetting and screening efforts," he added.

Authorities believe only one in four of such attacks are related to the insurgency. The rest are the result of personal grievances, or the causes haven't been determined, Terry said.

It's too soon to say how significant Afghanistan's decision to fire so many troops will be, analyst Gareth Price with the think tank Chatham House said Wednesday.

"It's the first time something like this has happened," he said.

Coalition steps up fight against 'green-on-blue' attacks

After many of the attacks, investigators have found that the attackers' "documents were flawed or not adequately vetted," Price noted. So the firings could be a chance to slow down the process, he said.

Also, it may be "the Afghans showing that they're doing something" about the attacks, Price said.

U.S. and Afghan officials emphasize that the attackers are just a few among the tens of thousands of Afghan troops and soldiers working alongside international forces.

'Green on blue' violence hits home

Also on Wednesday, two coalition service members died after a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan, the ISAF said.

And in its morning operational update Wednesday, the ISAF said a Taliban leader behind an attack on a coalition base in Logar province on August 7 was killed by Afghan and coalition security forces Tuesday. The leader was identified by the name Bismullah.

Read more about Afghanistan on the Security Clearance blog

if(typeof CNN.expElements==='object'){CNN.expElements.init();}

CNN's Anna Coren in Kabul contributed to this report.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sat 8 Sep - 20:39




Sep 8, 8:09 AM EDT
Teenage suicide bomber kills 6 in Afghan capital

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A teenage suicide bomber blew himself up outside NATO headquarters in the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing at least six civilians in a strike that targeted the heart of the U.S.-led military operation in the country, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, which was the latest in a series of insurgent attacks in the heavily-fortified Afghan capital aimed at undercutting a months-long campaign by the U.S.-led coalition to shore up security in Kabul before a significant withdrawal of combat troops limits American options.

While bombings and shootings elsewhere in Afghanistan often receive relatively little attention, attacks in the capital score propaganda points for the insurgents by throwing doubt on the government's ability to provide security even the seat of its power. The attacks also aim to undermine coalition claims of improving security ahead of the planned withdrawal of foreign troops by the end of 2014.

The bomber struck just before noon Saturday outside the headquarters of the U.S.-led NATO coalition, on a street that connects the alliance headquarters to the nearby U.S. and Italian embassies, a large U.S. military base and the Afghan Defense Ministry.

The alliance and police said all of the dead were Afghans, and the Ministry of Interior said some were street children. Kabul police said in a statement that the bomber was 14 years old.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the target was a U.S. intelligence facility nearby.

German Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz, the spokesman for the U.S.-led international military alliance, said there were no coalition casualties.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi blamed the attack on the Haqqani network, one of the most dangerous militant groups fighting U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan. He did not say what he was basing that conclusion on, but the Haqqani group, which is linked to both the Taliban and al-Qaida, has been responsible for several high-profile attacks in the Afghan capital in the past.

On Friday, the U.S. designated the Pakistan-based Haqqani network a terrorist organization, a move that bans Americans from doing business with members of the group and blocks any assets it holds in the United States.

The Obama administration went forward with the decision despite misgivings about how the largely symbolic act could further stall planned Afghan peace talks or put yet another chill on the United States' already fragile counterterrorism alliance with Pakistan.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mijahid said the decision will have no impact on the war against the Afghan government and U.S.-led forces, and added that the Haqqanis were part of the Taliban and not a separate group. He said its founder, Jalaluddin Haqqani, was a loyal member of the Taliban leadership council and a "person of trust" to the movement's leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar.

"It will not have a negative effect on our struggle and we are rejecting this announcement," Mujahid said in an email.

The Haqqani network has been blamed for a series of high profile attacks against foreign targets in Kabul, including coordinated attacks last April against NATO and government facilities that lasted more than a day before the insurgents were killed. A year ago, they were blamed for a rocket-propelled grenade assault on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters. In June, gunmen stormed a lakeside hotel near Kabul and 18 people in a 12-hour rampage.

American officials estimate the Haqqani forces at 2,000 to 4,000 fighters and say the group maintains close ties with al-Qaida.

Earlier Saturday, hundreds of Afghans and officials had gathered just a few hundred meters (yards) from the site of the attack to lay wreaths at a statue to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the charismatic Northern Alliance commander who was killed in an al-Qaida suicide bombing two days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The alliance joined with the United States to help rout the Taliban after America invaded Afghanistan a month later in the wake of the attacks.

---

Patrick Quinn contributed from Kabul

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sun 9 Sep - 7:50

8 September 2012 Last updated at 10:15

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Kabul attack: Bomber kills children near Nato base





The BBC's Jonathan Beale in Kabul says he heard an explosion followed by sirens

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Taliban Conflict



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A teenage suicide bomber has killed at least six people near the headquarter of the Nato-led international coalition (Isaf) in Kabul.

A number of children are among the dead. There were no reports of casualties among Isaf troops.

The police said the attacker was a boy, 14, on a motorbike, who detonated a bomb near an entrance to the HQ.

Kabul security has been tightened as supporters of an anti-Taliban warlord mark 11 years since his assassination.

Ahmad Shah Massoud - a hero of the 1980s war against Soviet occupiers, and later of opposition to the Taliban - was killed by al-Qaeda suicide bombers on 9 September 2001.

Following Saturday's explosion, the Isaf HQ, home to some 2,500 personnel, was placed "on lockdown", the Isaf spokeswoman said.
'Child hawkers'
Child street hawkers are believed to have been caught in the blast and witnesses quoted by Reuters said small bodies could be seen being carried to ambulances.

A police official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP news agency: "Most of the victims are young children who gather around Isaf to sell small items to soldiers leaving or getting into the base."

The US embassy, the Italian embassy and the presidential palace are also located near the site of the attack.

The Taliban have claimed they were behind the attack, but say it was carried out by a man in his 20s, targeting a building used by the CIA to train Afghan spies.

But the BBC Jonathan Beale, in Kabul, says there is also speculation that it could have been the work of another insurgent group - the Haqqani network - which carried out a series of coordinated attacks in the city earlier this year.

Scores of dignitaries were attending commemorations of Massoud's death in Kabul on Saturday, which is a national public holiday in his honour.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Tue 11 Sep - 19:32

Taliban Pose As Women On Facebook To Spy


Australian soldiers are being briefed about the dangers of fake Facebook profiles before they head to Afghanistan, says a report.


5:42pm UK, Tuesday 11 September 2012

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Wed 12 Sep - 0:46

.



Sep 11, 12:32 PM EDT
WHY IT MATTERS: Afghanistan

By ROBERT BURNS
AP National Security Writer












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The issue:

U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan, nearly 11 years after they invaded. Why? The answer boils down to one word: al-Qaida. The goal is to damage the terrorist group enough to prevent a repeat of the 9/11 attacks.

---

Where they stand:

After nearly tripling the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2009-10, President Barack Obama is now pulling them out, aiming to end all U.S. combat there by December 2014. Mitt Romney has outlined a broad goal for the war - without specifics about troop numbers - that is similar to Obama's: Hand over security responsibility to the Afghans at a pace that does not risk the country's collapse and al-Qaida's return.

---

Why it matters:

Only small numbers of al-Qaida fighters are still in Afghanistan, and their iconic leader, Osama bin Laden, is long dead. But the threat they represent is still the main reason Americans are still fighting and dying there.

The logic goes like this: If U.S. and allied forces were to leave before the Afghans can defend themselves, the Taliban would regain power. And if they were in charge, then al-Qaida would not be far behind.

In that view of what's at stake, al-Qaida would once again have a launching pad for attacks on American soil.

What's often overlooked in that scenario is an answer to this question: Why, after so many years of foreign help, are the Afghans still not capable of self-defense? And who can say when they will get to that point?

The official answer is 2014. By the end of that year, the U.S. and its allies are scheduled to end their combat role. The Afghans will be fully in charge, or so it is hoped, and the war will be over - at least for Americans.

So, from an American point of view, what is at stake in Afghanistan is avoiding a repeat of 9/11. But it is also true that the United States faces threats on other fronts. Some of those threats have arisen as a consequence of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, just weeks after the traumatizing 9/11 attacks.

Al-Qaida has migrated to other countries such as Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and various spots in North Africa.

Thus, al-Qaida remains a worry, but its presence in Afghanistan does not seem to trouble many Americans. Although nearly 2,000 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan, the war is hardly an issue in the presidential campaign.

It's perhaps a measure of the public's inattention to Afghanistan that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta felt it necessary to say at a Pentagon news conference that it was important to "remind the American people that there is a war going on."

He added, with an allusion to the al-Qaida threat: "Young men and women are dying in order to try to protect this country."

The outcome in Afghanistan also is important because of the enormous investment in human lives over the past decade. To let it unravel and revert to a pre-9/11 Taliban rule would be seen by many as dishonoring those sacrifices.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Fri 14 Sep - 8:26

Troops May Come Home Early From Afghanistan


British troops could come home early from Afghanistan as the "lion's share" of the combat role is being taken on by local forces.


8:17am UK, Friday 14 September 2012

500 British troops are due to return by the end of this year




icasualties.org

Graph: British Deaths In Afghanistan
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  • Plans to bring back some British troops from Afghanistan earlier than expected are being considered, the Defence Secretary has revealed.

    Philip Hammond said there was "a bit of rethinking" about soldier numbers after military commanders reported that Afghan forces were taking on the "lion's share" of the combat role.

    The Prime Minister has repeatedly said he is keen to avoid a "cliff-edge" on troop withdrawal in 2014, the date when all UK combat troops are due to be out, but insisted the decision should be based on Afghan progress.

    Mr Hammond said he had been privately pushing "for keeping force levels as high as possible for as long as possible" earlier this year but said military commanders were "surprised by the extent to which they have been able to draw back and leave the Afghans to take the lion's share of the combat role".
    Hammond: 'More flexibility in the situation'
    In an interview with the Guardian in Camp Bastion, Helmand, Mr Hammond said: "I think there is a bit of a rethinking going on about how many troops we do actually need... there may be some scope for a little bit more flexibility on the way we draw down, and that is something commanders on the ground are looking at very actively."

    Around 500 British troops are due to return home by the end of this year, leaving a further 9,000 to return by the end of 2014.

    He added: "I think that the message I am getting clearly from the military is that it might be possible to draw down further troops in 2013.

    "Whereas six months ago the message coming from them was that we really need to hold on to everything we have got for as long as we possibly can. I think they are seeing potentially more flexibility in the situation.

    "Talking to senior commanders you get a clear sense that their view of force levels is evolving in light of their experiences."

    The Defence Secretary insisted Britain would not be "spooked" by the run of "green on blue" attacks - when Afghans turn on international troops.

    He added: "We have to be clear why we came here in the first place. I believe very clearly that if we are going to ask British troops to put themselves in the firing line, we can only do that to protect UK vital national security interests.

    "We can ask troops who are here to help build a better Afghanistan, but we cannot ask them to expose themselves to risk for those tasks. We can only ask them to expose themselves to risk for Britain's national security, which is what they signed up to do."
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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sat 15 Sep - 10:12






A Taliban commander has told Sky News that Prince Harry was the primary target of an attack on a major Allied military base in Afghanistan.

Two US Marines died and several others were hurt when militants launched the attack on Camp Bastion late Friday.

Prince Harry was more than a mile away with other crew members of the Apache attack helicopters when the attack took place, sources said. He was unharmed.

The Taliban initially claimed that the attack was carried out in revenge for a low-budget YouTube film which allegedly motivated rioters in Libya to kill the US ambassador and three other Americans this week.

But speaking from Cairo, Sky News Chief Correspondent Stuart Ramsay said: "It appears that rather than the attack being linked to the video, it was actually Prince Harry that was the target."

"This is quite a development, that the Taliban is confirming Prince Harry was the primary target."
The attack occurred at Camp Bastion in Helmand province
Sky News sources said 18 Taliban militants died in the attack and another was captured.

US officials said the heavily-armed insurgents used a range of weaponry, including mortars, rockets and small arms fire.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the attack, adding that "the incident was contained with a number of insurgents killed as a result".

"A clearance operation including UK and ISAF forces is being conducted and we are in the process of accounting for our people, who were subject to a lockdown as is the case when a base is attacked," the MoD said in a statement.

"ISAF have confirmed that two US Marine Corps service personnel were killed and that there were some other ISAF casualties.

"With daylight, work to assess and investigate the attack continues and further details will be made as and when available."

Harry, who celebrates his 28th birthday today, arrived in Afghanistan last Friday on his second tour of duty in the country.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  malena stool on Sat 15 Sep - 13:20

For the sake and safety of his comrades Harry should return to the UK.
In my opinion, his presence has increased the already dangerous conditions to both our troops and those of all allied Nations in Afghanistan to a point which is really beyond their expected call of duty. If he feels the need to serve his country then let him do so in an area which is not in constant scrutiny of gun and missile toting psychopaths.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  Panda on Sat 15 Sep - 13:39

malena stool wrote:For the sake and safety of his comrades Harry should return to the UK.
In my opinion, his presence has increased the already dangerous conditions to both our troops and those of all allied Nations in Afghanistan to a point which is really beyond their expected call of duty. If he feels the need to serve his country then let him do so in an area which is not in constant scrutiny of gun and missile toting psychopaths.

Hi malena, on the earlier News one of the Reporters said it was reported in the Press that Harry was returning to Afghanistan , probably back to his old Unit. However, he is a target now , not just for himself, but his Unit. The World has gone mad and these Terrorist Wars are so different to the two first world Wars fought. This time, you don't know who your enemy is and the rules of engagement are very different.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

Post  malena stool on Sat 15 Sep - 14:08

Yes Panda, we've discovered over the years that when fighting terrorists there is no way to win unless you use terrorist tactics yourself. This is plainly something that governments, civilised or otherwise cannot nor should legally do.
So we should withdraw our servicemen/women, our equipment and money from Afghanistan and let them sort their problems out themselves. Then encourage them into the civilised world by subverting their economy, which in this case revolves around the production of vast quantities of Opium, which is also a fabric of their own daily life.
But, our own economy would suffer as we'd lose profits from our arms industry by taking that course of action, and the Chinese or Russians would only step into our place.
So I guess we'll carry on as before.

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Re: More trouble in Afghanistan

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