Osama bin Laden has in a new audio recording threatened to kill any Americans that al-Qaeda takes prisoner if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, considered as one of the masterminds behind the September 11 attacks, is executed.
Covert troops who killed two pregnant women and a teenage girl in eastern Afghanistan went on to inflict “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” on the survivors of a botched night raid, a report by the UN said.
A long-time US military official used Pentagon funding to establish a private intelligence and assassination network in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a report Monday in the New York Times. The network was shut down after the CIA station chief in Kabul objected to a competing military-backed intelligence operation, the newspaper said.
A night raid carried out by US and Afghan gunmen led to the deaths of two pregnant women, a teenage girl and two local officials in an atrocity which Nato then tried to cover up, survivors have told The Times.
Afghan police are widely considered corrupt, unable to shoot straight, and die at twice the rate of Afghan soldiers and NATO troops. After seven billion dollars spent on training and salaries in the last eight years, several U.S. government investigations are asking why.
Afghan officers will begin to take charge of the prison facility at Bagram, currently run by the US military, from next week. Addressing a news conference at the jail near the capital Kabul on Saturday, US and Afghan officials said the handover of the prison would be gradual over the coming year as Afghan officers still require training.
$2000 per dead child! That's the amount of compensation offered by the Pentagon for the "collateral damage" which it has caused in Afghanistan. As the war escalates and more innocent victims of Washington's aggressive actions accumulate in number, the US military calculates what it will take to placate grieving Afghan parents.
The United States is planning to launch a military offensive in Afghanistan's Kandahar city following the military operation to drive Taliban fighters out of the town of Marjah in Helmand province, a senior US official has said.
Several suicide bombers attacked a hotel popular with foreigners in Kabul, the Afghan capital. At least 17 people were killed and 32 wounded when several suicide bombers attacked a hotel popular with foreigners and the surrounding area in the centre of Kabul. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, one of the deadliest attacks on the Afghan capital in a year.
Private American security guards working for the US military in Afghanistan removed hundreds of handguns and automatic weapons from stores intended for the exclusive use of the Afghan police and used them on drunken shooting rampages that killed two Afghan civilians and injured at least two more.
A night-time raid in eastern Afghanistan in which eight schoolboys from one family were killed was carried out on the basis of faulty intelligence and should never have been authorised, a Times investigation has found.
The general overseeing the US military campaign in Afghanistan has warned that the offensive against the Taliban in southern Helmand province's Marjah town is just the start of an operation that could last 18 months. General David Petraeus, the commander of US Central Command, said on Sunday that the months ahead will be "tough". "I have repeatedly said that these types of efforts are hard and they're hard all the time. I don't use words like optimist or pessimist, I use realist but the reality is that it's hard and we're there for a very, very important reason and we can't forget that.
The offensive begun February 13 against the town of Marjah is the first major effort undertaken by the US military in Afghanistan since President Barack Obama ordered the intensification of the US war effort and the dispatch of 30,000 additional American troops. The attack on Marjah is the largest US military operation in the war since the initial 2001 invasion ordered by George W. Bush.
The US is coming under increasing criticism over the rise in civilian casualties during the assault on the Afghan city of Marjah, one of the largest military offensives of the eight-year war. At least nineteen civilians have been killed so far, including six children who died when a missile struck their house on the outskirts of the city. We speak with Matteo dell’Aira, medical coordinator of the Emergency Lashkar Gah hospital.
“It Will Take Weeks To Clear Marja, To Really Go House-To-House, Road-To-Road” “When It Is Daytime, There Is Nonstop Contact Until The Sun Goes Down ... Every Day” “The Skill Displayed By Taleban Insurgents Showed High Levels Of Tactical Awareness And Training — Including ‘Walking’ Mortar Fire On To The Marines And Persistent And Accurate Sniper Fire”
US military officials have said they are now in control of crucial areas in Marjah in Helmand province as a major offensive in Afghanistan against the Taliban enters its fifth day. But Afghan intelligence sources, speaking to Al Jazeera on Wednesday, cast doubt on the claim.
The German government has now reclassified its military mission in Afghanistan as intervening in a civil war or, as they say in legal jargon, a “non-international armed conflict.” The recasting of the mission has far-reaching legal consequences.
Coalition forces continued to advance into Taliban-held areas in the violent southern Afghan province of Helmand yesterday on the third day of a major offensive aimed at breaking the insurgents' control over hundreds of thousands of local people.
In what is likely to be the first of many such atrocities, two US military rockets slammed into a house near Marjah, the target of the current offensive, killing 12 people. US military authorities admitted that the victims were innocent civilians sheltering in their own home, as they had been advised to do by US and NATO officials.
The Battle of Marjah was supposed to be the centerpiece of the Obama escalation, showcasing NATO’s firepower against the farming community while emphasizing strategic changes designed to limit civilian casualties. This has failed on both fronts, with troops encountering heavy resistance and making slow progress in occupying the town, and even more importantly an embarrasingly high profile mishap involving US forces.
MARJA, AFGHANISTAN -- U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers encountered pockets of stiff resistance and extensive minefields as they sought to press into this Taliban sanctuary in southern Afghanistan on Saturday. Numerous gunfights with insurgents and painstaking efforts to clear roads of makeshift bombs slowed the advance of many coalition units and delayed them from reaching some key destinations in this farming area of 80,000 people. The operation was further complicated by the challenge of fording irrigation canals that ring the area and traversing a landscape covered in knee-deep mud.
More international troops die as they launch a major operation against Taliban. As thousands of US-led forces have launched an operation in southern Afghanistan, the number of those foreign troops killed in the assault is rising. According to the latest statement by NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), seven troopers were killed on Saturday.
The controversial American security company Blackwater is facing new allegations of gross misconduct after two former employees said that it had repeatedly defrauded the US Government, including charging it for the use of a Filipina prostitute in Afghanistan.
As US and British troops prepare to attack the town of Marjah in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, military commanders and the media are openly comparing the operation to the siege of Fallujah, one of the bloodiest war crimes of the Iraq war.
A new investigation by journalist Anand Gopal reveals harrowing details about US secret prisons in Afghanistan, under both the Bush and Obama administrations. Gopal interviewed Afghans who were detained and abused at several disclosed and undisclosed sites at US and Afghan military bases across the country. He also reveals the existence of another secret prison on Bagram Air Base that even the Red Cross does not have access to. It is dubbed the Black Jail and is reportedly run by US Special Forces. AMY GOODMAN: A major UN report on secret detention policies around the world concludes the practice could reach the threshold of a crime against humanity.
By George Galloway STOP THE WAR COALITION Meeting 27 January 2010 - Speakers: Tony Benn, George Galloway MP, Kate Hudson (CND), Lindsey German (Stop the War), 7pm, Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, London WC1H 9DB
Afghanistan-based US predators carried out a record number of 12 deadly missile strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan in January 2010, of which 10 went wrong and failed to hit their targets, killing 123 innocent Pakistanis. The remaining two successful drone strikes killed three al-Qaeda leaders, wanted by the Americans.
Despite years of international military operations, hospitals in Afghanistan remain in a state of complete decay and are struggling to cope with a growing number of war victims. Facilities are inadequate and, in some areas, there are no hospitals or clinics at all. The situation is particularly bad in the southern part of the country where fighting is the heaviest.
Then one day, long after the police and village elders had abandoned their search, a courier delivered a neat handwritten note on Red Cross stationery to the family. In it, Ismatullah informed them that he was in Bagram, an American prison more than 200 miles away. US forces had picked him up while he was on his way home from the bazaar, the terse letter stated, and he didn't know when he would be freed.
In a speech to the German parliament (Bundestag) on Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) pledged to send additional German troops to back the US surge in Afghanistan ordered by President Barack Obama. The German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle (Free Democratic Party, FDP), will announce Germany's new contribution to the US-NATO war to 60 foreign ministers assembled for the London Afghanistan Conference on Thursday.
U.S. soldiers shot and killed an Afghan cleric as he drove Thursday with his young son near an American base on the eastern edge of Kabul, underscoring the dangers facing civilians despite NATO efforts to minimize casualties. The shooting occurred as Mohammad Yunus, 36, approached a four-lane highway with one of his sons, according to police and witnesses. Yunus was struck by four bullets fired at his Toyota Corolla and died on the way to the Wazir Akbar Hospital, according to his son-in-law, Abdul Qadir. His son was not injured. Yunus left two wives and 10 children, Abdul-Qadir said.
One quiet, wintry night last year in the eastern Afghan town of Khost, a young government employee named Ismatullah simply vanished. He had last been seen in the town's bazaar with a group of friends. Family members scoured Khost's dust-doused streets for days. Village elders contacted Taliban commanders in the area who were wont to kidnap government workers, but they had never heard of the young man. Even the governor got involved, ordering his police to round up nettlesome criminal gangs that sometimes preyed on young bazaar-goers for ransom.
Lawrence Cannon, Canada's foreign minister, is on his way to London for a major international conference on the future of Afghanistan, January 28. Hilary Clinton and other high level representatives from the NATO countries will be present, as will embattled Afghan President Hamid Karzai. One wonders if this major global media focus on Afghanistan was part of the Harper government’s calculation in proroguing Parliament. The torture and abuse of Afghan detainees is also an issue in several European countries, and so the less riled up the Canadian press corps is from any fresh revelations back home, the better.
A classified cable from the United States ambassador in Kabul offers a bleak accounting of the Afghan leadership and the risks of sending additional troops to Afghanistan, according to report published in The New York Times reported Tuesday. Ambassador Karl Eikenb-erry warned his government in November that President Hamid Karzai “is not an adequate strategic partner” and “continues to shun responsibility for any sovereign burden.”
Millions of dollars of aid routed through foreign troops in Afghanistan to "win hearts and minds" have not only failed to tackle poverty but put the lives of ordinary Afghans at risk, aid agencies said in a report on Wednesday Nations contributing troops in Afghanistan are estimated to have channelled up to $1.7 billion since 2001 through their military for projects such as building schools in one of the world's poorest countries. And this amount is expected to rise rapidly.
Al Jazeera has learnt that a plan is being considered to pay up to $1bn to Taliban fighters to persuade them to lay down their arms. In advance of an international conference in London to discuss Afghanistan's future on Thursday, Japan, the United States and Britain are said to be leading the proposal.
Kai Eide, UN Representative to Afghanistan confirmed the Afghan government’s investigative conclusions that US troops handcuffed and then executed eight students enrolled in grades 6 through 10 in a night raid on December 27, 2009. The US military and NATO responded the troops involved were non-official. The most likely source of para-military “non-official” troops in Afghanistan is Blackwater/Xe. President Hamid Karzai demanded arrest of the US troops engaged in the break-in and mafia-style execution of their children. The US responded to the Afghan demand of January 1 by rejecting the findings of the Afghan government and UN with a vague promise of their own self-investigation at some later date.
In response to an American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Defense Department today released a list of the people imprisoned at the notorious Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Until today, the Defense Department had refused to make the list public. The list contains the names of 645 prisoners who were detained at Bagram in September 2009, but other vital information including their citizenship, how long they have been held, in what country they were captured and the circumstances of their capture has been redacted.
The cost to U.S. taxpayers of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 has topped $1 trillion, and President Barack Obama is expected to request another $33 billion to fund more troops this year.
Locals say troops of the US-led alliance have killed at least eight Afghan civilians at a demonstration organized to protest against the alliance forces' desecration of the Holy Quran. The mortalities were caused by fire from the alliance forces during the demonstration, which about 2,000 people attended, in the southern province of Helmand, locals said on Tuesday, the German news agency DPA reported.
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