June 19, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Underscoring Afghan President Hamid Karzai's reputation in Washington as a mercurial U.S. ally, the Karzai administration suspended security talks with the United States on Wednesday, apparently without warning, a day before U.S. officials were due to meet with the Taliban for informal talks. In a statement that didn't include much explanation, the Afghan president's office said the suspension was made in light of the “contradiction between acts and the statements made by the United States of America in regard to the peace process.” A few hours later, the presidential palace issued a second statement that said: “The Afghan High Peace Council will not attend the Qatar negotiations until they're fully Afghanized,” adding that the opening of a Taliban office in the Persian Gulf nation on Monday undermined earlier assurances made by the United States.
June 19, 2013 |
BERLIN -- President Obama on Wednesday rejected criticism from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office that the U.S. had said one thing and done another while arranging informal peace talks with the insurgent Taliban movement. “We had anticipated that at the outset, there were going to be some areas of friction, to put it mildly, in getting this thing off the ground,” Obama said at a news conference here with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Karzai's office earlier in the day had abruptly canceled ongoing security negotiations with U.S. officials aimed at defining the U.S.-Afghan relationship after American-led foreign forces leave Afghanistan, a move scheduled for the end of next year.
June 18, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- An hour before NATO transferred formal responsibility for the nation's security to Afghan forces, a large bomb targeting a minority lawmaker exploded in western Kabul on Tuesday morning, killing three civilians and wounding more than a dozen others, police said. The intended target, Mohammad Mohaqiq, a prominent lawmaker and former Cabinet member from the minority Hazara community, survived the attack but at least four bodyguards in his convoy were wounded, said Gen. Mohammad Daud Amin, Kabul's deputy police chief.
June 13, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - - Mohammad Aziz Ayob adjusts his Boy Scout scarf, leans over and settles a sapling into the dry Kabul soil as two NATO helicopters pass overhead, the clack-clack of their blades echoing off the neighboring mountains. Bobbing green shirts and matching caps may seem a bit incongruous in a war zone, but organizers of Afghanistan's nascent Scouting program say its emphasis on community service and self-reliance is sorely needed in a society scarred by decades of violence.
June 11, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- A suicide bomber detonated his vehicle in front of the Supreme Court in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, several hundred yards from the U.S. Embassy, killing 17 people and wounding 38, police said. The Taliban claimed responsibility in a statement sent to reporters, adding that the bomber, whom it identified as an engineer named Abdul Wajid, detonated his explosives-packed Toyota Corolla in front of the “so-called Supreme Court of the Kabul government.” The dead and wounded were all civilians and included court employees, women and children, said Gen. Mohammad Daud Amin, Kabul's deputy police chief.
June 10, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Outsiders may have trouble distinguishing between the turbans worn by Afghan Sikhs, with their tighter folds, varied colors and tucked-in edges, and those worn by Afghan Muslims, usually black or white with the end hanging down the wearer's back. The subtle differences, however, and what they represent, have fueled widespread discrimination against Afghan Sikhs, members of the community say, prompting many to move away amid concern that the once-vibrant group could disappear.
June 9, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Insurgents attacked the military side of Kabul's international airport at dawn Monday, jarring residents of the Afghan capital awake to the sound of explosions and gunfire. The area houses a key NATO strategic headquarters, but that part of the complex reportedly was not breached. The attack began around 4:20 a.m., just before sunrise in Kabul, with those living in the neighborhood reporting several blasts that sounded like rocket-propelled grenades, followed by automatic gunfire.
June 8, 2013 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A man wearing an Afghan army uniform opened fire on U.S. soldiers and personnel in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday and killed two American servicemen and an American civilian, the latest in a string of so-called insider attacks in which Afghan soldiers or police turn their weapons on U.S.-led coalition personnel. The shooting occurred at an Afghan army base in Paktika province, a volatile region along the Pakistani border. Officials with the Paktika governor's office told the Associated Press that an argument between an Afghan soldier and U.S. troops at the base precipitated the shooting.
June 5, 2013 |
The U.S. Army staff sergeant accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians in two villages pleaded guilty Wednesday in a move expected to spare him from the death penalty. And when a military judge asked Robert Bales, 39, why he slaughtered the men, women and children outside Camp Belambay in southern Afghanistan on March 11, 2012, Bales gave his first and only public explanation for the attack. "Sir, as far as why: I've asked that question a million times since then," said Bales, according to the Associated Press.