October 28, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - If they could sit down together, the chancellor and the hotheaded student activist who helped shut down his university might find that they are not so very different. After all, Afghanistan's history has dealt both men harsh blows. But that same history also divides them. The older one, attuned to what was lost in decades of war, seeks stability at all costs; the student, knowing just conflict and chaos, has no patience left for the older generation he blames for the violence.
October 22, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - After years of comings and goings, almost everything about leaving Kabul is familiar: the ride through dusty dawn streets, skirting past old men on bicycles and boys in horse-drawn carts, the long airport trudge through four luggage screenings and pat-downs, the way the plane's wingtips seem to almost scrape the jagged peaks surrounding the city. Everything is the same - but the knowledge that this is the last time. Kabul has been home for more than three years, but on this trip my assignment as a foreign correspondent here is ending, and I will join the American exodus from its long war in Afghanistan.
September 12, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan — When 14-year-old Khorshid took to her skateboard, her face would light up with an enormous smile. For an Afghan girl whose short life had been filled with hardships, the swooping and whooshing and rocketing speed were an undreamed-of taste of freedom. Khorshid, together with her little sister and two teenage boys who were her friends from Kabul's first and only skateboarding school, were among the six Afghan civilians who died in a weekend suicide bombing in Kabul, the international nonprofit group Skateistan said Tuesday.
July 7, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Not so long ago, if a senior U.S. official appearing in a high-profile setting were asked about corruption in Afghanistan, the response might have been a stern reminder that the government of President Hamid Karzai needed to do much more, and quickly, to fight graft and cronyism. On Saturday, when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton fielded just such a query as she stood next to Karzai in the tranquil, leafy compound of his presidential palace in Kabul, her reply was far more equivocal.
June 23, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - To the people ofAfghanistan's teeming, dusty capital, sparkling blue Lake Karga on the city's outskirts has long been a tranquil haven. But in a brazen evening attack, a team of Taliban assailants turned the quiet lakeshore into a scene of horrors, storming a popular hotel, seizing dozens of hostages and killing 18 people, most of them diners relaxing over a late-night meal. The 11-hour siege of the Spozhmai resort, the latest in a series of high-profile insurgent strikes around the capital in recent months, ended Friday when elite Afghan police supported by NATO troops killed the last of the attackers.
June 22, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan — Gunmen seized control of a lakeside hotel outside the Afghan capital early Friday, taking hostages and setting off an hours-long battle, police said. The Taliban claimed responsibility. By midmorning, about 20 hotel guests had been rescued and at least two of the attackers were dead, police said. One police officer was reported killed as well. Police said some civilians were believed to have been injured or killed, but did not yet have a firm count. The team of attackers, echoing a pattern in past strikes, besieged the Spozhmai hotel on the shores of Lake Karga with heavy weapons, with some of the assailants wearing vests laden with explosives.
June 12, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The United States and Pakistan had nearly completed a deal to reopen crucial NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, officials from both countries said, when Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta harshly criticized Islamabad last week for allowing militants to mount cross-border attacks from its territory. And with that, new problems erupted. U.S. and Pakistani negotiators had been putting the final touches on the agreement when Panetta, speaking in Kabul on Thursday, said the U.S. was "reaching the limits of our patience" over Islamabad's failure to root out Afghan insurgents in its tribal areas, the officials said.
June 10, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - For much of her life, Aqilah Hikmat had beaten the odds. In a country where women struggle to get educations and find good jobs, she was an accomplished physician, the head of the obstetrics ward at a major provincial hospital, beloved by her patients. And it was a source of enormous pride to the 49-year-old doctor that two of her four children, including a daughter, were medical students, poised to follow in her career footsteps. The day she was shot to death by a U.S. soldier along the road to Kabul, she and her husband were on their way from their restive home province of Ghazni - a dangerous trip, but one they made weekly.
May 26, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - French President Francois Hollande, on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, defended France's controversial decision to end its combat role ahead of schedule, and insisted Friday that his government would step up its assistance via other means. The newly inaugurated leader met with President Hamid Karzai and visited French troops, who are mainly deployed in Kapisa province, east of the capital. Early this week at a NATO gathering week in Chicago, Hollande stirred tension among the allies by declaring that he would keep a campaign pledge to pull out French troops by the end of this year, two years before the NATO combat role is to end. Some worry the French stance is widening cracks within the alliance and will lead otherU.S.
May 13, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - A brazen daytime assassination on Sunday offered a grim reminder of stymied progress in a key part of NATO's effort to wind down the Afghan war: peace talks with the Taliban. Arsala Rahmani, a senior member of the Afghan government body set up to conduct negotiations with the militant group, was shot and killed while traveling by car through the Afghan capital, police said. Coming less than nine months after the assassination of the head of the High Peace Council, the killing cast yet more gloom over Western-backed efforts to bring the insurgents to the bargaining table.