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June 18, 2013 | By Hashmat Baktash and Mark Magnier, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details
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.
The director of surgery at the public hospital was a Muslim cleric with no medical experience. The state bank director had memorized every verse of the Holy Koran but knew nothing of finance. In all the Taliban provincial offices here, only the mullah who headed the provincial office of the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice appeared qualified for his job.
February 13, 2011 | By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
They had to hold the funeral at a big church in Palmdale. Matthew Ramsey , a native of nearby Quartz Hill , was just 20, but the young soldier's life had already touched many. Inside the crowded sanctuary were his buddies from childhood sports, former teachers and counselors, fellow sheriff's Explorers and other military veterans. His son, not yet 2 years old, was up front with Ramsey's young widow, pregnant again but barely showing. Images of Ramsey were projected on a screen: One showed him as a toddler, laughing atop his tricycle.
October 30, 2010 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
U.S. and Afghan forces working with Russian agents destroyed millions of dollars' worth of drugs at several heroin and opium production facilities in Afghanistan during an unprecedented joint operation, officials said Friday. The raid in Nangarhar province stopped a huge drug production base in the mountains near the Pakistani border, Viktor Ivanov, head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service, said at a news conference in Moscow. Officials said about 70 men, including U.S. and Afghan troops and four Russian drug control agents, took over the facilities Thursday.
February 16, 2009 | Tony Perry
It began with a visit by a San Diego businesswoman who volunteered at an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan after the Taliban was pushed from power in 2001. Fary Moini, the owner of two tuxedo shops, was shocked by the poverty and despair at the overcrowded site just across the border from Afghanistan, and moved by the sorrow and confusion she saw in the eyes of the children. When she returned home, she appealed to her fellow Rotary Club members to help do something -- anything -- for the Afghans.
September 13, 2009 | Mark Magnier
A wave of violence swept across Afghanistan on Saturday, leaving five American troops and dozens of Afghans dead and underscoring the Taliban's growing reach. The bloodshed comes as Western allies try to shore up stability amid an election process increasingly marred by fraud allegations. Militant attacks had long been concentrated in the southern and eastern parts of the troubled nation, but in recent weeks have spread to the normally quieter northern and western regions, with Saturday a case in point.
July 22, 2009 | Laura King
Sowing security fears less than a month before presidential elections, a wave of gunmen and suicide bombers staged coordinated attacks in two eastern cities Tuesday that killed at least six Afghan security officers and eight of the insurgents during hours of chaotic fighting. The commando-style assaults in the provincial capitals of Jalalabad and Gardez, targeting a U.S.
May 17, 2011 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
A powerful homemade bomb killed four U.S. service members Monday in southern Afghanistan, military officials said, an unusually high number of troop deaths in a single explosion. Bombs known as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, have caused the bulk of Western combat casualties in Afghanistan, despite concerted efforts to provide better protection for troops in the field, including sophisticated mine-resistant vehicles and improved body armor. Because these homemade bombs are the weapon most favored by insurgents facing a far more powerful conventional military force, the rate of catastrophic battlefield wounds among U.S. and other Western troops is on the rise, including loss of multiple limbs and injuries to the groin.
October 25, 2006 | Sebastian Rotella, Times Staff Writer
The conflict in Iraq is drawing fewer foreign fighters as Muslim extremists aspiring to battle the West turn their attention back to the symbolically important and increasingly violent turf of Afghanistan, European and U.S. anti-terrorism officials say. The shift of militants to Afghanistan this year suggests that Al Qaeda and its allies, armed with new tactics honed in Iraq, are coming full circle five years after U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban mullahs. Until Sept.
February 25, 2012 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
The spasm of violence that has shaken the country since copies of the Koran were dumped in a trash incinerator at a U.S. military base is emblematic of a culture war among Afghans themselves, one that is likely to grow more intense as the Western military presence wanes. Five days of chaotic street battles have left more than 30 people dead, including two U.S. military officers killed Saturday in a heavily guarded Afghan government ministry. The unrest over the desecration of the Muslim holy book illustrated not only the depth of religious fervor felt by many here, but also a visceral distaste for Western behavior and values among a far broader swath of Afghan society.
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