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WORLD
February 24, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali and Hashmat Baktash
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday ordered U.S. special forces troops to leave a strategic eastern province, accusing the Americans and Afghans working for them of torturing and abducting civilians. Karzai's office charged that in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, a university student who was detained during a U.S. operation was later found with his head and fingers cut off. In another case, U.S. forces allegedly detained nine villagers who are still missing.
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WORLD
February 28, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW -- Ukraine's deposed President Viktor Yanukovich declared himself still the legitimate leader of his divided country and said his Russian allies in the Kremlin “should and must act” to put an end to the political chaos. “Knowing the character of [Russian President] Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, I am surprised that he is until now so restrained and silent” on the subject of intervening to bring calm to Ukraine, Yanukovich said at a news conference in southern Russia carried live nationwide on Russia-24 television.
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WORLD
April 9, 2010 | By Laura King
In nearly nine years of warfare in Afghanistan, U.S. Special Forces have done their fighting in the shadows, governed by rules largely of their own making. Now, these elite and secretive troops, their actions long shielded from public scrutiny, are the focus of a high-profile investigation that could shed unprecedented light on their methods and tactics. American and Afghan officials are probing a possible attempted coverup in the deaths of five Afghan civilians in February in a raid carried out by U.S. Special Forces accompanied by Afghan troops.
WORLD
January 19, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin said Russian authorities will "do our best" to prevent terrorist attacks at the Sochi Winter Olympics, which will take place in the shadow of an Islamist insurgency in the restive Caucasus region. "We have a perfect understanding of the scope of the threat and how to deal with it and how to prevent it," Putin said in an interview broadcast Sunday. "I hope that our law enforcement agencies will deal with it with honor and dignity, the way it was during other major sports and political events.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2012 | By Robert Abele
It's not only Americans who can make leaden, video game-style exercises in dumb war action. French import "Special Forces" whips up a lot of the same swirling camerawork, macho theatrics and fast-cutting mayhem we expect from testosterone-fueled Hollywood as it tells the tale of a tight-knit band of Gallic soldiers - led by a stoic Djimon Hounsou - tasked with rescuing a war correspondent (Diane Kruger) from Taliban captivity in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Writer/producer/director Stephane Rybojad likes his Islamic fundamentalists childishly ruthless, his Afghani victims helpless and his first-person-shooter heroes full of spit, vinegar and martyr-laced bravado.
WORLD
May 4, 2012 | By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A top U.S. commander is seeking authority to expand clandestine operations against militants and insurgencies around the globe, a sign of shifting Pentagon tactics and priorities after a grueling decade of large-scale wars. Adm. William H. McRaven, a Navy SEAL and commander of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, has developed plans that would provide far-reaching new powers to make special operations units "the force of choice" against "emerging threats" over the next decade, internal Defense Department documents show.
WORLD
February 24, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali and Hashmat Baktash, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday ordered U.S. special forces troops to cease operations in a strategic eastern province, accusing the Americans and Afghans working for them of torturing and abducting civilians. Karzai's office charged that a university student who was detained during a U.S. operation in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, was later found with his head and fingers cut off. In another case, U.S. forces are accused of detaining nine villagers, who are still missing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2012 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
CAMP PENDLETON - In a ceremony replete with praise for their courage and resourcefulness, four members of an elite Marine special forces squad received medals Monday for their actions during a lengthy firefight in Afghanistan. But one key squad member, whose dedication and coolness under fire were noted in the official after-action report, was not in attendance: Posha, the military working dog. The German shepherd was with the Marines when they landed in a helicopter-borne assault to clear out a Taliban command post and quickly found two pressure-plate bombs on the main route to the Taliban compound.
NEWS
December 20, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Parliament approved the deployment of up to 200 Czech special forces as part as the British-led multinational peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. Parliament met in closed session in Prague, and results of the vote were not available. But the CTK news agency said approval was "overwhelming." Britain is preparing to send a vanguard of troops to Kabul, in time for Saturday's inauguration of an interim government.
NEWS
August 18, 1994 | Associated Press
President Hafez Assad of Syria has removed the powerful commander of his army's special forces, sources said Wednesday, possibly as part of a campaign to clean up Syria's image in the West. Some said Brig. Gen. Ali Haidar, who commanded the unit for more than a decade, has been placed under house arrest. Others said his whereabouts are unknown. One source said Assad is trying to purge the military of officers who might not be amenable to a peace agreement with Israel.
WORLD
September 22, 2013 | Robyn Dixon
Cafes were humming with a weekend lunch crowd. Visitors were anticipating a competition for child chefs. Suddenly, Nairobi's Westgate Mall erupted in gunfire and explosions, sending people scurrying for safety, barricading themselves in storerooms and kitchens. Some played dead. At least 39 people were killed and 150 wounded Saturday in Kenya's worst terrorist attack in 15 years, President Uhuru Kenyatta said. The Shabab, a Somali group linked to Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility, saying the attack was retribution for the country's invasion of its eastern neighbor two years ago that was aimed at controlling the Islamic militants.
WORLD
July 15, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY - The top leader of Mexico's most feared and violent drug-trafficking paramilitary cartel, the Zetas, was captured Monday, Mexican authorities announced, the first significant blow to organized crime in the young government of President Enrique Peña Nieto. Mexican naval special forces seized Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, alias Z-40, before dawn Monday in Nuevo Laredo, a border city across from Laredo, Texas, in the state of Tamaulipas, long a Zeta stronghold, government security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2013 | Joseph Serna
A special task force of fire, police and federal agencies is investigating a church fire that erupted early Friday at a Leimert Park church. The fire was reported before 2 a.m. at Bethesda Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith on Crenshaw Boulevard. Flames tore through the church windows, and plumes of black smoke climbed into the night sky. Witnesses said they could see the flames up to three miles away. Firefighters were on the scene within four minutes of the first call, said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt.
WORLD
March 25, 2013 | By Paul Richter
KABUL - Secretary of State John Kerry joined Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday for a public show of unity, declaring that the two allies “are on the same page” despite weeks of unprecedented friction. Kerry, who has played a special role in soothing U.S. tensions with the Afghan leader, said the United States respected Afghanistan's sovereignty and remained committed to its security, even as it prepares final decisions about scaling back the U.S. commitment following the departure of all combat troops by the end of next year.
WORLD
March 20, 2013 | By Alex Rodriguez and Hashmat Baktash
KABUL, Afghanistan - U.S. military leaders reached a deal with Afghan officials that calls for a gradual transition of security responsibilities in a volatile eastern province from American special forces to Afghan troops, officials from both sides announced Wednesday. The arrangement aims to defuse a dispute triggered by accusations from President Hamid Karzai that U.S. troops were responsible for abductions and human rights abuses in Wardak province. Tense relations between Kabul and Washington became further strained by Karzai's recent claims that American special forces and U.S.-trained Afghan local police had kidnapped nine villagers from Nerkh district in Wardak , located just west of Kabul, the capital, and had mutilated the body of another villager from a different provincial district after killing him. U.S. military leaders vehemently denied the allegations, and in recent interviews local law enforcement and provincial officials in Wardak said there was no basis for Karzai's claims.
WORLD
March 11, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - A man in a police uniform opened fire on U.S. and Afghan soldiers Monday at a base in eastern Afghanistan, killing two Americans in what may be the latest insider attack by Afghans against allied security forces. Afghan officials said three Afghan police officers also were killed in the shooting in Wardak, the strategically crucial province where President Hamid Karzai last month ordered U.S. special forces to cease operations. U.S. military officials said it wasn't immediately clear whether the gunman was an Afghan police officer or impostor.
WORLD
September 5, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Russian special services freed all 15 hostages who were being held by inmates at a Moscow pre-trial detention center, Russia's prison service said. Three inmates had seized the hostages, including the chief warden, his deputy and other prison workers, after an afternoon walk at the prison. The inmates attacked guards during the walk and dressed themselves in the guards' uniforms before gaining entry to a prison building and barricading themselves in a room.
NEWS
January 11, 1987 | DENNIS McLELLAN, Times Staff Writer
If life were like fiction, retired Army Col. Aaron Bank of San Clemente--who's known as the father of the Green Berets--would be the leading character in one of the most dramatic stories of the 20th Century. The time: 1945, the final months of the war in Europe. The setting: a large country estate outside Paris where the American Office of Strategic Services has assembled a company-sized unit of German defectors, mostly POWs, for training in unconventional warfare tactics.
WORLD
March 5, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali, Hashmat Baktash and David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
MAIDAN SHAHR, Afghanistan - The story was gruesome: A university student, captured in a U.S. special forces raid, was found decapitated and with his fingers sliced off. Amid a groundswell of public anger, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office cited that incident, as well as reports that nine villagers had been abducted from their homes, when he decided last week to bar the elite U.S. troops from a volatile province at the doorstep of Kabul, a...
WORLD
February 25, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The U.S. military has determined that its forces weren't involved in the alleged abduction and killing of civilians in a troubled province in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Monday. "In recent months, a thorough review has confirmed that no coalition forces have been involved in the alleged misconduct in Wardak province," Lt. Col. Les Carroll, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, said in a statement. A day earlier, Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused U.S. special forces troops and Afghans working for them of torturing civilians in Wardak, a strategic but violence-wracked province southwest of the capital, Kabul.
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