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WORLD
November 10, 2013 | By Aoun Sahi and Mark Magnier
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The appointment of Mullah Fazlullah as head of the Pakistani Taliban signals a significant shift for the militant organization into a potentially more uncompromising, violent group based increasingly on ideology rather than tribal ties, analysts said. Fazlullah, a hard-liner from Pakistan's Swat Valley, was named Thursday after his predecessor was killed days earlier by a U.S. drone strike as he emerged from a meeting at a mosque in lawless North Waziristan near the Afghan border.
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WORLD
November 2, 2013 | By Aoun Sahi and Mark Magnier
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistani security forces were on high alert Saturday amid concerns of revenge attacks after the killing of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a U.S. drone missile strike. Mehsud has been reported killed in the past by U.S. and Pakistani security forces -- only to reappear alive. But on Saturday, the Taliban confirmed his killing Friday in the Miranshah area of lawless North Waziristan near the Afghan border. “We believe that hundreds of thousands more mujahedeen will rise from the drops of Hakimullah's blood,” Maulana Azam Tariq, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman from South Waziristan, said by phone from an undisclosed location.
WORLD
November 1, 2013 | By Zulfiqar Ali and Mark Magnier, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A U.S. drone fired missiles Friday at the residence of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, a top militant with a $5-million FBI bounty on his head thought to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. It was not immediately clear whether Mehsud was killed in the strike in the North Waziristan region. The drone reportedly fired two missiles at the compound and a vehicle used by Mehsud, who has been high on the target list for U.S. intelligence forces.
WORLD
October 30, 2013 | By Hashmat Baktash and Mark Magnier
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghanistan will send a delegation to Pakistan soon in an attempt to open channels with the Taliban toward a peace deal, officials said Wednesday. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a statement that he and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif agreed to the initiative in London this week as part of a three-way conclave with British Prime Minister David Cameron aimed at bolstering stability in the volatile South Asia region. Afghanistan's High Peace Council, a group formed by Karzai in 2010 to pursue a political settlement with the Taliban, will send a delegation to meet with former deputy Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the president's office said.
WORLD
October 11, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
If the Nobel Peace Prize were awarded to the most inspiring triumph of reason over brutality, 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai would be booking a flight to Oslo. The Pakistani schoolgirl's activism for education and equality in defiance of Taliban bullets made her a favorite for Friday's prestigious award. That the Nobel committee decided instead to recognize the work of enforcers of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention disappointed legions of Malala admirers worldwide but failed to shake their belief that she was the most deserving.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager and outspoken proponent of the right of girls and young women to be educated, survived being shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012. But as if attempted murder wasn't bad enough -- now the Taliban is proving to be a bad sport too. Malala survived a bullet to the head, penned a book about her experiences with Christina Lamb -- "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban" was published by Little, Brown this week.
WORLD
October 7, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
In one short year, Malala Yousafzai has transformed herself from obscure Taliban victim to an internationally celebrated model of courage in defense of human rights. Founder of the nonprofit Malala Fund that advocates for girls' education and raises money for schools and tuition in her native Pakistan, Malala has used her place on the world stage to declare personal victory over terrorism and to call for peace talks with the Islamic extremists who attacked her. Her activism in defiance of renewed death threats has, in the estimation of prominent media and human rights organizations, put her in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize that is to be awarded Friday.
WORLD
October 6, 2013 | By Hashmat Baktash and Mark Magnier
KABUL, Afghanistan - The Taliban claimed responsibility Sunday for a bombing in southern Afghanistan that killed four members of a NATO patrol, reportedly Americans, on the eve of the 12th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion. Ahmad Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province, said the deaths occurred when the international patrol was on foot as part of a joint operation with the Afghan army and a bomb detonated around 3 a.m. In line with its policy, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization didn't release the nationalities, but Faisal said they were Americans.
WORLD
September 29, 2013 | By Zulfiqar Ali and Mark Magnier
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - A massive car bomb in Peshawar, the third in a particularly bloody week for the northwestern Pakistani city, killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 100 on Sunday in a crowded market about 350 yards from where a memorial service was being held for the victims of last week's church bombing. Shafqat Malik, the head of the local bomb squad, said the bomb was planted in a car parked in front of a small hotel in the Qissa Khawani bazaar, the city's oldest and one of its biggest.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2013 | By Robert Abele
L.A.-based musician-filmmaker Ariana Delawari's very personal documentary "We Came Home" chronicles the frequent trips she made to her father's homeland, Afghanistan, in its alternatingly hopeful and turbulent years following the initial routing of the Taliban after 9/11. Her father, a prominent banker-activist, had moved back to help rebuild the country's economy. Delawari's main focus, however, is a 2007 trip in which she and two colleagues recorded songs at her parents' Kabul house in collaboration with a handful of elder Afghan musicians.
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