Afghanistan news with sources
Coalition Forces Arrest 21 in Afghanistan
June 4th @ 11:02
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - U.S. and Italian forces arrested 21 people in the latest coalition operation against guerrilla fighters in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Wednesday.
The arrests occurred Monday and Tuesday during Operation Dragon Fury in the Shah-e-Kot Valley, in the eastern province of Paktia, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Douglas Lefforge said in a statement from Bagram Air Base. No fighting was reported.
Several hundred American troops participated in the mission, which was supported by over 20 aircraft, including UH-60 Blackhawks, CH-47 Chinooks and AH-64 Apache helicopters.
About 150 Italian soldiers also took part, searching 300 vehicles and inspecting 800 people, Lefforge said.
Coalition troops mounted the operation to "prevent the re-emergence of terrorism, deny anti-coalition members¬ī sanctuary, and prevent further attacks against non-governmental organizations, coalition forces and equipment," the statement said.
Earlier, a pool report filed by a journalist on the mission erroneously indicated the operation took place in Shahi Kot, in Nangarhar province, 85 miles southeast of the capital.
A U.S. official at Bagram said Wednesday that Dragon Fury took place in the Shah-e-Kot Valley, the same location as the last major battle between U.S. and al-Qaida fighters in March 2002.
The operation ended Tuesday.
Meanwhile, U.S. troops were preparing to destroy a downed AH-64 Apache helicopter that crashed northwest of Orgun in nearby Paktika province on Tuesday. Two American pilots on board were uninjured in crash. The incident was not believed to have been caused by hostile fire.
In the eastern town of Khost, unidentified attackers fired three rockets that exploded near a coalition base Tuesday afternoon, but no casualties or damage was reported.
Farther southwest in Shkin, a border town in Paktika province, attackers sparked a gunbattle with Afghan forces, several of whom were wounded and evacuated to a U.S. base in the town.
One of the soldiers was in serious condition with injuries to his liver; two others were in stable condition; and the fourth was treated and released, Lefforge said.
Suspected Taliban fighters have been stepping up attacks since the start of spring, particularly in the south and east of the country.
About 11,500 coalition troops, the bulk of them Americans, have been deployed in Afghanistan since the Taliban government was overthrown in a U.S.-led war in 2001. http://www.afghannews.net/news.php?topicid=1705
Rocket attack halts more U.N. Afghan demining: KABUL, June 05: The United Nations said today it had halted more mine clearance work on the road between the Afghan capital and the restive south after a rocket landed outside a camp of Afghan deminers. Monday‚??s attack on the Afghan Technical Consultancy demining team in the Shaikh Abad area of Wardak province southwest of Kabul was the latest in a spate against Afghan deminers. "The rocket went over the base camp belonging to ATC," said U.N. spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva. "It landed a few meters from the parking lot. Fortunately, there were no injuries, no damage to the ATC camp." (Reuters) (Posted @ 14:55 PST)
'Taleban' clash sparks border row
(BBC) - A row has erupted between Afghanistan and Pakistan over the identities of suspected Taleban militants killed by Afghan troops on Wednesday.
After a fierce battle near the southern Afghan border town of Spin Boldak, Afghan officials sent more than 20 bodies over the border, saying they were not Afghans. They were among at least 46 people killed in the battle.
But Pakistan has refused to accept them, saying they are not Pakistanis and warning that the Afghan refusal to take back the bodies may spark tension in the border region.
About 40 suspected Taleban and six government soldiers were killed in the fighting that lasted more than six hours, district governor Said Fazaluddin Agha said.
Correspondents say that in recent months, some senior Afghan officials have accused Pakistani intelligence of helping the Taleban to regroup.
The government in Islamabad denies the allegations, saying that it is actively co-operating with the American authorities to eliminate the remnants of Taleban and al-Qaeda.
The latest clash - the biggest in more than a year - came as Afghan President Hamid Karzai prepared to meet UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for talks on reconstruction efforts in the troubled country.
"Afghan officials brought the dead bodies in three pick-ups at 0730 (0230 GMT) and went back after throwing them in an open place," said a Pakistani border police official quoted by the AFP news agency.
Eyewitnesses say the bodies are still lying in the open near the Pakistani town of Chaman, with no one coming forward to identify or claim them.
Sporadic fighting around Spin Boldak had been going on for about a week, with suspected Taleban fighters staging hit-and-run attacks on local forces, the BBC's Kylie Morris reports from Kabul.
But on Wednesday, the battle escalated in Nimakai, a town about 10 kilometres (six miles) north of Spin Boldak, as well as nearby Populzai and Hassanzai.
"We were trying to find these Taleban and we got a tip that they were hiding in these villages," Mr Fazaluddin Agha said.
The local forces numbering 50 called for reinforcements and another 100 soldiers were sent - but no international troops, he said.
In recent days, the US-led coalition has conducted operations near the town of Gardez, where they captured four men who they believed to be connected to the Taleban.
The campaign was launched on the basis of local reports that a senior Taleban official had moved back into the area, accompanied by Arab fighters.
There has also been persistent fighting in recent weeks in the north between key factions.
During his London visit, Mr Karzai was expected to discuss plans to draft a new constitution in his country.
He was also set to urge the international community to provide more financial assistance to Afghanistan.
The UK Government has given its support to a provincial reconstruction team in the northern capital of Mazar-e-Sharif and is expected to send 50 military personnel to the turbulent city.
The UK and Afghan leaders will also discuss drugs.
Afghanistan is the world's leading exporter of opium, and its farmers supply 90% of the heroin that hits Britain's streets.
Britain has played a leading role in the counter-narcotics campaign to stop Afghan farmers cultivating poppies.
But this year is still expected to be a bumper crop.
- Article submitted at 12:45 AM (CST) on 6/6/2003 http://www.myafghan.com/news2.asp?id=-918199421
Taliban commander vows revenge for killings
SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A Taliban military commander vowed revenge on Friday for the killing of his fighters in what Afghan officials said was the hardline group's biggest defeat since it was driven from power in late 2001.
But Hafiz Abdul Rahim, commander of Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan denied that about 40 Taliban guerrillas were killed in Wednesday's fighting in the Loi Karez area, about 30 km northeast of the border town of Spin Boldak.
He said eight Taliban fighters, including two commanders were killed, and the rest of the dead were all civilians.
He said three wounded Taliban soldiers were shot to death by government forces in Wat village after the fighting.
"We will definitely take revenge for this massacre," Rahim told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
He also said attacks would be launched on American and Afghan forces hunting remnants of the Taliban and their al Qaeda allies. Al Qaeda has been accused by the United States of carrying out the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.
"We are regrouping on the directives of our supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar," he said. "Jihad in Afghanistan will continue." Jihad is Muslim holy war.
Afghan officials said the fighting erupted in Loi Karez after Taliban fighters attacked the district commissioner's office, killing about six government men.
Khalid Pashtun, spokesman for the provincial governor, said it was the Taliban's biggest setback in terms of lives lost since the group's overthrow by a U.S.-led coalition in late 2001.
Government officials laid out 21 bodies they said were Taliban fighters in no-man's land between Afghanistan and Pakistan to allow relatives to collect them.
Afghan officials have reported an upsurge in Taliban activity close to the border with Pakistan.
The U.S. military said this week hundreds of U.S.-led forces were hunting Taliban and al Qaeda remnants in another province bordering Pakistan and 21 suspects had been detained.
About 11,500 foreign troops are in Afghanistan searching for remnants of the Taliban and al Qaeda.
- Article submitted at 11:15 AM (CST) on 6/6/2003 http://www.myafghan.com/news2.asp?id=-206645022
4 Afghan soldiers arrested for throwing dead bodies into Pak
QUETTA, June 07 (Online): Pakistan border security forces arrested four Afghan soldiers for entering into Pakistan near Chaman border and foiled their bid of throwing more dead bodies into Pakistani territory .
This conflict was augmented between authorities of two neighbouring countries when some unidentified persons attacked Afghan militiamen at Loi Karez near Chaman border .
According to Afghan authorities heavily armed fighters crossed over from Pakistan into Kandhar's southeast border region of Loi Karez. As a result of the fighting, 3 Afghan soldiers were killed while three sustained injuries. On the other hand Pakistani authorities have denied the allegations. Owing to this conflict the dead bodies thrown into Pakistani territory could not be buried. The authorities on both sides have started negotiation to resolve the crisis .
Afghan Police officer in province of Paktiya revealing the detail of the fighting said the assailants attacked Afghan soldiers in areas of Shirina and Shikeen and after the operation allied forces arrested six suspicious persons . http://paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=27876
Unknown elements set ablaze girl school in Wardak
KABUL, June 07 (Online): Unidentified men have set ablaze a school in Wardak province of Afghanistan.
Sources reveal that the girl school, which was recently reconstructed by UNICEF, was burnt by unknown elements.
It is pertinent to mention that this is the third school in Wardak and eleventh in South eastern Afghan provinces burnt by unidentified men.
Three Afghan soldiers killed in Paktia attacks, 6 suspects arrested
GARDEZ, June 07 (NNI): Remnants of Taliban attacked Afghan troops in two towns of Paktia killing three and wounding other three soldiers.
"The sudden attacks were prompted last night in Shareena and Shakin areas. The Afghan troops with the help of US-led allied troops have arrested six suspects may be linked to these attacks," a police officer in Pakita Sardar Kharwai told the reporters.
Those Afghan troops killed and wounded are identified as personnel of Afghan Special Task Force. In an other incident, a landmine explosion at Khost-Gardez Highway injuring a local Afghan.
Following the encounter in Spinboldam on Wednesday, the Allied troops and Afghan Special Task Force have been raiding on suspected hideouts of Taliban and al-Qaida remnants in the area, especially the mountain range linking to Pakistan.
The US helicopters and spy plans have been also searching in the area to hunt down these remnants.
A large scale activities of searching and hunting operations witnessed in the area and believed have undertaken following reports of some reaction from the al-Qaida and Taliban remnants in the backdrop of the killing of 40 Taliban in Spinboldak on Wednesday last.
Bomb Rips Bus in Kabul, Kills 3 Soldiers : KABUL, June 7: A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb near a bus carrying German peacekeepers in Kabul today, killing three and wounding at least eight in the first fatal attack on the international force, U.S. officials said. Another 28 people were injured, the U.S. military at Bagram Air Base said in a written statement, but it did not identify them or say where they had been located during the explosion. The multinational force in Kabul confirmed that three German soldiers had died. In Germany, an army official said at least 10 German soldiers were seriously injured. The International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, bus was near the city's customs house in eastern Kabul when the explosion occurred, Kabul Police Chief Basir Salangi told The Associated Press. (AP/AFP) (Posted @ 17:25 PST)
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