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Afghanistan

NEWS
June 12, 2013 | By Tom Hussain, McCLATCHY FOREIGN STAFF
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Military operations against Taliban insurgents in the country's northwest tribal areas have reached a turning point with the imminent retaking of a militant stronghold near the legendary Khyber Pass. After months of operations, which saw Pakistani special forces parachute into the area in March, the military succeeded over the weekend in taking mountain ridges that overlook the junction of the Khyber and Kurram tribal agencies, prompting insurgents of the self-described Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan to flee.
NEWS
June 5, 2013 | By Kay Johnson, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - A suicide bomber targeting U.S. troops outside an Afghan government office killed nine children walking home from school and two of the Americans on Monday, the latest sign that this year's fighting season could be one of the deadliest of the 12-year-old war. An increase in casualties among civilians and security forces reinforces fears that foreign forces will be leaving behind a country in the throes of relentless violence when...
NEWS
June 2, 2013 | By Karen DeYoung, Washington Post
The United States risks "snatching defeat from the jaws of something that could still resemble victory" if it speeds up its withdrawal from Afghanistan and fails to make long-term financial and military investments in the country, according to a new report coauthored by a former U.S. military commander there. The report, written by retired Marine Gen. John Allen, former undersecretary of defense Michele Flournoy, and defense analyst Michael O'Hanlon for the Center for a New American Security, calls on Washington and Kabul to clarify as soon as possible the size of a continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after combat troops withdraw at the end of next year.
NEWS
May 28, 2013 | By Darlene Superville, Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Va. - President Barack Obama said Monday that Americans must honor the sacrifices of their fighting men and women, particularly at a time when the U.S. combat role in Iraq has ended and the country's involvement in Afghanistan is winding down. Speaking at Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, Obama said he worries that the country's servicemen and women aren't being fully appreciated in an era in which "most Americans are not directly touched by war. " He said he couldn't explain that phenomenon but said it might have something to do with the all-volunteer military force and advanced technology that now permits the United States to accomplish some military missions with far fewer personnel.
NEWS
May 27, 2013 | By Kay Johnson, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - Ten terrified international aid workers huddled inside a fortified room in Kabul for two hours during a Taliban attack until they were rescued by Afghan police, the aid group said Sunday. A NATO commander said the dramatic operation bodes well for the country's future without foreign forces. An Afghan police officer and two civilians were killed. The top commander of the international military coalition said the relatively low number of casualties was a sign of how Afghan forces have "markedly improved" as they increasingly take over responsibility for protecting the country ahead of most foreign troops' withdrawal next year.
NEWS
May 15, 2013 | By Mirwais Khan and Kathy Gannon, Associated Press
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A roadside bomb struck a U.S. convoy in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing three American troops, while a motorcycle bomb in a crowded village market killed at least three Afghan civilians, officials said. A NATO spokesman, Col. Thomas Collins, said the blast hit the American convoy in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, the spiritual heartland of the Taliban and one of the most volatile regions in Afghanistan. Collins originally said four U.S. troops were killed, but Capt.
NEWS
May 14, 2013
By Rashid Khattak While the media have understandably been focused on parliamentary elections in Pakistan in recent weeks, including the campaign violence in the run-up to Saturday's vote, the bigger threat to long-term stability in the region may be the ongoing border skirmishes between that country and Afghanistan. "Dozens of people are killed and injured every day in bomb blasts and attacks on election rallies and public meetings in Pakistan. It is the first priority of media to cover these incidents," said Riaz Khan, an Islamabad-based journalist.
NEWS
May 13, 2013 | By Rahim Faiez, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - Senior American and Afghan officials held talks Saturday to try to iron out the details of a pact signed a year ago that defines the future of the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan. The Strategic Partnership Agreement outlines a set of principles and general commitments for relations between Washington and Kabul after 2014, when foreign combat troops are to withdraw from Afghanistan. But there is lingering uncertainty over whether either party will be willing or able to stick to the provisions of the pact, which includes loopholes for both nations.
NEWS
May 13, 2013
Iran denies killing Afghans KABUL, Afghanistan - Iranian border guards killed 10 Afghan migrants and wounded eight others when hundreds tried to illegally cross into Iran in search of work, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said Sunday. Iran denied that. Details of the incident Friday in Afghanistan's northwestern Farah province have been sketchy and often contradictory. An Interior Ministry statement said 300 Afghan laborers tried to cross into Iran illegally, looking for work. Iranian border guards opened fire, killing 10, it said.
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