November 2, 2010

News from the Front: 11/02/2010 - Afghanistan

Fearless Taliban says it can strike and gain control of Afghan areas at will - Observers of the evolving situation in war-ravaged Afghanistan have concluded that so omnipresent is the fear of the Taliban, that their fighters don't even have to fire a shot to gain control of a particular area, in spite of the presence of foreign troops. (READ MORE)

Worrying increase in Afghan civilian deaths caused by US-allied forces in 2010 - Internal U.S. military statistics have shown that American and allied forces have failed to reduce the number of civilian fatalities, and the figures rose to 160 in 2010, up from 144 by this time last year. (READ MORE)

Young jihadi's repatriation issue divides Canada - The bombing of the Air India Kanishka that killed all 329 people over the Atlantic did not exercise Canadians even for a day, but the conviction of a young Afghan-Canadian Sunday for killing an American medic in Afghanistan in 2002 has divided and outraged the country. (READ MORE)

Details of Omar Khadr Plea Agreement Released - The United States Government (USG) has requested the assistance of the Canadian Government in implementing the plea arrangement the USG has made with Omar Khadr. (READ MORE)

Two Nato troops killed by Afghanistan bomb - Two coalition service members have been killed by a bomb in volatile southern Afghanistan, Nato said. (READ MORE)

Any hope I had in the ballot box bringing change in Afghanistan is gone - One year ago Hamid Karzai was declared re-elected as president of Afghanistan, ending an election that had no legitimacy in the eyes of ordinary Afghans. (READ MORE)

Afghan, Nato troops seize 24 tonnes of bomb material - Afghan and foreign troops have seized nearly 24 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient in homemade bombs used by insurgents against government and international forces, the Nato-led force said on Monday. (READ MORE)

Two female Afghan aid workers killed - Two female Afghan aid workers have been killed in volatile southern Helmand province, a spokesman for the provincial governor said on Monday. (READ MORE)

Afghan Forces Retake District Town In Ghazni Province - Afghan forces Monday retook a district town in the southern province of Ghazni, hours after Taliban militants overran it, occupying government buildings and abducting 16 police officers. (READ MORE)

Sweden to reduce troops in Afghanistan - Sweden plans to reduce its troops in Afghanistan from 2012, according to an agreement reached by the Swedish minority government and the opposition parties on Monday. (READ MORE)

Pakistan-Afghanistan trade deal to be challenged in court - The government of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province will challenge in court a deal on the transit of goods between Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying it will only benefit India and Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

Afghanistan's Karzai secretly met with 3 Taliban - Three Taliban figures met secretly with Afghanistan's president two weeks ago in an effort by the Afghan government to weaken the U.S.-led coalition's most vicious enemy, a powerful al Qaeda-linked network that straddles the border region with Pakistan. (READ MORE)

Afghan Police Unit Defects to Taliban, Leaving Burning Station Behind - For months, American and Afghan officials have been promoting a plan to persuade masses of rank-and-file Taliban fighters to change sides and join the government. The tactic, known as “reintegration,” is one of the big hopes for turning the tide in the war. (READ MORE)

Karzai Security Contractor Ban Could Assist Humanitarian Aid Work - President Hamid Karzai’s plan to shut down private security forces in Afghanistan has many military contractors and assorted peace-builders in a panic. But some humanitarian aid workers in the country contend that a ban isn’t such a bad idea. (READ MORE)

Kabul slams joint U.S.-Russian anti-drug raid in Afghanistan - The reported first-ever joint U.S.- Russian anti-drug operation in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province has angered the Afghan government and prompted President Hamid Karzai to seek explanation. (READ MORE)

Nokia Siemens to expand network in Afghanistan - Finnish-German telecom equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks, or NSN, said Tuesday it will upgrade and expand a wireless network in Afghanistan, where the number of mobile subscribers has gone from zero to 17 million in eight years. (READ MORE)

Germany wants bigger China role in Afghanistan - Germany called on China on Tuesday to do more to help stabilize Afghanistan in the face of a growing insurgency and worsening violence, but also stressed there was no military role for the Chinese to play. (READ MORE)

Crime and Punishment, Afghan-Style… Crime and Forgiveness, Iraqi-Style. - Even if there is a deal with the Taliban and peace breaks out, the rule of law, especially when it comes to domestic life, is not likely to be high on anybody’s agenda — as was evident a few days ago in Ghazni Province. (READ MORE)

U.S. Marines begin to hand over small bases to Afghan army in southwest - U.S. Marines have begun handing over some of their small bases to the Afghan army in this once-volatile district in the country's southwest, a transition that top military commanders intend to cite as proof that the Obama administration's troop escalation and counterinsurgency strategy are succeeding. (READ MORE)

'More missions, more contact' for Task Force Shadow - Hardly a day passes when the American flag above the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade’s headquarters here is not flying at half-staff. (READ MORE)

Afghan candidates and MPs call for new election - Disgruntled lawmakers, candidates and their supporters called for Afghanistan's parliamentary election to be scrapped on Tuesday, with no results declared more than six weeks after the poll amid major fraud concerns. (READ MORE)

Sweden plans to start withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan in 2012 - Sweden's centre-right government said Monday it plans to start withdrawing its 530 troops from northern Afghanistan in 2012 and complete the hand-over of security tasks to Afghan forces by the end of 2014. (READ MORE)

Afghan civilian deaths caused by allied forces rise - U.S. and allied forces have failed to reduce the number of civilian fatalities caused by them in Afghanistan despite a two-year effort by American commanders, internal U.S. military statistics show. (READ MORE)

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