Tag Archives: Afghanistan

REFILE-Taliban storm hotel building in west Afghanistan

REFILE-Taliban storm hotel building in west AfghanistanTaliban insurgents stormed a commercial building housing a hotel in western Afghanistan, killing three security officials and injuring 10, officials said on Saturday, the latest in a surge of attacks despite reported progress in peace talks. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks by three militants and said their fighters had positioned themselves in a building and were firing at the police headquarters. The militants assaulted the building containing a hotel, several eateries and shops situated near the police headquarters and the governor’s house in Qala-e-Naw, the capital city of Badghis province.



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US service member killed in action in Afghanistan

US service member killed in action in AfghanistanAn American service member was “killed in action” in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Saturday without offering details about the service member’s identity or the circumstances surrounding the death. In a telephone interview, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said the militant group was behind the killing, even as U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been holding talks with the Taliban in recent weeks to try and negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan.



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US peace envoy to Afghanistan in Beijing for meeting

US peace envoy to Afghanistan in Beijing for meetingThe U.S. peace envoy to Afghanistan is in Beijing for a previously scheduled meeting, an American Embassy spokesman said Thursday, as indications grew of a new momentum in efforts to end Afghanistan’s 18-year war and push by China to boost its influence in the region. The spokesman gave no further details about the visit by Zalmay Khalilzad, but it comes just days after he said that for the first time he can report “substantive” progress on all four issues key to a peace agreement. Khalilzad has said the latest round of talks with the Taliban had been the “most productive” yet, and had broadened to include a timeline for both intra-Afghan negotiations and a cease-fire.



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UPDATE 2-Fighting rages across Afghanistan as peace talks continue

UPDATE 2-Fighting rages across Afghanistan as peace talks continueTaliban suicide bombers killed at least 19 people in an attack on a government office on Saturday night, officials said, in the latest episode of violence in Afghanistan as peace talks continue to end the war. The Taliban, which rejects the election process, claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the group’s fighters also killed 57 members of the Afghan security forces in the attack and captured 11 others, but Afghan officials disputed the account.



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2 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan; Taliban says they died in an ambush

2 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan; Taliban says they died in an ambushTwo U.S. service members were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the American-led NATO mission in Afghanistan said in a statement.



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U.S., Taliban aim to firm up date for foreign force exit from Afghanistan

U.S., Taliban aim to firm up date for foreign force exit from AfghanistanUpcoming peace talks between the United States and the Taliban will focus on working out a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops from Afghanistan and on a Taliban guarantee militants won’t plot attacks from Afghan soil, sources said on Monday. A seventh round of talks between the warring sides begins on Saturday in Qatar’s capital of Doha, where U.S. and Taliban negotiators have been trying to hammer out a deal to end to the 18-year-long war since October. “Once the timetable for foreign force withdrawal is announced, then talks will automatically enter the next stage,” said Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha.



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US woman kidnapped in Afghanistan says husband's abuse was just like captors'

US woman kidnapped in Afghanistan says husband's abuse was just like captors'Caitlan Coleman says her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, was violent towards her before, during and after their kidnapping Caitlin Coleman leaves the Ottawa court house in Ottawa, Ontario, on Wednesday. Photograph: Lars Hagberg/AFP/Getty Images A Canadian man who was kidnapped with his wife in Afghanistan was controlling and violent towards her before, during and after their five-year hostage ordeal, she told a Canadian court on Friday. Caitlan Coleman, 33, gave testimony for a second day at the trial of Joshua Boyle, 35 who faces 19 criminal charges, including sexual assault, unlawful confinement and uttering death threats. Coleman was pregnant when she and Boyle were kidnapped by a Taliban-linked group while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2011. They spent five years as hostages, and had three children together before they were rescued by the Pakistani military. Coleman testified that during their captivity in the hands of the militant Haqqani network, Boyle dictated all aspects of her life. His behaviour “was just like my captors’”, she told the court. “I was never to disagree with him, even on small things,” she told the court. “In the past, he made it clear he didn’t feel any guilt hurting me.” Coleman, dressed in a white blazer, black dress and black headscarf, spoke through video link in an adjoining room in order to avoid being in the same room as Boyle. She had travelled from Pennsylvania, where she currently lives with her family, to testify. Boyle, wearing a navy blazer and maroon pants, sat at the front row of the courtroom, frequently taking notes on a yellow legal pad. He was briefly joined by his parents. Coleman described a pattern of abusive behaviour that culminated in a vicious assault after the couple had returned to Canada, in which Boyle demanded sex then hit her when she refused. She told the court she felt “very, very frightened” during the 27 November incident. “Josh told me to get on the bed. He took ropes he kept in a bag … and he started to tie my hands and legs.” Boyle sexually assaulted her, then refused to release her, Coleman told the court. “He said he couldn’t trust me, so he wasn’t going to untie me,” she said. She was only able to free herself after Boyle fell asleep, she told the court. “Looking back, I should have tried to leave,” she said. “But I didn’t.” In her previous testimony, Coleman had described a “rollercoaster” relationship with Boyle, whom she met at age 16 in a Star Wars-themed online chatroom. “He was my first kiss,” she told the court on Wednesday. Coleman quickly fell in love with Boyle, but she told the court that he became an emotionally and physically abusive partner, critiquing her drinking and interactions she had with men. Coleman told the court that the abuse continued in Afghanistan, where the final two years of captivity were the worst. He would choke, bite and spank her as punishment, she said. While in captivity, Boyle demanded she remain in a bathroom stall for extended periods of time – telling his wife he couldn’t stand the sight of her. Coleman testified that Boyle also joked about killing her by lighting her on fire or spilling cooking oil on her. “This was probably the darkest period of my life,” she told the court. During their five years as prisoners in Afghanistan, the couple and their small children are believed to have been shuttled between more than 20 locations. The court had previously heard that Boyle’s violence continued after the couple returned to Canada. Coleman testified that he would often hit her and demand sex; on one occasion, he forced her to swallow powerful sleeping medication, she testified. “He stood in the bathroom and watched me take them that time … I took them because I knew that if I didn’t he would hit me harder,” she told the court on Wednesday. On Friday Coleman told the court that when the couple was back in Ottawa, Boyle gave her a detailed list of rules dictating her diet, weight, appearance and frequency of sex. “I would be punished if I did not follow this list,” she testified, adding that Boyle withheld meals from her, and threatened corporal punishment if she did not comply. Coleman told the court that the rules required her to address her children as “Sir” and “Madam”, “so I could understand I was beneath everyone.” During her testimony, Coleman also said her former husband was paranoid about reports of the family in the media. “He was so focused on the fact that world’s eyes were on us … he said we have to look like a happy family,” she said. Coleman told the court that during interviews, Boyle – once an aspiring journalist – attempted to control the narrative of the couple’s time in Afghanistan. “He would give verbal or physical instructions about what could be answered … what story we could tell or what part of captivity we could talk about,” said Coleman. The 19 charges against Boyle are all related to alleged events after the family returned to Canada. Coleman was the alleged victim in 17 of the offences; a publication ban protects the identity of a second alleged victim. The trial is expected to last eight weeks.



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Pakistan tries to cool row over PM's comments on Afghanistan

Pakistan tries to cool row over PM's comments on AfghanistanPakistan moved on Wednesday to cool a row with Afghanistan over reported comments by Prime Minister Imran Khan that were taken to suggest that Kabul should set up an interim government to help smooth peace talks with the Taliban. The comments, made to Pakistani journalists on Monday, prompted a furious reaction in Afghanistan and led to the government recalling its ambassador in protest at what it described as “irresponsible” remarks.



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A Retired Brigadier General's Lessons from the War in Afghanistan

A Retired Brigadier General's Lessons from the War in AfghanistanAmerica's top brass can no longer operate under the assumption that every problem is the responsibility of the U.S. military.



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2 U.S. Serviceman Killed in Afghanistan

2 U.S. Serviceman Killed in AfghanistanWith a president that wants out and core U.S. objectives achieved, critics of the war are asking: why is America still in the graveyard of empires?



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