A U.S. serviceman has opened fire on Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province. Entering their homes in the middle of the night to carry out the attacks.
- US soldier shoots 17 civilians dead in Kandahar (nation.com.pk)
Six British soldiers have been killed by an explosion in southern Afghan province of Helmand, according to the UK’s defence ministry, in the deadliest attack on the country’s forces in over five years.
Nato says two of its troops have been shot dead on a base in Afghanistan, the latest of several attacks after the burning of the Koran by US soldiers.
Nato said a man in Afghan army uniform and another in civilian clothes opened fire in southern Kandahar province. The dead are believed to be US soldiers.
Some local officials say there was only one attacker, a teacher at the base.
Hours earlier Nato’s top general in Afghanistan said the recent violence was a “setback” that would be overcome.
Nato says shots were fired indiscriminately, claiming two of its soldiers’ lives. It has yet to give their nationalities, but US and Afghan officials say the dead were Americans.
Nato believes one of the killers was an Afghan soldier. If so, this would be the third time in a week that a member of the Afghan security forces has killed Nato troops.
read more at www.bbc.co.uk
- Nine killed in Afghanistan military airport suicide bomb blast (news.nationalpost.com)
Two separate blasts in southern Afghanistan killed 14 people, including a group of insurgents who were trying to rig an improvised bomb against Afghan and foreign forces, officials said on Tuesday.
In the volatile Nawzad district of Helmand province, a group of seven Taliban militants died while trying to cut a pipe bomb and fit it into a vehicle on Monday, provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi said.
“The explosive-packed pipe detonated, killing a Taliban commander along with six of his fighters,” he said.
Roadside bombs are the most commonly used weapons by the Taliban, who are leading a 10-year insurgency and are responsible for the bulk of deaths among the US-led coalition and Afghan security forces.
On the same day, seven people, including six women, were killed in an explosion in Nawa district of the same province inside a house used by a local Taliban commander Mullah Manan, a senior security official said.
“We have intelligence that the Taliban commander was making bombs inside the house,” Mohammad Ismail Hotak said.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Demonstrators hurled grenades at a U.S. base in northern Afghanistan, and a gun battle left two Afghans dead and seven NATO troops injured Sunday in the escalating crisis over the burning of Muslim holy books at an American airfield.
More than 30 people have been killed, including four U.S. troops, in six days of unrest. Still, the top U.S. diplomat in Afghanistan said the violence would not change Washington’s course .
“Tensions are running very high here, and I think we need to let things calm down, return to a more normal atmosphere, and then get on with business,” Ambassador Ryan Crocker told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“This is not the time to decide that we’re done here,” he said. “We have got to redouble our efforts. We’ve got to create a situation in which al-Qaida is not coming back.”
Two American officers were shot dead at close range in Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry on Saturday, a U.S. official said, as rage gripped the country for a fifth day over the burning of the Muslim holy book at a NATO base.
NATO recalled all staff working at ministries in the Afghan capital, Kabul, following the attack, with its top commander in Afghanistan calling the killer a coward.
“For obvious force protection reasons, I have also taken immediate measures to recall all other ISAF (NATO’s International Security Assistance Force) personnel working in ministries in and around Kabul,” said General John Allen, adding that the attacker’s actions “will not go unanswered.”
The two American officers, advisers to the ministry, were fired on at close range, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Escalating unrest following the burning of the Koran by US soldiers has forced Germany to give up one of its Afghanistan bases earlier than planned.
After 300 protesters massed outside the German Taloqan base in northern Afghanistan, the commander withdrew the 50 troops to the larger Kunduz base camp 70 kilometres away, abandoning the camp around a month ahead of schedule.
A Bundeswehr spokesman said the troops had taken all military vehicles with them, but it remained unclear whether the soldiers would return at a later date to complete the clear-out. The relatively small camp is said to be difficult to secure, since it is in the middle of the town of Taloqan, capital of the Takhar province, with a population of 200,000.
read more at www.thelocal.de
- Germany pulls troops early from Afghan outpost (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Thanks to Barack Obama’s failure to lead, events surrounding the burning of religious materials at Bargam Airfield–materials that included Qurans in which detainees were writing “extremist messages or inscriptions”–are perilously spiraling out of control. And now, Afghanistan President Karzai is calling for the American troops who took part in the burning to stand trial.
Karzai’s doing this because he can. And the reason he can is because all Obama has displayed up to this point is weakness.
Think about it: although U.S. military personnel have come forward to say the materials were only burned was because of the messages and inscriptions detainees had written within them, Obama has apologized twice to Karzai. One apology was what you’d call a regular apology, and the second one was what Obama spokesman Jay Carney called a “severe apology.”
What’s next? Will we offer to behead ourselves so Taliban and Al Qaeda members don’t have to go through all the hassle of catching us and tying us up?
read more at bigpeace.com
KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 23 (UPI) — The Afghan people are called on to kill, beat and take international soldiers as prisoners in response to the burning of the Koran, the Taliban said.
The International Security Assistance Force said in a Thursday statement two military personnel were killed in eastern Afghanistan by “an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform.”
Anti-American protests erupted across Afghanistan since the U.S. military apologized Tuesday for what it said was the accidental “improper disposal” of religious materials, including copies of the Koran.
The Taliban, in a statement Thursday, said it wasn’t satisfied with “mere protests and empty slogans” against the so-called military invaders.
“Kill them, beat them, take them as prisoners and teach them such a lesson that they never summon the courage to abuse the Holy Koran again,” the statement read.
more at www.upi.com
- Koran burning: Taliban calls for revenge as Obama apologizes (rt.com)
- Afghan soldier kills two NATO troops in Qur’an protests: ISAF (vancouversun.com)
- Taliban incite Afghans to kill ‘Crusaders’ over Koran burning (longwarjournal.org)
Seven people were killed today in clashes between Afghan security forces and protesters demonstrating against the burning of Muslim holy books at a Nato military base.
The anger over the Koran burning has sparked two days of protests across Afghanistan and tapped into anti-foreign sentiment fuelled by a popular perception that foreign troops disrespect Afghan culture and Islam.
The demonstrations prompted the US to lock down its embassy and bar its staff from travelling.
The Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement that clashes during a protest in the eastern province of Parwan left four people dead. It said an investigation was under way to determine what happened.
The other deaths occurred at a US base outside Kabul, where security guards killed one person, and in Jalalabad and Logar province, the ministry said.
The demonstration in Kabul drew thousands of protesters, who chanted “Death to America”, hurled rocks and set tyres alight outside a complex that is home to foreign contractors, police and some coalition military forces.
Nearby, angry demonstrators set a fuel truck ablaze on a main highway running east out of the city, sending black smoke billowing into the air.
read more at www.independent.co.uk
Top NATO commander apologises and orders investigation into reported incident as protesters besiege Bagram airbase.
Hundreds of Afghans have staged angry protests at two sites in and around the capital Kabul, angered by reports that NATO troops had set fire to copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book.
General John Allen, the American commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, offered his apology and ordered an investigation into the incident as protesters shouting “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar” [God is great] besieged the US-run airbase in Bagram on Tuesday, firing slingshots and petrol bombs.
Guards at the base, about 60Km north of Kabul, responded by firing rubber bullets from a watchtower, an AFP news agency photographer said.
Another protest by about 500 people broke out in the Pul-e-Charkhi district of Kabul, not far from major NATO bases on the Jalalabad road, Ashamat Estanakzai, an Afghan police spokesman, told AFP.
Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith, reporting from the city of Herat, said: “We don’t know if the religious literature was burned, but we know that it was due to be burned because waste at the base is burned generally.
“We do know it was being thrown out. That is what’s caused the protests outside Bagram, about 800-1,000 people were protesting there.
read more at www.aljazeera.com
KABUL — The Afghan government said Monday that police had rescued 41 children from becoming suicide bombers as they were about to be smuggled across the mountains into Pakistan.
Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told a news conference that the children aged six to 11 had been released on February 15 from the clutches of four insurgents in eastern Kunar province.
He told AFP their families “were fooled by terrorists”, who promised to send them to seminaries in Pakistan where they would be “brainwashed” and “prepared for suicide bombings against Afghan and international troops in Afghanistan”.
Police arrested the four suspects and the children were returned to their families, the spokesman said.
read more at www.saudigazette.com.sa