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U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel backs NATO force in Afghanistan post-2014

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told American troops on Sunday that he supports a NATO force in Afghanistan after 2014, as Washington and President Hamid Karzai wrangle over a stalled security pact. Hagel travelled to bases in south Afghanistan to meet troops a day after further tensions arose over the…

Afghanistan considers public stoning for adulterers

Kabul — Afghanistan is considering bringing back stoning for adultery, Human Rights Watch and the justice ministry said Monday, possibly restoring a punishment in force during the Taliban’s brutal regime. The penalty for married adulterers, along with flogging for unmarried offenders, appears in a draft revision of the country’s penal…

U.S. security advisor Susan Rice to meet Karzai over Afghanistan security pact

The US national security advisor is to meet President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, officials said Monday, as Washington presses Afghanistan to quickly approve a deal to allow some US forces to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Karzai has hedged on when he will sign the deal despite a four-day “loya…

Afghanistan rebuffs U.S. demand to sign security pact

Afghanistan on Friday rebuffed a US demand to sign a highly anticipated security pact as soon as possible, insisting the document must wait until after next year’s presidential election. Washington warned Kabul on Thursday to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) as soon as possible, with senior officials hinting that…

Afghan schoolgirl scarred in acid attack now a teacher

When attackers threw acid in Shamsia Husseini’s face outside her school in Afghanistan, she defied them by returning to class — and now she has struck another blow for female education by becoming a teacher herself. Shamsia suffered severe burns on her eyelids and cheeks in the November 2008 assault,…

Afghan publishers break through and debut at industry gala

Publishers from Afghanistan, a country torn by three decades of conflict, are for the first time showcasing their books at the industry’s biggest meet-up, which opened in Germany Wednesday. Mohammad Ibrahim Shariti, who owns and runs one of Afghanistan’s biggest publishing companies, said he represents his country’s about 60 publishers…

Afghan doctors remove extra head from baby girl

Surgeons in Afghanistan have carried out a life-saving operation on a baby girl born with an extra head, doctors and relatives said Thursday. The girl — named Asree Gul (new flower) and one of a pair of twins — was admitted to a hospital in the eastern city of Jalalabad…

Female Afghan police chief Nigar dies after being shot in the neck

The top policewoman in Afghanistan’s restive south died Monday after being shot by assassins, just months after her predecessor was gunned down, in the latest attack to highlight the threat to women in public life. Nigar, who only used one name, was shot on the street in Lashkar Gah, the…

Attack on U.S. consulate in Afghanistan kills one

Members of the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing near the U.S. consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, that killed one person, the Associated Press reported Thursday night. The attackers also reportedly got into a firefight with security forces near the building. The city is in Afghanistan’s western region, where…

A complete U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014? Don’t count on it

A US envoy on Tuesday dismissed suggestions that Washington would withdraw all troops from Afghanistan after next year, saying that both countries wanted to preserve a smaller force. Aides to US President Barack Obama earlier this year openly mulled the so-called “zero option” of a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan once…

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