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NATO admits five children wounded in Afghan air strike

NATO’s force in Afghanistan admitted Monday that one of its helicopters had accidentally wounded five children in the southern province of Helmand. “A known insurgent was targeted by a coalition helicopter. As a result of the engagement five local children were regrettably injured,” the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said…

U.S. ambassador warns Karzai over criticism of West

KABUL (Reuters) – The U.S. ambassador to Kabul has issued a thinly veiled warning to Afghan President Hamid Karzai that harsh criticisms of the West could jeopardize the troops and funding critical to the Afghan government’s survival. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry said he found comments from “some” Afghan leaders “hurtful and…

Afghan president orders NATO killing probe

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday ordered an investigation into the deaths of six people in a raid by NATO forces over conflicting claims that they were civilians or insurgents. On Monday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) raided a house in the northern province of Sari…

Afghan leader condemns US ‘kill team’

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai spoke out for the first time Wednesday about the “heart-rending” media accounts of a rogue US army unit accused of deliberately killing civilians for sport. In his first public reaction to the scandal, Hamid Karzai said he wanted to ensure ordinary Americans knew about…

Afghanistan announces crucial security handover

KABUL (AFP) – Afghan forces will take over security from NATO this summer in the capital of violence-wracked Helmand province and several other areas, President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday. The move, 10 years after the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban regime in the wake of the September 11…

Obama to meet with Afghanistan commander Petraeus

WASHINGTON (AFP) – General David Petraeus, the commander of US and international troops in Afghanistan, will meet with President Barack Obama in the White House on Monday, US officials said. The Oval Office meeting, which will be closed to reporters, comes immediately after the US president sits down with Danish…

US view of Pakistan, Afghanistan at new low

WASHINGTON — US public perceptions of Pakistan and Afghanistan have sunk to new lows as the war campaign against Islamic extremism approaches its 10th year, a poll said Friday. Some 14 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Afghanistan and 82 percent hold a negative review, the Gallup poll…

Afghan handover could run past 2015 in areas: NATO

The military handover from NATO-led forces to Afghans should start in the first half of 2011 but poor security in some areas could see it run past a 2014 target, a NATO official said on Wednesday before an important summit. With attention focusing on the security transition from foreign forces…

Gen. Petraeus stunned at Karzai’s suggestion that US scale back military operations

US war commander General David Petraeus expressed “astonishment and disappointment” over Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent call for a scale back of US military operations, a report said Monday. Petraeus warned Afghan officials that Karzai’s weekend comments — in which he demanded dramatic reductions in operations such as night raids…

Lindsey Graham: 2014 is real date for Afghanistan withdrawal

It’s looking less and less likely that a serious troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will happen in 2011. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Sunday that 2014 was the more realistic date for a drawdown. “I think in summer of 2011 we can bring some troops home but we’re going to need…

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