London - Two British soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan, the British defence ministry said late Thursday.
The two were on routine foot patrol near their base in Helmand province, a locus of violent clashes, the ministry said.
A third soldier was injured.
Three British soldiers were killed on Sunday in the same province. With Thursday's deaths, the British death toll has reached 100 since the beginning of the Afghanistan conflict in 2001, when the US-led coalition brought down the Taliban government that had supported the al-Qaeda terrorist network. (dpa)
Paris - Representatives of 67 nations and 17 international organizations gathered in Paris Thursday to give a political boost, and collect a large sum of money, for the international development effort in Afghanistan.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy opened the conference by promising to double French aid to Kabul.
"We are not colonizers or missionaries. We want to work with the Afghan government," Sarkozy said.
The objective of the aid, the French president said, was "to rid Afghanistan of terrorists and of drugs."
Washington, June 12 : A spokesman for the US coalition forces operating in Afghanistan has said that Pakistan was informed about the attack on the check post at Mohmand Agency in NWFP, which killed 11 Frontier Corps’ troops, and that it was carried out in self-defence.
Confirming the aerial attack, spokesman for the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Nathan Perry, said that the attack was carried out after an unmanned aerial system identified anti-Afghan forces firing at coalition forces. “In self-defence, coalition forces fired artillery rounds at the militants,” the Dawn quoted Perry as saying.
Islamabad, June 11 : An Afghan delegation on a visit to Pakistan has said that cross-border militant activities (in Afghanistan from Pakistani side) had gone up by 16 percent since the new NWFP government inked peace agreements with pro-Taliban militants in its tribal areas across Pak-Afgan border, to end violence inside its territory.
The delegation members said such peace agreements with tribal militants should aim at ending terrorism and violence on both sides of the border and not just inside Pakistan.
During a frank exchange of views in a joint sitting hosted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) at Parliament House, the delegation said “agreements should intend to end war in the region and not just on one side of the border”, reported the Daily Times.
Kabul - Residents in eastern Afghanistan said Wednesday that dozens of civilians were killed in a US military airstrike, while coalition forces claimed that the raids killed several militants and four civilians.
The attack took place in Mata Khan District in south-eastern province of Paktika near the border with Pakistan on Tuesday night, the military and local sources said.
"The US aircrafts bombed several houses in Ebrahim Kariz village and killed around 40 civilians," Haji Mangal, a tribal elder in the area told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
"First the military forces bombed the area and then descended soldiers from helicopters", Mangal said, adding that the dead included several women and children.
Washington, June 10: A leading US think-tank has said that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Frontier Corps have failed to root out Afghan insurgents based in Pakistan and some individuals from these organizations have provided direct assistance to groups like the Taliban and Haqqani network.
If Taliban sanctuary bases in Pakistan are not eliminated, the US and its NATO allies will face crippling long-term consequences in their effort to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan, according to a RAND Corporation study.
The study, funded by the U. S. Department of Defence, finds that every successful insurgency in Afghanistan since 1979 enjoyed safe haven in neighbouring countries, and the current insurgency is no different, said the report.
The Hague - Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in the Netherlands on Monday for talks with Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and other members of his government.
Discussions are expected to centre on increased economic cooperation and the role of Dutch troops deployed in the troubled Afghan province Uruzgan.
There are around 1,600 Dutch troops serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The Dutch public is divided about the deployment, which is expected to end in two years.
The Netherlands has pledged 210 million euros (325 million dollars) in aid to Afghanistan for the coming two years. (dpa)
Kabul - Four Afghan police and several Taliban militants were killed in separate attack and clashes in Afghanistan, officials said Monday.
Two police officers, including a unit commander, were killed in a remote-controlled roadside bomb blast in Khoqyani district of southern Ghazni province, Ismail Khan, spokesman for provincial governor said.
Four other police officers were wounded in Monday's morning blast, Khan said.
Two other police and three Taliban militants were killed in an exchange of fire in western Ghor province on Sunday, Shah Jahan Noori, provincial police chief said.
London - Prime Minister Gordon Brown Monday hailed the "sacrifice" made by troops in Afghanistan after the death toll of British troops in the conflict reached 100.
The milestone figure was confirmed Sunday as three soldiers of the elite Parachute Regiment fell victim to a suicide attack in Helmand province.
The deaths have reignited the debate in Britain about the mission in Afghanistan. Although the total death toll is counted from the start of the conflict in 2001, the vast majority of the fatalities have occurred in the last two years.
"I want to pay tribute to the courage of all the 100 British troops who have given their lives in Afghanistan in the service of their country," said Brown in a statement.
London, June 9: Britain lost its 100th soldier in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion after a suicide attack killed three paratroopers.
The head of Britain’s armed forces and the Defence Secretary insisted, however, that progress was being made in Afghanistan, and that the soldiers' deaths had not been in vain.
The trio who were killed were on a routine foot patrol about one kilometre (0.6 miles) west of their base in the restive Helmand province, when they suffered a “suicide explosive device”, the Defence Ministry said.
“Four soldiers were injured in the attack and were evacuated to the medical facility at Camp Bastion,” said a Defence Ministry statement.
Tokyo - Japanese government officials were expected to begin research on needs of assistance in counterinsurgency and security in Afghanistan, government sources said Monday.
Officials of the foreign and defence ministries would see if the international alliance needs assistance from Japan's Self-Defence Forces (SDF).
The team, which departed Tokyo Sunday, would scout out needs in in Kabul and surrounding provinces for the SDF's airlifting of supplies and assistance in road repairs and other forms of infrastructure development, Jiji Press quoted government sources as saying.
The government plans to extend the special law in an extraordinary Diet session late August before it expires next January, to allow the SDF aid multinational allies in Afghanistan. (dpa)
London - Three British soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Sunday, the Defence Ministry in London said.
One soldier was wounded in the attack, which occurred while they were on a foot patrol near their base.
The deaths brought the number of British forces killed in Afghanistan since to 2001 to 100. (dpa)
Kabul - US First Lady Laura Bush arrived for one-day-visit in Afghanistan Sunday and was scheduled to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other senior officials, a government official said.
She was also scheduled to visit the central province of Bamian, where two giant Buddha statues are located, said the official, who requested anonymity.
The two statues were destroyed in March 2001 by Taliban militants who deemed them as un-Islamic. Bamian is also the only province in the country that is led by a female governor.
Washington, June 8 : US officials are growing increasingly frustrated with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, arguing that he is not up to addressing Afghanistan’s many troubles, the New York Times has reported.
The newspaper said on Saturday that even a senior State Department official questioned in an interview whether Karzai had the “trust and the backbone” for the job.
“Of course he’s a good guy, and therefore as long as he’s president we’ll support him,” the NYT quoted the unnamed official, as saying.
“But there’s a lot of talk inside the administration saying perhaps there’s a need for some tough love to push him to do the right thing.”
Kabul, June 7 : Afghan President Hamid Karzai has reportedly told Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi that Islamabad’s peace moves with Taliban extremists could have “destructive” consequences for both nations, and emphasised on the need for a “strong fight” against such groups.
Quereshi met Karzai while on a visit to Afghanistan. He said the Pakistan Government was not holding peace talks with “terrorists”, but only with “peace-loving” elements as part of a multi-pronged strategy to fight extremism.
Kabul, June 6 : A constable of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Dev Kumar was killed and four injured in the latest terrorist attack in Afghanistan on Thursday evening.
The suicide attack was carried out at the Zaranj-Delaram Highway Project being executed by India for Afghanistan’s development.
India strongly condemned the incident in a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi saying, such acts will not deter India from fulfilling its humanitarian commitments.
The Ministry expressed condolences and sympathies to the families of the victim and the injured.
Kabul - Two service-members were killed as a US-led forces helicopter crashed near southern Kandahar province, military statement said on Friday.
The US military said the cause of Thursday's crash was under investigation. A military statement issued from the Bagram Airbase, the coalition forces ruled out enemy fire as a cause of the chopper going down.
Pending notification of next of kin, names and nationalities of the soldiers killed in the incident were withheld. Details of Thursday's crash were not immediately available. (dpa)
Kabul - The US-led coalition troops claim to have killed more than a dozen Taliban insurgents in the southern Afghanistan province of Helmand in response to an attack by the rebels, the military reported Wednesday.
A vehicle carrying humanitarian assistance in a coalition convoy struck a roadside bomb while approaching Putay town in Helmand province and then was ambushed by insurgents using small-arms fire.
"During the fighting, another coalition vehicle struck a mine," said the military in a statement.
Coalition air support was called in after the rebels were seen entering homes. There have been no reports of civilian casualties.
Kabul - US three-star General David McKiernan took command of the 40-nation NATO-led military alliance in Afghanistan Tuesday.
The change of command took place in a ceremony at NATO's Headquarters in Kabul city attended by foreign ambassadors and senior Afghan officials including President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai thanked the outgoing NATO commander for his courage and service in stabilizing the country and fighting terrorism during his mission, but cautioned the new US commander that his job would not be easy in the face of mounting insurgency in the war-ravaged country.
Berlin (dpa) - International troops are likely to remain in Afghanistan for at least five and possibly 10 years, German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung indicated Tuesday.
The Afghan military and police should be able to ensure security on their own within this timeframe, Jung told German national public broadcaster ZDF.
Only then could the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) begin to consider withdrawing its troops, Jung said.
The German defence minister declined to be drawn on a more precise timetable.
Germany has a maximum of 3,500 troops deployed to Afghanistan, most of them securing the relatively peaceful north of the country for reconstruction teams to operate.