Tag Archives: Helmand

Six U.S. troops killed by suicide bomber in Afghanistan

BY MIRWAIS HAROONI AND PHIL STEWART

KABUL/WASHINGTON – Six American troops were killed in Afghanistan on Monday when a suicide bomber on a motorbike struck their patrol near Bagram air base, a U.S. official said, in the latest high-profile attack claimed by Taliban insurgents.

Just days ago, the Pentagon warned of deteriorating security in Afghanistan in the second half of 2015 and a rise in the number of effective strikes by Taliban insurgents.

NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Kabul said that the attack killed six Resolute Support troops and wounded three others but declined to provide the nationalities of casualties.

A U.S. official said all six killed were Americans. More than 2,300 U.S. troops have died in the Afghan war since the 2001 invasion.

The police chief of Parwan province said three Afghan police had been wounded in the bombing, which was carried out just days after other suicide attacks on Kandahar air base in southern Afghanistan and on a Spanish embassy guesthouse in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Bagram, around 40 km (25 miles) to the north of Kabul, is one of the main bases for the 9,800 U.S. troops left in Afghanistan after international troops ended combat operations last year.

District Governor Abdul Shukur Qudusi said the suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol.

The attack underlined the Taliban’s ability to hit high-profile targets linked to the U.S.-backed government, which wants to reopen the peace process aimed at ending the 14-year-long insurgency.

On Monday, Taliban forces in Helmand closed in on the district of Sangin as they tightened their grip on the volatile southern province.

Read more » Reuters
See more » http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-attack-idUKKBN0U418520151221

Taliban beheaded 17 people, including two women, for attending a mixed-gender party

Taliban Behead 17 for Singing and Dancing

By MUHAMMAD LILA (@muhammadlila) and ALEEM AGHA

The Taliban beheaded 17 people, including two women, for attending a mixed-gender party where there was music and dancing, Afghan officials reported today.

The decapitated bodies were abandoned at a roadside in southern Afghanistan, according to Mullah Sharafuddin, the governor of Kajaki district in Helmand province.

All 17 bodies, including those of two women, were decapitated, but it was not clear if they had been shot first.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai denounced that killings as an “inhuman act and against all Islamic principals.”

Continue reading Taliban beheaded 17 people, including two women, for attending a mixed-gender party

U.S. names two Af-Pak money traders for helping Taliban

By: AFP

WASHINGTON: The United States named two Afghanistan-Pakistan money changers as helping the Taliban manage and move funds, setting sanctions against both that aim to hinder their business.

The US Treasury said the two hawalas, or money exchange businesses – the Haji Khairullah Haji Sattar Money Exchange (HKHS) and the Roshan Money Exchange – “have been used by the Taliban to facilitate money transfers in support of the Taliban’s narcotics trade and terrorist operations.” Up through last year, HKHS services were “a preferred method for Taliban leadership to transfer money to Taliban commanders in Afghanistan,” the Treasury said.

Roshan was used for money transfers by the Taliban, particularly in Helmand province, including allegedly moving hundreds of thousands of dollars last year “for the purchase of narcotics on behalf of Taliban officials.” The Treasury listed Haji Abdul Sattar Barakzai and Haji Khairullah Barakzai, HKHS co-owners, under the sanctions for donating funds to the Taliban.

HKHS has 16 branches in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Dubai, according to the Treasury.

Roshan operates 11 branches in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

Once upon a time in Afghanistan

PART THREE – THE LOST HISTORY OF HELMAND

By: Adam Curtis

When you look at footage of the fighting in Helmand today everyone assumes it is being played out against an ancient background of villages and fields built over the centuries.

This is not true. If you look beyond the soldiers, and into the distance, what you are really seeing are the ruins of one of the biggest technological projects the United States has ever undertaken. Its aim was to use science to try and change the course of history and produce a modern utopia in Afghanistan. The city of Lashkar Gah was built by the Americans as a model planned city, and the hundreds of miles of canals that the Taliban now hide in were constructed by the same company that built the San Francisco Bay Bridge and Cape Canaveral. Here is what Helmand province looks like today. ….

Read more » BBC

Taliban jihadis hang 8-year-little boy in southern Afghanistan

Militants hang 8-year-old boy in southern Afghanistan

By David Ariosto, CNN

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — An 8 year-old boy was hanged by militants in Afghanistan’s Helmand province after the boy’s father — a police officer in the southern city of Gereshk — refused to comply with militants’ demands to provide them with a police vehicle, officials said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the hanging, saying “this action is not permitted in any culture or any religion,” according to a statement Sunday, which provided details of the incident.

Karzai said he has ordered local authorities to root out the militants and arrest them “as soon as possible.” …

Read more → CNN