In remote Afghan valley, a rare peace sprouts with insurgents

April 27th, 2009

Promises of cash and jobs–rather than ideological pledges–help prompt fighters to lay down their arms. But questions remain about the program’s efficiency.
Alasay, Afghanistan – Deep in a mountain valley north of Kabul, Gulab Shah and his fellow insurgents were under siege. It was mid-March, and a French-led military offensive had been pounding their village night [...]

Briefing: Who Are the Taliban?

April 16th, 2009

The umbrella organization includes many different groups fighting the Afghan government and Western forces.
Kabul, Afghanistan – As the Obama administration ramps up focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan, insurgents from both countries have teamed up to confront the rising US troop presence. While the insurgents often get labeled as the “Taliban,” in reality there are [...]

Coordinated Kabul assault shows Taliban strength

February 12th, 2009

Insurgents attacked three government offices in a heavily fortified area Wednesday, a day before US envoy Holbrooke’s visit.
Kabul, Afghanistan – Insurgents attacked three government offices in Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 26 and wounding nearly 60. The assault was one of the most complex [...]

Who Are the Taliban?

December 4th, 2008

The Afghan War Deciphered
If there is an exact location marking the West’s failures in Afghanistan, it is the modest police checkpoint that sits on the main highway 20 minutes south of Kabul. The post signals the edge of the capital, a city of spectacular tension, blast walls, and standstill traffic. Beyond this point, Kabul’s [...]

Some Afghans Live Under Taliban Rule–And Prefer It

October 15th, 2008

In provinces just south of Kabul, the insurgents have a shadow government that polices roads and runs courts.
Porak, Afghanistan – After a gang of thieves had continually terrorized an Afghan neighborhood near here months ago, locals decided they’d had enough. “We complained several times to the government and even showed them where the thieves [...]

Taliban Confidence Grows

August 20th, 2008

KABUL, Aug 20 (IPS) – The ambush that killed 10 NATO soldiers outside of Kabul on Tuesday, the worst battlefield loss for western forces since the war began, was the capstone in a week of high-profile insurgent activities in Afghanistan.
Although North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces returned fire, killed dozens of rebels and repelled the [...]

Taliban Wages War On Aid Groups

August 15th, 2008

Kabul, Afghanistan – A Wednesday attack that killed three Western aid workers in Afghanistan raises concerns that the Taliban is attempting to force the expulsion of all foreign humanitarian workers from the troubled country.
“This was the worst attack in many years and is a major [...]

Taliban Encroach on Karzai’s Turf

July 24th, 2008

KABUL, Jul 24 (IPS) – Dozens of civilians were killed over the weekend in Afghanistan, the latest in the trend of spiraling violence that has engulfed the embattled nation. The civilian casualties, Taliban attacks and troop casualty numbers are putting increasing strain on the Western-led coalition, leading some to speculate that the war is unwinnable.
On [...]

Afghanistan’s insurgency spreading north

April 29th, 2008

Militant attacks are increasing outside of the Taliban’s southern stronghold, such as Sunday’s on President Karzai.
Kabul, Afghanistan – The attempted assassination of President Hamid Karzai Sunday came as the latest sign of a trend worrying Western officials: that the insurgency is spreading from the Taliban stronghold of the south to the central and northern [...]

Bid To Slay Karzai Exposes Security Mess

April 28th, 2008

KABUL, Apr 28 (IPS) – Violence levels have increased in Afghanistan in the first quarter of 2008, compared to the first part of 2007, a series of newly-released studies indicate.
On Sunday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai escaped an assassination bid while attending a military parade in Kabul. A member of parliament and a 10-year-old child [...]