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News, January 2011

 
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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

 

2 US Soldiers, 24 Afghanis Killed, in US Air Strikes, Clashes, Roadside Bombs

January 22, 2010

US-led strikes kill 10 in Afghanistan

Press TV, Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:44AM

US-led air strike kill at least 10 people in eastern Afghanistan. At least 10 people have been killed in the latest spate of air raids conducted by US-led forces in eastern Laghman province in Afghanistan, the military alliance said.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in statement on Saturday that coalition forces targeted the Taliban shadow district governor for Hisarak in Laghman province -- 260 km east of Afghan capital city of Kabul, killing more than 10 militants with two air strikes, Xinhua news agency reported.

Despite the presence of NATO forces, violence and daily militant attacks have not been subdued in Afghanistan.

NATO-led ISAF has some 140,000 troops in Afghanistan, two-thirds of which are from the United States, fighting a nine-year militancy by the Taliban.

On December 16, US President Barack Obama unveiled the result of a two-month National Security Council assessment on the war in Afghanistan, claiming that Washington has been "on track" in achieving its objectives in the war-wracked country.

Obama, however, has warned that US-led troops in Afghanistan continue to face an uphill battle in their mission, conceding that the security gains were fragile and reversible.

He has said US forces would begin pulling out of Afghanistan in July 2011.

On Jan 6, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered an extra 1,400 Marines to southern Afghanistan in an attempt to fend off an anticipated spring offensive by Taliban militants returning from neighboring Pakistan.

Last year saw a considerable spike in the number of attacks on US-led soldiers in Afghanistan with more than 710 troops killed.

HA/HRF/MGH

Bomb kills one, wounds 9 in Afghanistan

Press tv, Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:39AM

A roadside bomb has gone off in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, killing at least one policeman and injuring nine others.

A police officer lost his life and nine others sustained injuries on Saturday after a roadside bomb hit a police van in Helmand province located 555 km south of Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, Xinhua news agency quoted a police official as saying.

"The gruesome incident happened in Wazirmanda village outside provincial Lashkar Gah at around 10:00 a.m. local time," deputy to provincial police chief, Kamaludin Khan, stated.

He also spoke of ongoing cleanup operations to flush out Taliban militants, who are perceived to have found a safe haven in Helmand and the neighboring Kandahar and Zabul provinces.

Over the past nine years, Taliban militants have waged the bloodiest of their battles against the US-led forces in the country's southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar.

NATO and the United States have close to 150,000 troops in Afghanistan, with 30,000 deployed in Helmand province.

The remarks came at the end of the deadliest year in the war-wracked country for US and NATO troops, with the death toll reaching 711.

On Jan. 12, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said there was an increase in bloodshed in Afghanistan as foreign soldiers begin to fire up their offensive against the Taliban elements.

"As difficult as it may be to accept, we must prepare ourselves for more violence and more casualties in coming months," said the senior US military commander.

"The violence will be worse in 2011 than it was in 2010 in many parts of Afghanistan," Mullen concluded.

HA/TG/MGH

10 militants killed in eastern Afghanistan

Sat Jan 22, 7:25 am ET

KABUL, Afghanistan

Three suicide attackers detonated their explosives vests during a gunbattle with Afghan and coalition forces that left 10 militants and one civilian dead Saturday in Khost province of eastern Afghanistan.

Provincial police chief Abdul Hakim Ishaqzia said the battle, which lasted several hours early Saturday morning, began after insurgents fired a rocket toward a group of Afghan and NATO forces who were preparing to go on patrol in the Sabari district.

The joint force killed 10 militants and arrested 12 others, he said.

"There were no casualties among the security forces, but one civilian was killed and two other civilians, including one woman and a child, were wounded as a result of the suicide attacks," he said.

Weapons, a suicide vest, explosives and bomb-making equipment were found at the site.

On Friday, an Afghan woman was killed when she was struck by a coalition convoy in Herat province in western Afghanistan, NATO said. The convoy stopped and the woman was taken to medical facility, but she died of injuries she sustained in the accident, the coalition said.

Two US-led soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Press TV, Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:40AM

Two US-led soldiers have been killed in an attack in Afghanistan, bringing the number of foreign forces killed in the Afghan war in 2011 more than 20.

According to a Press TV correspondent, one of the soldiers was killed in the north on Thursday and another one lost his life in the south on Wednesday, the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF, announced without giving further details.

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are by far the most lethal weapon used by Taliban militants.

The militants have used IEDs in their attacks against foreign troops, Afghan forces, and civilians.

2010 was the deadliest year for foreign military forces deployed in war-ravaged Afghanistan, with a death toll of 711, most of them Americans.

Hundreds of civilians have also lost their lives in US-led airstrikes and ground operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months.

The large number of civilian fatalities has caused widespread anger among the Afghans.

The situation is adding fuel to the fire of anti-US sentiment in war-wrecked Afghanistan and the rest of the Islamic world.

RZS/HRF

Roadside bomb kills 3 Afghan civilians

Press TV, Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:49PM

 A roadside bomb has killed at least three civilians, including a child, in southern Afghanistan as the security situation continues to deteriorate in the country.

Officials say the civilians were killed when a car hit a mine in southern Kandahar city on Thursday. Four other children were also wounded in the blast.

"Two occupants of the car and a child outside the car were martyred in the explosion. Four children who were playing nearby were wounded in the blast," AFP quoted Kandahar provincial spokesman Zalmay Ayobi as saying

They also blamed Taliban militants for the blast.

The deaths bring the number of civilian casualties to 31 by roadside bombs in five days.

Militant attacks are gaining momentum despite the presence of over 150,000 US-led forces in the war-torn country.

The Afghan interior ministry has recently said that 2010 has been the deadliest year for civilians since the US-led invasion in 2001. The ministry says more than 2,000 civilians lost their lives in violence across Afghanistan.

Civilians have been the main victims of violence in Afghanistan, particularly in the country's troubled southern and eastern provinces, where they are killed by both militant and foreign fire.

Afghans also blame foreign troops and their military operations for the civilian deaths. The issue of civilian casualties has long been a source of friction between Kabul and Washington.

JR/MGH

Three NATO containers set ablaze

The Daily Times, Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pakistan, QUETTA:

Three NATO containers were set on fire and two people were injured by unidentified terrorists in two separate incidents in Mastung and Kalat on Friday.

According to police sources, two containers carrying military hardware for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan were going to Chaman from Karachi when some unidentified assailants intercepted them and off-loaded the cleaners and drivers.

They then set the two containers on fire at the Chutu area of Mastung and fled the scene. Meanwhile, another NATO container was torched in Kalat. Two people sustained bullet injuries when the assailants, who were on a motorbike, opened fire on the container before setting it ablaze.

The injured were taken to a nearby hospital by locals. Personnel of Levies force and other law enforcement agencies rushed to the spot after the incidents and cordoned off the area. Separate cases have been registered against unidentified people and investigations are underway. staff report






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