Afghanistan

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Suicide Bomber Kills 45 at Afghan Volleyball Match

Tournament in Paktika turns deadly when bomber detonates in crowd

(Newser) - A suicide bomber attacked a volleyball tournament in eastern Afghanistan today, killing at least 45 people. Dozens more were wounded when the bomber, who was on foot and mingling with the crowd, detonated his explosives, said a rep for the governor of Paktika province. He said the attack happened during... More »

Obama Allows Bigger Combat Role in Afghanistan

Troops will be allowed to go after Taliban

(Newser) - The US still plans to wind down its mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2016, but the troops who remain in the country until then are going to be doing more fighting than previously planned, reports the New York Times . President Obama has quietly approved a broader mission with... More »

80% of Terrorism Deaths Occur in 5 Countries

Global Terrorism Index shows big jump overall from last year

(Newser) - If it feels like deadly attacks by terror groups such as the Islamic State are in the headlines every day, new numbers from the Global Terrorism Index might explain why. The survey attributes about 18,000 deaths last year to terrorism, a rise of 60% from the previous year, reports... More »

Top Female MP Survives Afghan Suicide Bomber

Shukria Barakzai slightly injured in assassination attempt that kills 3

(Newser) - A suicide bomber tried to assassinate a prominent female member of Afghanistan's parliament today, killing three people and wounding the lawmaker, a senior official said. Shukria Barakzai was slightly wounded in the attack on her vehicle as she was heading to parliament, said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi. Another... More »

Marine's Parents Share Poignant Story of Loss

The McHones talk to NPR's Steve Inskeep

(Newser) - In honor of Veterans Day, Steve Inskeep at NPR shares what he calls "a private story we never meant to share." He explains that in connection with a school benefit he sometimes records family interviews, and was so moved by the "important" story that Sylvia and Ron... More »

Scientists Spot Elusive Fanged Deer

Kashmir musk deer identified in Afghanistan for first time since 1948

(Newser) - A deer with fangs: It sounds made-up, and scientists hadn't seen one in Afghanistan since 1948. But researchers have found that the musk deer still exists in the country's Nuristan Province. In fact, they've spotted the creatures five times: a male three times, a female and a... More »

1st US Serviceman Dead in ISIS Mission

Marine Lance Cpl. Sean Neal died in 'noncombat' incident

(Newser) - Washington may not have "boots on the ground" in Iraq, but it still recorded the first death of a serviceman in the fight against ISIS—19-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Sean Neal, the Washington Post reports. The California native reportedly died in Baghdad in what the Pentagon is calling a... More »

US Blew Millions Shipping Military Trucks: Report

GAO report suggests it would have been cheaper to just blow them up

(Newser) - It would've been more financially prudent to blow up now-useless US military vehicles used in Afghanistan instead of what the Pentagon actually did: ship them back home. A GAO report released yesterday and cited in USA Today says that from October 2012 to October 2013, the Army and Marines... More »

Afghanistan, US Sign Long-Awaited Security Pact

Agreement will allow some US forces to remain in Afghanistan

(Newser) - Afghanistan and the United States signed a long-awaited security pact today that will allow US forces to remain in the country past the end of the year. At a ceremony held at the presidential palace in Kabul, newly appointed national security adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar signed the document along with... More »

Boy's Tribute to Soldier Dad Lights Up the Skies

6-year-old asks people to turn on porch lights 'so Daddy can see ... I love him'

(Newser) - Thousands of people around the country and the world responded to a 6-year-old boy's plea to turn on a few extra porch lights so his fallen dad could see them shining. The father, Staff Sgt. Thomas Baysore, was killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 26, 2013, and he had often... More »

Afghanistan Swears in New President

Ghani Ahmadzai in, Karzai out in first post-Taliban transfer of power

(Newser) - Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was sworn in today as Afghanistan's new president, replacing Hamid Karzai in the country's first democratic transfer of power since the 2001 US-led invasion toppled the Taliban. Moments after Ghani Ahmadzai took the oath, he swore in his election challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, as chief executive,... More »

Missing Afghan Soldiers Nabbed at Canadian Border

The men may have been seeking asylum

(Newser) - The three Afghan soldiers who vanished from a training exercise in Massachusetts on Saturday were found today near Niagara Falls, apparently trying to gain asylum in Canada, the Cape Cod Times reports. A source tells WCVB that the soldiers told Customs Agents at the Rainbow Bridge crossing that they were... More »

3 Afghan Soldiers Go Missing in Massachusetts

They came to US for training exercise

(Newser) - Three Afghan soldiers have gone missing during a two-week training exercise in Massachusetts, the Boston Globe reports. Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada, and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar, who were last seen Saturday at a mall on Cape Cod, are senior officers in Afghanistan's military. Their stay in... More »

At Last, Afghanistan Has a New President

Ashraf Ghani will step up after power-sharing deal reached

(Newser) - Afghanistan's election commission has named Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the winner of the country's presidential election, but the commission did not release final vote figures. The commission's announcement today came hours after Ghani Ahmadzai signed a power sharing agreement with opponent Abdullah Abdullah, who will fill the... More »

Afghan Suicide Bomber Waited 'Long Time' to Kill Troops

3 coalition soldiers dead in attack near US embassy

(Newser) - A suicide bomber in Kabul waited "a long time" for NATO troops to approach his explosives-packed car, says a Taliban spokesman; the eventual blast killed three coalition soldiers this morning, the Washington Post reports. Five others were wounded, the New York Times reports. The bomber targeted a two-vehicle convoy... More »

Watchdog: Bergdahl Prisoner Swap Was Illegal

Congress should have been told, GAO says

(Newser) - The Obama administration's release of five Taliban prisoners in exchange for captive soldier Bowe Bergdahl was illegal in more ways than one, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The government watchdog says the decision violated federal law because Congress wasn't given 30 days' notice of the transfer... More »

US General's Killer Hid in Bathroom Before Attack

Maj. Gen. Harold Greene got shot in the back, reports NBC

(Newser) - When an Afghan soldier identified as Mohammad Rafiqullah returned from patrol yesterday, he didn’t turn in his NATO-issued machine gun like his fellow soldiers. Instead, Rafiqullah hid in a bathroom with it at Camp Qargha, then opened fire from a window when generals came into view, an Afghan official... More »

US General Is First Slain in Combat Since 1970

Maj. Gen. Harold Greene was killed in Afghanistan

(Newser) - The US officer killed today in Afghanistan has been identified as Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, reports ABC News . The two-star general was shot to death when a man believed to belong to the Afghan army opened fire on his supposed allies at a military base near Kabul. The AP says... More »

Man in Afghan Uniform Kills US General

He would be highest-ranking American officer killed since Vietnam

(Newser) - A man dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire today on NATO troops at a military base, killing a US two-star general and wounding some 15 people, among them a German brigadier general and a number of Americans troops, authorities said. The attack at Camp Qargha, a base west... More »

Karzai Cousin Killed: Bomber Shook His Hand, Detonated

Ashmat Khlil Karzai was also politician in his own right

(Newser) - Three years after Afghan President Hamid Karzai's half-brother was assassinated—and a weeping Karzai climbed into his grave —a suicide bomber has killed Karzai's cousin, an official says. According to a rep for Kandahar province's governor, the attacker shook hands with Ashmat Khlil Karzai near the... More »

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