Afghanistan

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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 »

Veteran Gets Medal of Honor for Facing 'Onslaught'

Ryan Pitts receives highest decoration for battlefield valor

(Newser) - President Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor today on a former Army staff sergeant who fought off enemy fighters during one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghanistan war. Ryan Pitts is the ninth living recipient of the nation's highest decoration for battlefield valor for actions in Iraq and... More »

Militants Launch Bold Attack on Kabul Airport

Taliban fighters seized building to fire at air traffic

(Newser) - Gunmen carried out an audacious pre-dawn rocket attack on Kabul International Airport today, temporarily shutting down the facility and setting off a gun battle with security forces in which four attackers were killed, officials say. The militants occupied two buildings which were under construction a few hundred yards north of... More »

Afghanistan Hit by Deadliest Blast Since 2001

Suicide car bomber kills 89 civilians

(Newser) - A suicide bomber blew up a car packed with explosives near a busy market and a mosque in a remote town in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, killing at least 89 people in the deadliest insurgent attack on civilians since the 2001 US-led invasion. The blast destroyed numerous mud-brick shops, flipped cars... More »

Shopkeeper: Here's What the Taliban Like to Buy

White undies, foreign perfumes, brand-name soaps, he says

(Newser) - Ever wonder what the Taliban buy when they go shopping? Neither did we, but apparently they like spending big bucks on nice perfumes and brand-name soaps and shampoos. Oh, and they prefer white underwear, either Y fronts or briefs, a former shopkeeper tells the BBC . The young man in his... More »

Apparent Loser of Afghan Election Claims Victory

Crisis could break country apart

(Newser) - Preliminary vote tallies show Abdullah Abdullah losing Afghanistan's presidential election to Ashraf Ghani by a pretty wide margin of 56.4% to 43.5%. But Abdullah declared victory anyway yesterday, and said he would decide in the next few days whether to form a "parallel government" competing with... More »

Afghan Election Chief Resigns

Zia ul-Haq Amarkhail says he wasn't involved in alleged fraud

(Newser) - Afghanistan's chief electoral officer resigned today in a bid to resolve a political crisis over allegations of massive fraud in the runoff presidential vote earlier this month. Zia ul-Haq Amarkhail told reporters that he denies any involvement in fraud but he is stepping down "for the national interest.... More »

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