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Taliban: We Won't Hinder Quake Relief

Rescuers shouldn't 'hold back,' says group

(Newser) - With the death in Monday's earthquake in Afghanistan and Pakistan at more than 300 and rising, the Taliban on Tuesday issued a plea to rescuers: Don't "hold back." Relief agencies had been wary about entering Taliban-held territory, but the group promised not to interfere, reports Reuters... More »

US Story About Hospital Airstrike Changes Yet Again

Doctors Without Borders wants to know why it's the 4th version in 4 days

(Newser) - Details continue to emerge about Saturday's bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, with the US military commander in Afghanistan testifying Tuesday that it was due to US directive. "To be clear, the decision to provide aerial fires was a US decision made within the... More »

As Accusations Swirl, MSF Shuts Bombed Hospital

US claims it was responding to Taliban threat

(Newser) - Doctors Without Borders on Sunday closed its bombed-out hospital in the Afghanistan city of Kunduz and evacuated its personnel, amid no shortage of controversy over the US-led airstrikes that killed 19 at the trauma center Saturday. The medical charity known by French initials MSF did not go quietly, reports the... More »

Taliban's Rule in Seized City Was Short, Brutal

Militants targeted women's shelter in Kunduz

(Newser) - The Taliban was only in full control of Kunduz for a couple of days, but that was more than long enough to remind the world that it can still rival ISIS for brutality. Residents tell the New York Times that within hours of their victory, the militants promised that Taliban... More »

Major Taliban Victory May 'Invalidate' US Surge

Group takes over its first major city, Kunduz, in 14 years

(Newser) - The Taliban flag is flying over the city of Kunduz in Afghanistan today after an early morning assault—the first major city captured by the group since 2001, reports the Guardian . The loss of a provincial capital is seen as a huge embarrassment to the Afghan government, but it's... More »

Taliban Raid Frees Hundreds of Inmates

Attackers almost emptied Afghan prison

(Newser) - More than 350 inmates escaped an Afghan prison following a coordinated attack by Taliban insurgents early today, according to both Afghan officials and the Taliban. The deputy governor of Ghazni province says insurgents wearing military uniforms launched a well-organized attack this morning that included using a suicide bomber to breach... More »

Taliban Publish Biography of New Leader

Fighters meet to resolve Mullah Akhtar Mansoor dispute

(Newser) - The Afghan Taliban have published a biography of their new leader as hundreds of insurgents meet to resolve a dispute over his appointment. The detailed biography, emailed to journalists today, offers the story of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who now leads the Taliban in its fight against the Afghan government. He... More »

How Taliban Kept Leader's Death Secret for 2 Years

It helped that only one person was allowed to see him

(Newser) - The Taliban has confirmed that leader Mullah Omar is dead, and it appears he has been so for two years now. How did the Taliban pull it off for so long? A report in the New York Times helps explain: The reclusive Omar steadily reduced the number of Taliban members... More »

Taliban's Leader Died 2 Years Ago

Afghan sources confirm Mullah Omar is long dead

(Newser) - "We confirm officially that he is dead." The "we" is Afghanistan's main intelligence agency. The "he" is Taliban supreme commander Mullah Omar. Afghan government sources told the BBC earlier today that the one-eyed leader, who had been in hiding since the 9/11 attacks, died two... More »

Afghanistan: ISIS Part of 'Unprecedented Convergence'

Taliban, ISIS, foreign fighters testing Afghan forces

(Newser) - A new offensive against the Afghan government and people is being compounded by "an unprecedented convergence" of Taliban insurgents, more than 7,000 foreign fighters, and violent groups including ISIS, Afghanistan's UN ambassador says. Zahir Tanin today told the UN Security Council that these groups not only target... More »

Taliban Strikes Afghan Parliament

They tried to storm building during defense vote

(Newser) - The Taliban launched a complex attack on the Afghan parliament today with a suicide car bomber striking at the entrance and gunmen battling police as lawmakers were meeting inside to confirm the appointment of a defense minister, police and witnesses say. Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi says the attack began... More »

8 Malala Suspects Didn't Go to Jail as Reported

No good explanation why 'misreporting' took so long to correct

(Newser) - The secretive trial of Malala Yousafzai's alleged attackers now has another surprise to reveal: Even though it was widely reported at the end of April that 10 Taliban militants had been convicted and sentenced to Pakistan's equivalent of a life sentence for trying to kill her, Pakistani officials... More »

Taliban We Traded for Bergdahl Can Soon Travel

They might be able to move about freely as soon as Monday

(Newser) - A one-year travel ban is expiring for five senior Taliban leaders who were held in US detention at Guantanamo Bay until they were released last year in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, raising the possibility that the five can move freely around the world as early as Monday. Under terms... More »

American Among Dead in Kabul Hotel Attack

Park Palace Hotel assault leaves 5 dead, 6 wounded

(Newser) - Police say gunmen stormed a guesthouse in the Afghan capital as it hosted a party for foreigners, triggering an hourslong siege that ended with five people dead, including an American and two Indian nationals. Six were wounded and 54 hostages were rescued. Kabul Police Chief Abdul Rahman says the attack... More »

Taliban: Our Spring Offensive Starts Friday

Announcement made via an emailed statement to media

(Newser) - The Taliban said today they will start their spring offensive this week, an annual campaign in their war against the Afghan government. In an emailed statement, the group said the offensive—dubbed "Azm" or perseverance in Dari and Arabic—will begin on Friday. The Taliban said their Islamic Emirate... More »

Asteroid Named After Anti-Taliban Activist

Malala Yousafzai honored by NASA researcher

(Newser) - A dark rock you might spot orbiting the sun every 5.5 years now has its own name: 316201 Malala (2010 ML48) . The part we all understand—Malala—refers to Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, 17, who drew the world's attention by defying Taliban rule... More »

Bergdahl: I Was Tortured, Caged for 5 Years

Letter outlines brutal treatment from captors

(Newser) - Bowe Bergdahl spent his five years as a Taliban captive caged and tortured both physically and psychologically, according to a letter his lawyer released soon after he was charged with desertion . "I was kept in constant isolation during the entire five years, with little to no understanding of time,... More »

US Eyes Slow Afghan Exit

And Afghanistan readies for new Taliban talks

(Newser) - The US is considering slowing its military exit from Afghanistan by keeping a larger-than-planned troop presence this year and next because the new Afghan government is proving to be a more reliable partner, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said yesterday. Carter, on his first overseas trip since starting the Pentagon... More »

Drone Strike Kills Afghan ISIS Leader

Disaffected mullah quit Taliban last month

(Newser) - A disaffected Taliban commander has been killed less than a month after he pledged allegiance to ISIS. Mullah Abdul Rauf was killed yesterday in Helmand province in a strike that tribal elders say hit a car traveling across the desert and killed around six people, the BBC reports. Rauf—who... More »

With US Gone, Afghans Struggle to Keep Taliban at Bay

1.3K killed between June and November in Helmand province: report

(Newser) - Following the departure of most US forces from Afghanistan, clashes between its security forces and the Taliban have been renewed, with brutal fighting returning to areas that had been comparatively quiet, the New York Times reports. From June to November, some 1,300 members of Afghan security forces were killed... More »

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