Taliban

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Freed Hostage Mom Played Beheading Game With Son

In an effort to make him less afraid, says Caitlan Coleman Boyle

(Newser) - The American hostage mom who was freed five years after being captured by the Taliban-related Haqqani network is detailing the abuse she suffered to ABC News in hopes that those responsible will see some measure of justice for the "human rights violations" committed against the family. Caitlan Coleman Boyle,... More »

Taliban: Kidnapped US Professor Is Extremely Sick

Kevin King's condition worsens by the day, militants say

(Newser) - An American professor kidnapped in Afghanistan more than a year ago is extremely ill and getting worse all the time, the Taliban says. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says 60-year-old Kevin King has "dangerous" heart and kidney diseases that have "exponentially worsened" during his time in captivity. "His... More »

In a Shift, CIA Units Now Going After Taliban

Agency takes more aggressive approach in Afghanistan under Pompeo, Trump

(Newser) - CIA director Mike Pompeo has talked about the need to be more "aggressive" against militants, and the New York Times reports that his words are turning into reality in Afghanistan. The agency is ramping up its mission against the Taliban in the country, sending out small paramilitary units with... More »

Rough Weekend for 'Broken' Freed Family

Joshua Boyle says he and his wife didn't think the adjustment to freedom would be so hard

(Newser) - After five years in captivity, freedom is a lot harder than Joshua Boyle expected. The Canadian man tells CNN he and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and their three children are suffering. "We're pretty broken and we didn't expect this," he says. After arriving in Toronto... More »

5 Years, 3 Kids Later, Couple Is Freed From Taliban Group

American Caitlan Coleman, family are 'safe and sound'

(Newser) - An American woman, her Canadian husband, and their three children born during five years in Taliban captivity are finally free. Caitlan Coleman and Josh Boyle, both in their 30s, and their three children were rescued by Pakistani security forces shortly after the family crossed into the country on Wednesday, Pakistan'... More »

One Factor in Trump's Afghan Decision: Mining Riches

Trump expected to announce increase in troops, also eyes Afghanistan minerals

(Newser) - President Trump formally goes before the nation at 9pm EDT Monday—his first such forum since addressing a joint session of Congress in February—to lay out his strategy for the war in Afghanistan. The big expected takeaway: an announcement of an increase in troops with the goal of reversing... More »

Explosion Kills Dozens During Kabul Rush Hour

At least 80 killed in diplomatic district

(Newser) - A massive explosion rocked a highly secure diplomatic area of Kabul on Wednesday morning, killing at least 80 people, wounding hundreds more, and sending a huge plume of smoke over the Afghan capital. The target of the attack—which officials said was a suicide car bombing—was not immediately known... More »

Up to 5K US Troops May Head to Afghanistan: Officials

Trump still needs to approve new Taliban plan worked up by military, foreign policy advisers

(Newser) - The Trump administration has slowly changed course on initiatives set by former President Obama, and the 15-year war Afghanistan has just been added to the list. The Washington Post reports high-level US military and foreign policy advisers have created a new blueprint for dealing with the Taliban, which would let... More »

More Than 100 Killed, Injured as Taliban Storms Army Base

Attackers were former soldiers, militants say

(Newser) - The Taliban has dealt Afghanistan's army what appears to be a very heavy blow inside one of its own bases. Officials say more than 100 Afghan soldiers were killed or injured when Taliban militants attacked a base outside the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif on Friday, the BBC reports. Some... More »

US General's Taliban Theory: 'Absolutely False,' Says Russia

Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti thinks Russia may be giving Afghanistan insurgents supplies

(Newser) - There's been lots in the news about Russia lately, and a high-ranking US Army general just added to the mix—this time regarding the country's involvement with the Taliban. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the supreme allied commander of Europe for NATO, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that... More »

Taliban Issues a Very Odd 'Special Message'

Leader would like everyone to please plant trees

(Newser) - Springtime in Afghanistan usually brings a spike in violence as the Taliban takes advantage of the thaw to launch a wave of fresh attacks, reports the AP . But the Taliban's leader has just issued a statement calling on Afghans to plant more trees. In a public letter issued Sunday... More »

Pentagon's Public Stats on US Airstrikes Are Way Off

Likely by thousands—and it's raising questions on transparency, accuracy

(Newser) - The Pentagon's transparency in its fight against overseas extremists is being questioned after a Military Times investigation revealed perhaps thousands of secret airstrikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria were never publicly disclosed. The US Air Force has an open-source database tapped by Congress, analysts, and others to figure out... More »

US Military: 33 Civilians Killed During Strike on Taliban

Pentagon conducts investigation after mass casualties

(Newser) - The US military's investigation into a November firefight with the Taliban has shown that 33 civilians died in the raid during which American troops fired on Afghan homes, reports the AP . The inquiry followed claims that civilian deaths resulted from airstrikes called in to support Afghan and US forces... More »

Kidnapped Teachers Have a Message for Trump

American, Australian seen in Taliban video

(Newser) - The Taliban released a video Wednesday showing an American and an Australian who were kidnapped in August, the first time they've been seen since their abduction. The two men, an American identified as Kevin King and an Australian identified as Timothy Weekes, were abducted outside the American University of... More »

Afghan Pilot Says She Can't Go Home From US

She applies for asylum, citing death threats

(Newser) - Capt. Niloofar Rahmani's story seems to sum up the dismal state of women's rights in Afghanistan more than 15 years after the Taliban were forced from power. The 25-year-old is the first female fixed-wing pilot in her country's air force, but she says she has received death... More »

Video of Kidnapped Couple Shows Sons Born in Captivity

Taliban abducted American Caitlan Coleman and Canadian Joshua Boyle in 2012

(Newser) - A newly released video of an American woman and her Canadian husband kidnapped by the Taliban four years ago shows them with two young boys—their own sons born in captivity. Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman were abducted in Afghanistan while on a backpacking trip in 2012, and Coleman, now... More »

German Consulate in Afghanistan Attacked

Taliban says it sent suicide attackers to the consulate

(Newser) - Germany's consulate in northern Afghanistan was attacked late Thursday when a suicide car bomber rammed the compound, a senior police official said. The car exploded at the gate of the consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif city, destroying the gate and wall around 11.10pm local time, said Abdul Raziq Qaderi, head... More »

The 'All-American Sweetheart' Kidnapped by the Taliban

And why we never hear about Caitlan Coleman, her husband, and the 2 kids she's had in captivity

(Newser) - Caitlan Coleman hailed from Stewartstown, Pa., a "land where bad things aren't supposed to happen." And yet a gripping Philadelphia magazine story describes how something bad did happen to the 26-year-old and her husband—Canadian activist Joshua Boyle, once married to the sister of Gitmo prisoner Omar... More »

US Suffers 2 Rare Combat Deaths in Afghanistan

US troops were with local troops fighting the Taliban in Kunduz

(Newser) - Two US service members were killed Thursday battling Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan alongside local troops, reports the AP , rare combat deaths for American forces who largely handed over securing the nation to Afghan troops some two years ago. NATO described the Americans killed and two other Americans wounded in the... More »

Afghanistan's Deepening Crisis: Returning Refugees

They face 'vicious cycle of insecurity and joblessness'

(Newser) - Huge numbers of refugees displaced by decades of conflict are flowing back into Afghanistan, but they are returning to a country in crisis where more than a million people have been forced to leave their homes this year. The Taliban now controls more territory than at any point since 2001,... More »

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