Afghans Bust Ex-US Translator in Disappearances

Zakeria Kandahari worked with US special forces
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2013 11:36 AM CDT
Afghans Bust Ex-US Translator in Disappearances
In this Sunday March 10, 2013 photo, an Afghan policeman mans a checkpoint on the outskirts of Maidan Shahr, Wardak province, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Afghanistan authorities have arrested a former translator for US special forces over "multiple crimes," officials said today, without elaboration. The AP fills in a few of the blanks, reporting that the Defense Ministry had said Zakeria Kandahari was wanted on charges of murder and torture in connection with the disappearances of nine boys and men who turned up dead. Kandahari, whom the Afghan government has previously identified as being Afghan-American, had three pistols, a computer, a pair of fake birth certificates, and seven fake IDs with him when arrested, per a statement by Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security.

Kandahari had been based in Wardak province, Reuters reports; Afghanistan accused him along with US troops of involvement in human rights violations. But a US defense official says a review by both countries found the claims that foreign troops were involved to be false. Still, the allegations led Karzai to order US special forces out of Wardak province, which sits fewer than 30 miles from Kabul; that was later dialed down to just the Narkh district of the province, where the disappearances occurred. (Read more translator stories.)

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