Afghanistan

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Green Beret Who Received Medal of Honor Dies at 41

Ronald Shurer II, who joined the Secret Service after the Army, had lung cancer

(Newser) - He was a Green Beret awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Afghanistan, as well as a Secret Service staffer later in his career. Now, per the Army Times , both those organizations are mourning the loss of former Army Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II, who died... More »

FBI Offers $1M Reward for Caitlan Coleman's Captors

Feds say they want to bring justice to kidnapped US citizen

(Newser) - More than two years after she was rescued by Pakistani forces , the FBI is offering a reward for the Taliban-linked captors of US woman Caitlan Coleman and her husband, Canadian citizen Joshua Boyle. A reward notice states that the government will give up to $1 million for information leading to... More »

They Hid Under Beds. One Mom Was Killed Holding Her Newborn

Death toll in pair of attacks Tuesday in Afghanistan climbs to 56

(Newser) - The death toll in Tuesday's attack on an Afghan hospital's maternity ward has climbed to 24, while deaths from a later attack on a funeral have risen to 32, per the BBC . The terror began around 10am with blasts and gunfire heard at the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul.... More »

14 Dead in Maternity Clinic Attack, Including 2 Newborns

Armed militants storm hospital in Dashti Barchi, Afghanistan; at least 15 injured

(Newser) - Militants stormed a maternity hospital Tuesday in the western part of Kabul, Afghanistan, setting off an hourslong shootout with police and killing 14 people, including two newborn babies, their mothers, and nurses, Afghan officials say. The AP reports that while the battle was underway, Afghan security forces struggled to evacuate... More »

Afghan Government's Move May Wreck US-Taliban Deal

It's postponing the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners

(Newser) - The Afghan government Saturday postponed the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners, an Afghan official said, a decision that could sabotage a peace deal signed last month between the Taliban and the US. Jawed Faisal, spokesman for the Afghan National Security Adviser's office, said the releases were being delayed... More »

1.5K Taliban Prisoners Are About to Go Free

Afghan president making release as goodwill gesture to spur negotiations

(Newser) - After a series of delays, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree early Wednesday promising to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture to get intra-Afghan negotiations started. A recent peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban called for the release of up to 5,... More »

Afghan Withdrawal Begins, but There's a Hitch

US begins withdrawal under deal with Taliban, but nation swears in 2 different presidents

(Newser) - It's a milestone day in Afghanistan on two fronts, with developments that illustrate the complex challenges at play:
  • Withdrawal: The US began withdrawing its first troops under a peace deal struck with the Taliban last month, reports the BBC . The US currently has more than 12,000 troops there,
... More »

Trump Has a Historic Phone Call

He's the first US president to speak directly to the Taliban

(Newser) - President Trump confirmed Tuesday that he spoke on the phone to a Taliban leader, making him the first US president believed to ever speak directly with the militant group that harbored al-Qaeda before the 9/11 attacks and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of US troops in nearly 19... More »

US, Taliban Sign Peace Deal

Agreement is meant to end the Afghanistan War, if Taliban meets its anti-terrorism commitments

(Newser) - The United States signed a peace agreement with Taliban militants on Saturday aimed at bringing an end to 18 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan and allowing US troops to return home from America's longest war. Under the agreement, the US would draw its forces down to 8,600 from... More »

Pompeo: This Deal May End 20 Years of Conflict

As the 'New York Times' takes heat for a Taliban op-ed

(Newser) - A seven-day "reduction in violence" begins Friday in Afghanistan between US troops and the Taliban, a move the BBC notes is meant to lead to a more permanent ceasefire. "After decades of conflict, we have come to an understanding with the Taliban," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo... More »

Afghan Shooter Wore an Army Uniform

2 Americans dead, 6 wounded in attack

(Newser) - Two US service members—both Special Forces—are dead and six service members are wounded after an attack in Afghanistan on Saturday, CNN reports. An Afghan soldier was also killed and three wounded in the surprise gunfight. It began after someone in an Afghan uniform opened fire at the Sherzad... More »

US Official: American Casualties in Afghanistan

Several US personnel were either injured or killed

(Newser) - American and Afghan military personnel were fired on while conducting an operation in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, the US military said Saturday. Several US personnel were either injured or killed, but the exact number and other details were not provided, said a US official who agreed to discuss the... More »

US Forces Search for Kidnapped American

Illinois contractor was captured in Afghanistan

(Newser) - Months after the Taliban released two hostages, an American and an Australian, another American has been taken in Afghanistan. Mark Frerichs, 57, of Lombard, Illinois, was kidnapped last Friday, Newsweek reports. Frerichs is an executive for a US contractor, International Logistical Support, and a former diver for the Navy. No... More »

US Bombings in Afghanistan Hit Record High

7,423 munitions dropped in 2019, compared to 947 in 2015

(Newser) - The US dropped more bombs on Afghanistan in 2019 than in any other year since the Pentagon began keeping track in 2006. A total of 7,423 munitions were dropped, up from 7,362 in 2018 and 4,361 in 2017, Military.com reports based on data from the US... More »

US on Confusing Afghanistan Plane Crash: It Was Ours

US military says it was a US Air Force plane and there's no indication it was shot down

(Newser) - After a flurry of confusing reports about a downed plane in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, the US military has confirmed it was a US Air Force plane that crashed. The rep for US forces in Afghanistan says the Bombardier E-11A crashed in the Ghazni province, the AP reports. US officials... More »

Lawsuit: US Contractors Basically Funded the Taliban

The civil suit was filed on Friday

(Newser) - A lawsuit filed Friday claims that US and international contractors paid the Taliban protection money to complete projects in Afghanistan—and says that money was used to kill Americans, the Wall Street Journal reports. The plaintiffs are family members of 143 US service members and contractors who were wounded or... More »

Taliban Kidnap 26 Peace Activists

Convoy was ambushed in western Afghanistan

(Newser) - The Taliban ambushed a peace convoy in western Afghanistan and abducted 26 activists, members of a peace movement, a police spokesman says. The insurgents staged the ambush in the district of Bala Buluk in Farah province on Tuesday. The Taliban forced the six-vehicle convoy to a halt, then got into... More »

20th US Service Member of 2019 Killed in Afghanistan

Taliban tweets alleged photo of soldier's ID

(Newser) - An American service member was killed in combat Monday in Afghanistan, the US military said without providing further details, while the Taliban claimed they were behind a roadside bombing in northern Kunduz province that killed the US soldier. The Taliban now control or hold sway over practically half of Afghanistan... More »

This News Could Finally Tip the Odds in Taliban Talks

Looks like President Ashraf Ghani has a 2nd term

(Newser) - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appears to have narrowly won a second term, according to preliminary results from September's balloting that were announced Sunday, although his main challenger rejected the outcome as illegitimate, the AP reports. If the outcome stands despite the complaints of ballot fraud, it could give Ghani... More »

Trump's Taliban News Seems to Startle the Taliban

'We are ready to talk,' the Sunni group says

(Newser) - President Trump's visit to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving turned out to be a surprise in more ways than one, the Washington Post reports. In big news, he told US troops that Taliban talks are on again—but the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani seemed just as surprised when they... More »

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