September 2nd, 2013
03:16 AM ET

Afghan and NATO troops repel Taliban attack

NATO and Afghan forces fought back Taliban attackers who launched an assault Monday on a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan.
The insurgents detonated explosives and then began firing guns in an area where NATO supply trucks were parked in Nangarhar province, said Ahmed Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the province's governor.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Taliban • World
Months after shooting, Malala at school
Malala Yousafzai, 15, waves as she is discharged from a hospital in central England earlier this year.
March 19th, 2013
01:47 PM ET

Months after shooting, Malala at school

For the first time since the Taliban shot her five months ago, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai has done what made her a target of the would-be assassins: She's gone to school.

The 15-year-old on Tuesday attended Edgbaston High School in Birmingham, England, the city in which doctors treated her after she received initial care in Pakistan, a public relations agency working with her announced.

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March 15th, 2013
06:09 AM ET

U.N.: Drones kill innocent people

A group of farmers is on its way to tend to crops. Suddenly, a missile slams into its midst, thrusting shrapnel in all directions.

A CIA drone, flying so high that the farmers can't see it, has killed most of them. None of them were militants.

It's a common scenario, a United Nations human rights researcher said Friday in a statement on drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal region of North Waziristan.

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Filed under: Aviation • Military • Militia • Pakistan • Taliban • Terrorism • United Nations • World Update
Karzai: Blast shows Taliban serving 'foreigners'
Afghan President Hamid Karzai made his comments Sunday in Kabul at a gathering to mark International Women's Day.
March 10th, 2013
11:42 AM ET

Karzai: Blast shows Taliban serving 'foreigners'

Afghan President Hamid Karzai took aim at both the Taliban and the United States on Sunday in remarks likely to sour his already strained relations with Washington during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

A deadly blast Saturday in the Afghan capital, Karzai said, showed that the "Taliban are serving the foreigners and are not against the foreigner."

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack at the Afghan Ministry of Defense in Kabul, which killed at least nine people and wounded 14 others. A Taliban spokesman expressed pleasure with Hagel's proximity at the time, calling the attack "a message to him."

NATO's International Security Assistance Force rejected suggestions that the Taliban even knew of Hagel's trip when they planned the operation.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Taliban
February 3rd, 2013
03:23 PM ET

Recovering Malala has skull, ear surgery

Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousufzai was in stable condition at a British hospital on Sunday after undergoing surgeries to repair her skull and help her hearing, officials said.

"Both operations were a success and Malala is now recovering in hospital. Her medical team are 'very pleased' with the progress she has made so far," the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham said in a statement. "She is awake and talking to staff and members of her family."

Saturday's five-hour operations were the latest step on a long road to recovery for Malala, who was shot in the head and neck by Taliban gunmen in October for speaking out in favor of education for Pakistani girls.

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Filed under: Pakistan • Taliban • United Kingdom
Doctor: No significant brain damage in Malala
Malala Yousufzai enjoys a visit Friday with her father, Ziauddin, and brothers Atal Khan and Khushal Khan in a British hospital.
October 26th, 2012
08:08 AM ET

Doctor: No significant brain damage in Malala

Editor's note: Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai of Pakistan was shot in the head by the Taliban on October 9 for demanding education for girls. She is receiving treatment at a hospital in England. Following are the latest developments in Malala's recovery.

[Updated 8:08 a.m. ET] Malala Yousufzai’s lead doctor, Dave Rosser, does not believe she has significant brain damage.

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August 30th, 2012
11:48 AM ET

Buzz ramps up over SEAL's bin Laden book

It’s already No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

Like little kids with the latest Harry Potter sequel, Washington and the rest of the world will be eagerly thumbing through “No Easy Day” when it hits bookshelves Tuesday. The memoir of a Navy SEAL who helped kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011 purports to tell the full story of how the globe’s most-wanted terrorist met his end.

Mentions of the book's author spiked on Twitter on Thursday morning, as did the term "Navy SEAL book." About 4,500 mentions were made by mid-morning. The book was mentioned more than 8,000 times on August 22, when news broke of its release.

Carl Carver tweeted, "This sort of thing is NOT healing relations in Middle East, predicted as the starting point of WWIII !"

"It seems like once a year since I graduated college I get super excited for a book release, this year No Easy Day by Mark Owen is that book," Drake Stahr tweeted.

The RangerUp fan page on Facebook, a popular spot for military folks, had a range of comments.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Alaska • Navy SEALs • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • September 11 • Taliban • Terrorism • U.S. • War • World
Shadow Summit focusing on Afghan women; CNN reveals one woman's journey
Aesha Mohammadzai's photo on the cover of Time magazine in August 2010 became a symbol of oppression of Afghan women.
May 18th, 2012
04:42 PM ET

Shadow Summit focusing on Afghan women; CNN reveals one woman's journey

In a move to make sure Afghan women’s issues are not forgotten during the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago, Amnesty International USA is hosting on Sunday a Shadow Summit to focus exclusively on the rights of Afghan women and girls.

The summit will culminate with attendees gathering at Chicago’s Navy Pier to fly kites in support of Afghan women’s rights.

The concern of those who will attend the summit is this: What happens to Afghan women and girls after the United States and allied forces move to withdraw in 2014?

The question about what the troop withdrawal will mean for women and girls in war-torn Afghanistan is not new. It was the question posed on the cover of Time magazine in August 2010, next to the photograph of a young woman who became the symbol of the oppression of Afghan women.

The award-winning image was that of Aesha Mohammadzai, then known as Bibi Aisha. Forced into marriage at a young age, her Taliban husband and in-laws punished her for running away by hacking off her nose and ears and leaving her for dead.

She was brought to America for reconstructive surgery in August 2010. But what has happened to Aesha since she arrived nearly two years ago?

Coming Sunday, CNN’s Jessica Ravitz will answer this question in an exclusive story that traces Aesha’s complicated journey.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Illinois • Taliban • World
March 12th, 2012
03:26 AM ET

Taliban promises revenge for U.S. soldier's shooting spree

The Afghan Taliban said Monday that its fighters would exact revenge for 16 people left dead after an American soldier went on a house-to-house shooting spree in two villages a day earlier.

Describing U.S. forces as "sick minded American savages," the Taliban said in a statement on its website that it would mete out punishment for the "barbaric actions." The Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist movement, has battled the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan for a decade.

U.S. officials have expressed shock and sadness over the attack, while Afghan leaders have angrily condemned it. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan called it an "unforgivable" crime, noting that nine of the dead were children.

The killings have fueled fears of intensified ire directed at international forces in the country following deadly riots over the burning of Qurans by U.S. troops late last month.

The soldier, an army staff sergeant, acted alone and turned himself in after opening fire on civilians, according to officials from NATO's International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF. He is now in U.S. custody as investigators try to establish what motivated him.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Taliban • U.S. Army
February 14th, 2012
09:48 PM ET

CNN Prime Time: Valentine's Day alternatives, Houston money woes?

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Children trained for suicide attacks

Two children have been rearrested in Afghanistan for being prospective suicide bombers, CNN's Barbara Starr reports.

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Did Whitney have financial problems?

A panel of experts discusses whether or not Whitney Houston was struggling financially at the time of her death.

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The RidicuList: Valentine's Day

CNN's Anderson Cooper adds Valentine's Day to the RidicuList and offers up some cheap alternatives.

February 14th, 2012
08:03 AM ET

Taliban will not talk peace with Karzai government, spokesman says

(CNN) - The Taliban have met with U.S. officials to discuss possible peace talks, but do not want to negotiate with Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, a Taliban spokesman said Tuesday.

The spokesman's comments, rejecting a key American condition, could potentially derail American efforts for Afghans to reach a negotiated end to the decade-long war.

In an e-mail response to questions from CNN, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied previous reports that the Taliban had been invited to meet with the Karzai government in Saudi Arabia, saying that talks with what he called a "puppet" government were pointless.

"We have never been asked to attend talks with Karzai administration officials in Saudi Arabia, but even if we are asked to attend, we won't because (the) Karzai government is a puppet and unauthorized, and meeting with them will not be beneficial in solving the issue," Mujahid wrote in a message from an e-mail account regularly used by the Taliban to issue statements.

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February 1st, 2012
12:13 PM ET

Lawmakers address attacks by Afghans on U.S. troops

A congressional panel Wednesday took up the uneasy topic of Afghan security forces turning on their international allies, incidents that have fueled mutual distrust at a critical juncture of the long-running conflict.

Rep. Buck McKeon, the California Republican who chairs the Armed Services Committee, said that existing security procedures failed to identify 42 attackers between 2007 and 2011; 39 of those attacks were by members of the Afghan National Security Force and three by contracted employees.

"This is 42 attacks too many, and the new process must do better," McKeon said.

That number did not include the latest incident, in which a man wearing an Afghan National Army uniform killed a coalition forces member in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday.

The panel heard testimony from four defense officials who laid out delicate issues pertaining to Afghan security forces, among them the vetting of Afghans brought onto coalition bases to provide security.

The defense officials said that in 58% of cases, the attackers were not puppets of insurgent groups but acted on their own accord, perhaps over a personal dispute.

Such disputes can arise from cultural misunderstanding, religious and ideological friction or combat stress, said Brig. Gen. Stephen Townsend, director of the Pakistan/Afghanistan Coordination Cell in the Joint Chiefs of Staff office.

He said cultural training has been vital for U.S. soldiers and now, the Afghans are considering doing the same in providing better understanding of Americans.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Security contractors • Taliban • World
January 22nd, 2012
02:58 AM ET

U.S. envoy, Afghan president meet for 2nd day to discuss peace

Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets a top U.S. envoy for a second day Sunday to discuss ways to end bloodshed and achieve a peaceful resolution to Afghanistan's conflict.

Marc Grossman, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, also met with Karzai on Saturday.

During the meeting, the president made clear that Afghans should be in the driver's seat in finding a solution, saying the government and its peace council are making every effort to bring an end to the bloodshed.

Karzai recently met with the party of warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, head of the militant Hizb-i-Islami group.

The meeting with Hekmatyar served as a signal from Karzai to the United States that peace talks encompass other radical groups besides the Taliban.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Taliban • U.S. • World
January 21st, 2012
03:18 AM ET

U.S. envoy Grossman in Afghanistan to discuss peace, Taliban

U.S. diplomat Marc Grossman arrived in Afghanistan on Saturday for talks with President Hamid Karzai on peace efforts with the Taliban.

"I am pleased to be in Kabul to consult with the government of Afghanistan," Marc Grossman, the special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in a statement Saturday. "The United States stands ready to assist in any way we can an Afghan-led reconciliation process to find a peaceful end to this conflict. I look forward to calling on President Karzai and discussing next steps."

Grossman has been meeting secretly with Taliban negotiators for more than a year. Last week, U.S. senior administration officials said the United States could inch closer toward peace talks with the Taliban if Karzai blesses the negotiations.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Taliban • U.S. • World
January 12th, 2012
03:09 AM ET

Taliban: Peace talks don't signal end to hostilities

Afghanistan's Taliban militants on Thursday cautioned that its recent support of peace talks doesn't mean that it will stop fighting or accept "the constitution of a stooge Kabul administration."

The group said that it's "utilizing its political wing alongside its military presence," while blaming media outlets who "distort realities."

The statement comes just over a week after it tentatively agreed to open an office in Qatar's capital city of Doha; a decision widely seen as an overture aimed at establishing an outside forum for political talks with NATO-led forces and the current Afghan administration, among others.

The move appeared to be the first time the Taliban - who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, when they were ousted by a U.S.-led invasion - have offered peace talks without the condition of an American withdrawal.

Calling himself "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan spokesman," Zabiullah Mujaheed said the group has a "preliminary agreement with Qatar and other respective sides."

Still, it's unclear whether talks could ultimately foster a degree of peace in a country that's seen more than three decades of war.

The U.S. has insisted militants recognize the country's relatively new constitution, while the Taliban is asking for the release of prisoners from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for opening the office.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Taliban • U.S. • World
January 3rd, 2012
08:57 AM ET

Taliban ready for talks, purported spokesman says

The Afghan Taliban are prepared to open an "office outside the country for talks with foreigners," a purported spokesman for the movement said in a statement released Tuesday.

The statement could signal the Taliban's public willingness to talk to the United States for the first time.

Calling himself "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan spokesman," Zabiullah Mujaheed said the Taliban has a "preliminary agreement with Qatar and other respective sides."

The Taliban are asking for the release of prisoners from the United States detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for opening the office, he said.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Taliban • World
December 24th, 2011
12:54 AM ET

Taliban claims suicide bombing that killed 6 in Pakistan

The Taliban is claiming responsibility for Saturday's suicide car bombing that struck a military housing area in northwest Pakistan, a spokesman for the group said.

The attack, which authorities say killed six Pakistani soldiers and wounded 12, was "revenge" for the killing of the group's fighters, Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, told CNN by telephone.

The attack occurred when the explosive-laden car rammed into a house in the city of Bannu, a senior police official told CNN.

The house is used by Pakistani soldiers to rest and relax, said the police chief, Gul Syed Afridi.

About 100 soldiers were at the house at the time of the explosion, he said.

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Filed under: Pakistan • Taliban • World
December 8th, 2011
03:20 PM ET

Exclusive look at front lines in Afghanistan

A Marine Corps cameraman was able to capture a rare, firsthand glimpse into a battle with the Taliban. The footage offers an unfiltered look at the Marine’s experience when faced with a surprise attack by the Taliban on November 22, 2011.

Lance Cpl. Jacob Lagoze captured footage of the Marines of 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment as they engaged in a firefight with the Taliban for more than three hours at a remote outpost in southern Afghanistan.

The Marines stationed at Patrol Base Georgetown found themselves under fire from Taliban forces embedded in caves across the Helmand River. This video offers a glimpse into the grim realities of war, and includes sound from several Marines as they reflect on their combat experience. The Marine regiment was forced to call in an airstrike to provide backup fire during the battle. While the unit did suffer some injuries as a result of the conflict, all marines are currently recovering or have returned to duty.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Gotta Watch • Marines • Military • Taliban • Uncategorized • War
September 16th, 2011
08:39 AM ET

Pakistani Taliban vow to attack weddings and funerals of their enemies

The Pakistani Taliban declared Friday they will target the weddings and funerals of anyone involved in pro-government activity against them.

The threat came as the Taliban claimed responsibility for Thursday's suicide blast targeting a funeral procession for a member of an anti-Taliban militia.

"Anyone who supports the U.S. and Pakistani military will face the same fate," Taliban spokesman Siraj-ud Din said. "We will target funeral processions and wedding ceremonies of those who support the U.S."

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Filed under: Pakistan • Taliban • World
September 10th, 2011
04:34 AM ET

Taliban: U.S. using 9/11 attacks as pretext for Muslim violence

The Taliban have accused the United States of killing tens of thousands of Afghans and brutally torturing others in a defiant statement marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks against the United States.

The statement accuses the United States of using the September 11 attacks as a pretext for violence against Muslims and says the Afghan people have "an endless stamina for a long war" and could rise up as a nation "to send the Americans to the dustbin of history."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • September 11 • Taliban
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