17 shot dead in Afghanistan
An ISAF soldier stands at the scene of an attack against a bus carrying Afghan army personnel in Kabul on Wednesday.
February 27th, 2013
05:01 AM ET

17 shot dead in Afghanistan

Militants shot dead 17 people, including 10 Afghan police officers, as the victims slept early Wednesday morning, officials said.

In addition to the officers at a police outpost in Ghazni province, seven of their friends and relatives who were spending the night were also killed, provincial Gov. Musa Khan Akbarzada said.

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Filed under: Afghanistan
February 24th, 2013
01:13 AM ET

Car bomb targets security building in Afghanistan, official says

A car bomb targeted a security building in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least one person, a government spokesman said.
The early morning blast struck a building belonging to National Directorate of Security near the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a provincial government spokesman.
The explosion also wounded two people, Abdulzai said.
Also in eastern Afghanistan, a minibus packed with explosives targeted a police checkpoint in Logar province, said provincial government spokesman Den Mohammad Darwish.

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February 19th, 2013
03:39 AM ET

U.N.: Civilian deaths fall in Afghanistan

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan dropped 12% in 2012 - the first time that figure has fallen in six years, a U.N. report said Tuesday.

The report by the U.N. Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) credits the decline to:

– fewer suicide bombings

– a decline in aerial attacks

– less ground fighting between pro-government and militant forces

– care taken by those pro-government forces to minimize harm to civilians.

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Filed under: Afghanistan
10 years of war in Afghanistan
February 13th, 2013
08:50 AM ET

Afghan president: We've wanted troop withdrawal 'for so long now'

Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed President Obama's announcement of a major troop withdrawal, saying "this is something Afghanistan has wanted for so long now."

The pullout, announced at the State of the Union on Tuesday, will help ensure "peace and full security," according to a statement released by Karzai's office Wednesday.

The United States will draw down 34,000 troops currently stationed in Afghanistan in a year's time, Obama said in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. The current number stands at 66,000.

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Sources: Half of U.S. troops in Afghanistan coming home in next year
U.S. Marines set out on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in June, 2012.
February 12th, 2013
08:49 AM ET

Sources: Half of U.S. troops in Afghanistan coming home in next year

President Barack Obama will announce in tonight's State of the Union address that, by this time next year, 34,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will have returned home, sources tell CNN's Jake Tapper.

The return of those troops will reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan by one half.

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U.S. may remove all troops from Afghanistan after 2014
January 8th, 2013
07:58 PM ET

U.S. may remove all troops from Afghanistan after 2014

The Obama administration is considering the possibility of removing all U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the NATO combat mission officially finishes at the end of 2014, White House officials said Tuesday.

The comments by Ben Rhodes, the White House's deputy national security adviser, come as the Pentagon and White House mull over the number of troops that could be left in Afghanistan after 2014 to fight insurgents and train Afghan security forces.

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January 8th, 2013
07:46 AM ET

9 suspected militants killed in drone strike in Pakistan

A drone strike on a militant hideout in northwestern Pakistan early Tuesday killed nine suspected militants, two Pakistani intelligence officials told CNN.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the drone fired four missiles at the hideout in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, one of seven districts in Pakistan's volatile tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

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December 19th, 2012
01:22 PM ET

Army sergeant could get death penalty in Afghan killings

The U.S. military has referred the case of Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales to a court martial that would be authorized to consider the death penalty. Bales is accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in a shooting rampage in March.

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Car bomb injures 3 coalition troops at Afghan airfield hours after Panetta's visit
The suicide attack took place hours after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta left Kandahar airfield.
December 13th, 2012
09:18 AM ET

Car bomb injures 3 coalition troops at Afghan airfield hours after Panetta's visit

Three coalition troops and 10 Afghan civilians were injured after a suicide car bomb attack targeted a foreign forces convoy near the Kandahar airfield on Thursday, a spokesman for Kandahar's governor said.

The attack took place a few hours after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta left the airfield, according to a U.S. official who spoke to the U.S. press pool traveling with Panetta.

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December 10th, 2012
12:59 PM ET

Navy identifies SEAL killed in Afghanistan rescue

The U.S. Defense Department on Monday identified the SEAL killed during a successful raid to free a captive doctor in Afghanistan.

Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, 28, of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, died Saturday during the effort to free Dr. Dilip Joseph, the Navy said. NATO commanders believed Joseph was in imminent danger from his captors when the raid took place.

While the Defense Department announcement said only that Checque belonged to an "East Coast-based Special Warfare Unit," a U.S. official said the man was a member of the Navy's Special Warfare Development Group, more commonly known as SEAL Team Six. The elite unit is the same one that took part in the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The official didn't know if the SEAL who died was involved in that operation.

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December 10th, 2012
07:38 AM ET

Monday's live events

The talk in Washington is all about the "fiscal cliff" and what the president and Congress need to do to avoid it.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the fiscal cliff crisis.

Today's programming highlights...

12:00 pm ET - Afghanistan stability briefing - The Pentagon holds a briefing with reporters on the current situation in war-torn Afghanistan.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Budget • Economy • Finance • On CNN.com today • Politics • Taxes • World
November 16th, 2012
08:17 AM ET

Roadside mine kills civilians in western Afghanistan

Seventeen civilians were killed when a minibus carrying guests to a wedding party in western Afghanistan struck a roadside mine Friday, a provincial Afghan official said.

In a separate incident in eastern Afghanistan, two International Security Assistance Force members were killed in an "improvised explosive attack," according to a statement released by the ISAF.

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November 8th, 2012
07:48 AM ET

3 deadly bombings reported Afghanistan

A roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province killed 10 people and wounded six others on Thursday, officials said.

Officials earlier had reported two bomb blasts targeting Afghan security forces in different parts of the country that killed at least eight.

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November 8th, 2012
02:25 AM ET

Officials: Bomb blasts kill at least 8 in Afghanistan

Two bomb blasts targeting Afghan security forces in different parts of the country killed at least eight personnel this morning, officials said.

The first explosion occurred in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle struck a police station in Kandahar City, killing three policemen, said Ahmad Javed Faisal, spokesman for the Kandahar Media and Information Center.

In the second incident, five Afghan National Army soldiers were killed when a bomb targeting a convoy was remotely detonated in eastern Laghman province's Bad Pakh district, Sarhadi Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said.

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Two coalition troops killed in reported insider attack in Afghanistan
An Afghan police officer and a U.S. soldier talk near Kandahar Airfield earlier this year.
October 30th, 2012
08:03 AM ET

Two coalition troops killed in reported insider attack in Afghanistan

A man wearing an Afghan police uniform shot and killed two soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, ISAF spokeswoman Lt. Amy Hession told CNN.

Insider attacks by Afghan soldiers and police officers or militants wearing uniforms have been on the rise for months.

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October 26th, 2012
03:14 AM ET

Suicide bomber targets worshipers at Afghan mosque

Editor's note: A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque following morning prayers in Afghanistan's northern Faryab province.

Here are the latest developments on this story.

[Updated 4:54 a.m. ET]  The death toll in a suicide bombing outside a mosque following morning prayers in Afghanistan's northern Faryab province, has risen to 40, including children and police, Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, the spokesman for the northern Afghanistan police chief, said.

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October 25th, 2012
09:28 AM ET

Americans killed in Afghanistan insider attack

Someone in an Afghan police uniform killed two U.S. troops today  - the latest in a string of insider attacks this year.

The attack in Uruzgan Province is being investigated, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said. More than 50 people have been killed in these so-called "green-on-blue" incidents this year. The Afghan government calls the attacks terrorism.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Terrorism • U.S. • War • World
October 18th, 2012
12:16 PM ET

Afghan woman slices daughter-in-law's throat for refusing prostitution, police say

[Updated Monday 11:30 a.m.] Afghan police now say that while the woman's throat was slashed, it was not fully cut off - and therefore was not technically a "beheading."

[Updated Thursday 12:16 p.m.] A young woman had her head chopped off for refusing to prostitute herself - and one of the killers was her mother-in-law, police say.

The other was the mother-in-law's cousin.  And both admit it, according to Afghan police.

To most people, the slaying of 20-year-old Mah Gul is unimaginable.

But it's just "one more incident that highlights the violent atmosphere that women and girls face in Afghanistan and the region," Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said Thursday.

The killing happened Sunday in Herat province, in southwest Afghanistan along the Iranian border.

Gul's husband is a baker.  When he left home for work, his mother and her cousin tried to force the young wife into prostitution, said Noorthan Mikvad, spokesman for Herat police.

When she wouldn't do it, they beheaded her, he said.

In a statement, Nossel said women and girls in the region "are raped, killed, forced into marriage in childhood, prevented from obtaining an education and denied their sexual and reproductive rights. Until basic human rights are guaranteed ... these horrible abuses will continue to be committed."

The U.S. State Department says some "Afghan women and girls are subjected to forced prostitution, forced marriages – including through forced marriages in which husbands force their wives into prostitution, and where they are given by their families to settle debts or disputes."

Some families even knowingly sell their children into forced prostitution, the State Department said, "including for bacha baazi – where wealthy men use groups of young boys for social and sexual entertainment."

Herat police say their investigation found that Gul's husband and father-in-law were not involved in her killing.

CNN has extensively reported on the abuse of girls and women in Afghanistan, a nation where under Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, women were banned from classrooms, politics or employment. Women who wanted to leave home had to be escorted by a male relative and were forced to wear burqas. Those who disobeyed were publicly beaten. In some parts of Afghanistan in the late 1990s, locals were encouraged to blacken the windows on their homes so women inside could not be seen.

The Afghan government, including a woman running for the presidency of the country, has tried to make it relatively easier for young women to go school. In 2004, girls were formally guaranteed a right to an education under the Afghan constitution.

Yet major problems persist and girls are in extraordinary danger in part of the country. They are terrorized walking to school. In 2009 in Peshawar, Pakistan, near Afghanistan, the Taliban issued an official edict mandating that no more girls should be able to go to school. That was after the Taliban had regained their stake in the control in the region after the 2001 invasion.

Girls and women's families sometimes abuse and kill them. In July, the Taliban executed a woman in public, justifying the killing by saying she had committed adultery.

In 2011, people around the world were appalled to learn about a then-13-year-old named Sahar Gul who had been married off to a member of the Afghan Army. Sahar said her husband raped her, and enraged that she didn't immediately conceive, her in-laws locked her in a basement for months. They tortured Sahar with hot pokers and ripped out her nails. Ultimately, she said, they wanted to force her into prostitution as punishment for failing her obligation as a woman.

Her face made famous on Time's cover, young Aesha had her nose and ears hacked off for running away from her husband's house. Aesha was brought to the United States. Her life continues to be hugely challenging as she's forever emotionally scared by the abuse she suffered.

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October 17th, 2012
02:16 AM ET

Suicide attack on army base wounds 30 Afghan soldiers

A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden truck into the wall of a joint NATO-Afghan army base Tuesday, wounding 30 Afghan soldiers, officials said.

The base at Paktia province also came under indirect fire after the attack, said Lt. Junior Grade Amy Hession of NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

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October 12th, 2012
02:12 PM ET

Formal charges against Royal Marines expected in Afghanistan murder case

Formal charges are expected against seven Royal Marines who were arrested this week on suspicion of murder involving an incident in Afghanistan in 2011, a British Ministry of Defense spokesman said.

The arrests were made after an incident in Helmand province, the spokesman said.

All seven are in the UK and will proceed through a military court system that mirrors the civilian legal system.

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