July 28th, 2011
11:29 AM ET

Libyan rebels claim successes in offensive near Tunisia

Rebels in western Libya are claiming big successes after a major offensive was launched early Thursday.

Rebel commanders say their forces have captured five towns and surrounded a sixth in the plains below the Nafusa mountain range.

Hundreds of rebels moved from their mountain positions at dawn, heavier weapons leading the way with lighter armed fighters following, initially encountering fierce resistance from the loyalists of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Col. Jumma Ibrahim, spokesman for the Military Council for the western mountain region, said several major battles had taken place before the towns were secured.

April 21st, 2010
01:09 PM ET

Security Brief: The difficulties of training Afghan police

A U.S. Army adviser trains Afghan national policemen in Kandahar.

Yar Mohammed is a police chief in Kandahar and his "in-tray" is overflowing. Besides commanding fledgling recruits to the force - and trying to convince more to join, he is a prime target, as is anyone in a position of authority - for the Taliban. And he has to deal with the perennial curse of corruption within his own force.

He tells visiting U.S. soldiers that when he sends new recruits to submit their paperwork, they often have to pay a fee - in cash. There should not be any fee, but this is Afghanistan.

Tales of corruption abound - Afghans going through the Western training courses tell their trainers how they never get their full salary because their senior officers take a cut first.

The latest program to improve the professionalism of Afghan police is an eight-week course overseen by international trainers. It's basic - after all, while many express a desire to protect their people, some recruits are illiterate.


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Filed under: Afghanistan • World