U.S., Taliban deny peace talks planned in Qatar

Feb 20, 2015

U.S., Taliban deny peace talks planned in Qatar

The U.S. and the Taliban’s central spokesman Thursday denied plans to hold peace talks in Qatar, contradicting earlier claims by militant leaders that contacts would resume in the Gulf state within weeks. The denials came after multiple commanders said five former members of the ...

Feb 18, 2015

Suicide bombers clad as cops kill at least 10 Afghanistan

Four suicide bombers dressed in police uniforms attacked a police station Tuesday in Afghanistan, killing at least 10 officers in the latest assault targeting local security forces, authorities said. The attack happened in Pul-i-Alam, the capital of Logar province, some 80 km (50 miles) ...

U.S. commander proposes slower Afghan withdrawal

Feb 13, 2015

U.S. commander proposes slower Afghan withdrawal

The U.S. commander in Afghanistan told lawmakers Thursday he had proposed “options” to the White House that would slow the pace of a planned withdrawal of American troops from the country. Gen. John Campbell, who oversees 13,000 U.S. and allied troops, said he had ...

Feb 12, 2015

Afghan Taliban smuggling drugs and gems like mafia: U.N. report

Afghanistan’s Taliban Islamist movement is increasingly financed by criminal enterprises including heroin laboratories, illegal ruby and emerald mines and kidnapping, making negotiated peace harder, according to a report for the U.N. Security Council. The report said there was a new “scale and depth” to ...

Feb 12, 2015

Obama seen weighing slower forces drawdown in Afghanistan

President Barack Obama is weighing options for keeping some U.S. troops in Afghanistan longer than planned, while maintaining the goal of ending military operations by 2017, according to an administration official. The potential slowdown of the U.S. withdrawal, which would be the second delay ...

Feb 10, 2015

Taliban boosting ties to organized crime: U.N. report

In a worrying development for Afghanistan’s new leaders, Taliban militants are increasing their dealings with narcotics traffickers, illegal mining rings and kidnappers for ransom, a U.N. report said Monday. “They are increasingly acting more like ‘godfathers’ than a ‘government in waiting,’ ” a report ...

Feb 9, 2015

Drone kills veteran Afghan militant with suspected IS links

A drone strike in Afghanistan killed six people Monday including a veteran militant suspected of having defected to Islamic State from the Taliban, senior Afghan officials in Helmand province said. A former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Mullah Abdul Rauf has been influential in Afghanistan’s jihadi ...

U.S. commander lifts secrecy on aid to Afghan army

Feb 3, 2015

U.S. commander lifts secrecy on aid to Afghan army

The U.S. military has performed another U-turn and will publicly release information about its aid for Afghan forces, after coming under criticism for declaring the data top secret, officials said Monday. The commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, Gen. John Campbell, had ...

Details of aid to Afghan army now secret: U.S.

Jan 30, 2015

Details of aid to Afghan army now secret: U.S.

The U.S. military will no longer divulge facts and figures about its costly effort to assist Afghan security forces, declaring the information top secret, officials said Thursday. The move marks an about-face for the Pentagon, which for the past six years has reported a ...