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    AFGHAN MAN S DEATH AT U.S. OUTPOST IS INVESTIGATED Carlotta Gall, New York Times, 7/5/04 http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/05/international/asia/05AFGH.html
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2004
      Carlotta Gall, New York Times, 7/5/04

      ERESHK, Afghanistan - The American military is investigating the
      death in November of an Afghan man held in detention at an American
      military outpost here in southern Afghanistan.

      There are now five deaths of Afghans in American detention that the
      military is investigating.

      The family of the dead man, Abdul Wahed, 28, charge that the Afghan
      commander of security at the base was responsible for his torture and
      death, and various local authorities back that account.

      The Americans do not say whether their investigation is focusing on
      the Afghan commander, Daoud Muhammad Khan, who is a figure about town
      and can be seen leading operations from the base.

      American military spokesmen confirm that Mr. Wahed died on Nov. 6 at
      the base here. Some 70 American Special Forces soldiers at the base
      live within a perimeter of six bunkerlike positions maintained by an
      Afghan militia force, who serve under murky lines of authority.

      The American military has given few other details of the death...


      Associated Press, 7/3/04

      The American general formerly in charge of Abu Ghraib prison says
      there are signs Israelis were involved in interrogating Iraqi
      detainees at another facility.

      Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who was suspended in May over allegations
      of prisoner abuse, said she met a man who told her he was Israeli
      during a visit to a Baghdad intelligence center with a senior
      coalition general.

      "I saw an individual there that I hadn't had the opportunity to meet
      before, and I asked him what did he do there, was he an interpreter -
      he was clearly from the Middle East," Karpinski told British
      Broadcasting Corp. radio in an interview broadcast Saturday. "He
      said, 'Well I do some of the interrogation here. I speak Arabic but
      I'm not an Arab; I'm from Israel.'

      "I was really kind of surprised by that ... He didn't elaborate any
      more than to say he was working with them and there were people from
      lots of different places that were involved in the operation,"
      Karpinski added.

      Israel's Foreign Ministry told the BBC that reports of Israeli troops
      or interrogators in Iraq were "completely untrue." Israeli officials
      could not immediately be reached by The Associated Press.

      The U.S. military has used private contract workers in the
      interrogations along with military personnel.

      The presence of Israeli forces in Iraq would inflame opinion in the
      Muslim world, where many compare the abuse of prisoners by U.S.
      forces to Israel's treatment of Palestinian detainees...

      High-risk bid to register Afghans
      On a violent trip through Afghanistan, a UN team urges Taliban
      tribesmen to vote in fall elections. By Gretchen Peters

      July 06, 2004 edition

      ROCK THE VOTE: Pro-Taliban tribesmen in Tirwa District, Paktika
      Province, Afghanistan, listened to Sebastien Trives of the United
      Nations, as he argued that they should break from the hard-line
      regime and take part in elections planned for this fall.
      High-risk bid to register Afghans

      UN team urges Taliban tribesmen to vote in fall elections.

      By Gretchen Peters | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

      GOMAL PASS, PAKTIKA, AFGHANISTAN – The first RPG explosion sounds
      like a car backfiring in the distance - a thud, then a gentle plume
      of smoke. "Gulf One, No Fear Three Papa," barks Capt. Kelley Liztner
      into his radio, calling for an Afghani governor's vehicle traveling
      one mile ahead. "Have you been hit?"

      The radio crackles: "Yes."

      There's another burst, this time closer to the convoy inching through
      a treacherous boulder-strewn pass.

      The attackers had bided their time for this strike, waiting until the
      group carrying UN and US State Department officials entered a perfect
      kill zone: There's no place to hide at this crucial moment on an
      eight-day journey in early June through Taliban country to persuade
      local tribes to come under the central government umbrella.

      In the end, Taliban forces fired 11 rocket-propelled grenades (RPG)
      at the convoy. Incredibly, no one on either side appears to be
      injured. For Mohammad Gulab Mangal, the new governor of troubled
      Paktika province, it's just another battle in the long fight to lure
      Taliban villagers in from the cold.

      "Our enemies are afraid," he says. "They see us coming with a message
      of peace and ... stability, and the only thing they can do is fire a
      warning to people not to participate."

      The Taliban have vowed to disrupt presidential and parliamentary
      polls expected to take place in October. Three separate bomb attacks
      in the eastern city of Jalalabad have killed six people, including
      three women on June 26 working to register female voters. In southern
      Uruzgan, meanwhile, the Taliban have brutally massacred more than a
      dozen people after finding them with voter registration cards.

      The spike in violence has led to the suspension of election and
      reconstruction work across much of the country, leading some to argue
      that elections must be delayed until spring, an eventuality President
      Hamid Karzai calls unacceptable.

      Since the fall of Afghanistan's Taliban government in the fall of
      2001, the bulk of insurgent attacks against US and Afghan forces –
      and Afghan and international aid workers – has taken place in the
      southern part of the country. It is here that the Afghan tribes –
      especially those of Afghanistan's largest ethno-linguistic group, the
      Pashtuns – remain strongest. US-led military operations have since
      pushed many Taliban fighters – and other insurgents – across the
      border into Pashtun areas of northwestern Pakistan, where Pakistani
      forces have launched a series of offensives against them.

      Click on a number to see where top tribal leaders in the insurgency
      are located.

      Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban's top military commander, belongs to the
      powerful Hotak tribe, which is prominent in Uruzgan Province. Mullah
      Mohammad Omar, the supreme Taliban leader, is also a Hotak.

      Mullah Bradar, the Taliban's former governor of Herat, is a member of
      the Populzai tribe (Hamid Karzai's tribe). Mr. Bradar's support base
      is found around Kandahar, and his fighters belong to the larger
      Durrani tribe, of which the Populzais are the royal family.

      Hafiz Majid, a top Taliban strategist, is an elder of the Achakzai, a
      tribe known for preying on traders on the road between Kandahar and
      Chaman, Pakistan. His base is in Kandahar Province, near the town of
      Maruf, and he is thought to be responsible for most of the raids on
      US forces and aid workers around Kandahar.

      Saifullah Mansour is a respected elder in the Ghalji tribe, the
      largest tribe in Afghanistan. His greatest support comes from the
      Zurmat District of Paktia Province, site of Operation Anaconda in
      2002. After Anaconda, he moved to the Pakistani tribal area of South
      Waziristan, near the town of Wana, and is a top target of ongoing
      Pakistani operations.

      Jalaluddin Haqqani is seen as the main bridge between Al Qaeda and
      the Taliban. His support comes from his own Zadran tribe of Khost and
      Paktia provinces, and from Zadrans at his new base near Miranshah in
      the Pakistani tribal area of North Waziristan.

      Mullah Rozi Khan, reportedly captured by US and Afghan forces in
      early May, belongs to the powerful Ghiljee tribe based in Zabul
      Province. Rozi Khan is blamed for most of the attacks on the Kabul-
      Kandahar road.

      Amid that backdrop, the "carrot and stick" mission Governor Mangal is
      leading through hostile Paktika province - an area roughly the size
      of Connecticut - is as complex and ambitious as it is risky.

      The delegation comes bearing farm equipment for cooperative
      districts. There are workers from Global Risk Strategies, a private
      contractor working with the UN, to map out sites for voting and voter

      The group also comes ready to protect itself. More than 300 US troops
      from the 2nd Battalion of the 27th Infantry Regiment, Afghan
      soldiers, and local police accompany the diplomats.

      "We feel that working together we can tip the balance so that people
      will participate in the national process, both in reconstruction and
      in the election," says Sebastien Trives, the UN's architect of the
      mission. "And every single person here has an important role to play."

      It's not an easy journey. As the fleet snakes its way through
      minefields and down spine-crunching roads, the convoy gets lost in
      villages and mired in sand traps. On a recent segment of the journey,
      most villages welcome the delegation in Pashtun fashion: performing
      tribal dances, firing guns into the air, or charging across the
      desert on brightly adorned horses.

      Yet this is Taliban country, and at times the road is laid with land
      mines rather than red carpet. "I think stability everywhere is
      inevitable," said Lt. Col. Walter Piatt, the battalion commander, a
      day after an improvised bomb exploded just five feet from his
      vehicle. "It just can't happen overnight in every place."

      The goal of the project is to win support of the local tribes, since
      it's unlikely Taliban forces would dare go against decisions taken by
      the tribal councils, who serve as the defacto government in these
      remote and isolated areas.

      "The Taliban also function inside this tribal tissue," says Mr.
      Trives. "So after we leave their ability to undo our work is very

      But getting the tribal councils on board can be arduous. They haggle
      for hours over seemingly middling details. In some areas, they never
      reach consensus and so the convoy moves on. The UN hopes to have
      success in 50 percent of the districts they visit before elections
      slated for this fall.

      Critics wonder if it's worth it. Some argue the costs and risks of
      such an operation in Taliban country hardly outweighs the payback of
      winning over a few thousand villagers. There's concern that future
      attacks on the mission might cause loss of life and intense
      controversy within the UN over working so closely with the US

      Yet supporters say if it works, the project promises to wrest large
      swaths of Afghan territory from Taliban control. At the same time, it
      brings the reconstruction this region badly needs.

      For the UN and the Afghan government, the project also promises to
      boost the legitimacy of the elections by increasing the numbers of
      Pashtun voters.

      "We can not afford to let bureaucrats sitting in Kabul decide this is
      too dangerous," says Trives. "We have a duty to be bold and to engage
      these people."

      For the US-led coalition, the mission also yields a wealth of
      intelligence, identifying which leaders work closely with the Taliban
      or Al Qaeda forces.

      They also come across various clues as to how the enemy operates. "We
      have an urgent need for weapons like mines and rockets," reads a
      letter to a Pakistani extremist group found with a Taliban weapons
      cache. "You need to send them with animals across the border using
      the secret trails."

      More importantly, the mission presents American soldiers as friends
      not foes. "I thought I was coming here to kill Taliban," says Captain
      Litzner, after a long day of mapping out aid projects with local
      tribesmen. "But out here you figure out quickly that digging wells
      and building schools is more effective than a bomb or an artillery

      The litmus test will come later, when it becomes clear how many
      villages in southern Paktika join the reconstruction process. Members
      of the mission say they have little doubt their approach is the way
      forward for Afghanistan and that denying the Taliban influence is the
      best way to win the war against them.

      Afghan Taliban Burn Trucks, Kidnap 12 Locals:

      Suspected Taliban guerrillas attacked a convoy of trucks carrying
      food for U.S. forces in a southern province and kidnapped 12 Afghan
      drivers and workers, a provincial military commander said on



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