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UN: Foreign govts behind killings in Afghanistan

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    UN envoy: Foreign intelligence services behind spate of mysterious killings in Afghanistan By FISNIK ABRASHI http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24641296/ KABUL,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2008
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      UN envoy: Foreign intelligence services behind spate of mysterious
      killings in Afghanistan

      KABUL, Afghanistan - Foreign intelligence agents are leading secret,
      deadly raids on militant suspects in Afghanistan and shirking
      responsibility when innocent civilians die, a U.N. rights official
      alleged Thursday.

      Philip Alston, a special rapporteur of the U.N. Human Rights Council
      on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, referred to
      three such recent raids in the country's south and east. He appeared
      to imply American involvement.

      Alston said the raids were part of a wider problem of unlawful
      killings of civilians and lack of accountability in Afghanistan. He
      said about 500 civilians had died so far this year, mostly at the
      hands of the Taliban but also the police.

      The allegation came as a suicide bomber wearing a burqa attacked a
      police patrol in western Afghanistan, killing five police and seven

      Alston did not give the nationality of intelligence operatives
      involved in the mainly nighttime raids on militant suspects, but he
      mentioned one raid in January that killed two Afghan brothers. He
      said it was conducted by Afghans and personnel from a U.S. special
      forces base in Kandahar.

      He said Afghan government officials have said the victims had no
      connection to Taliban insurgents.

      "It is absolutely unacceptable for heavily armed internationals
      accompanied by heavily armed Afghan forces to be wandering around
      conducting dangerous raids that too often result in killings without
      anyone taking responsibility for them," Alston told reporters after
      12 days traveling Afghanistan.

      He said foreign intelligence agencies were operating with
      apparent "impunity" in certain provinces where insurgents are
      active. He said such secret operations were "absolutely

      Alston did not disclose his sources of information, but said he had
      met with senior government ministers, the chief justice, the Afghan
      intelligence chief, international military commanders across the
      country, members of civil society and tribal elders.

      "Based on my discussions, there is no reason to doubt that at least
      some of these units are led by personnel belonging to international
      intelligence services," he said.

      "I am trying to encourage both the Americans and the Afghan
      government and others to take some of this seriously," Alston said.

      Alston said there had also been raids in the eastern province of
      Nangarhar — another hotbed of the Taliban insurgency and al-Qaida
      militants, where U.S. special forces and other American-led units

      Alston said such units are "composed of Afghans but with a handful
      at most, of international people directing it."

      He said international military forces of all ranks that he spoke to
      either claimed to be unaware of the raids, said they would look into
      it or said they could do nothing about it.

      U.S. military officials would not comment on Alston's allegations.

      Despite Alston's accusation of secret raids, he said there was no
      evidence that international forces commit widespread intentional
      killings in violation of international humanitarian law.

      NATO and the U.S.-led coalition have nearly 70,000 troops fighting
      the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan and say they make every
      effort to prevent civilian casualties.

      Reports of civilian deaths in military operations have reduced over
      the past year as foreign forces have taken more precautions in their
      targeting amid concern such incidents have dented public support for
      their presence in Afghanistan. But civilians are increasingly killed
      in suicide bombings launched by insurgents.

      On Thursday, a suicide bomber wearing a burqa attacked police at a
      crowded market in western province of Farah, killing seven civilians
      and five police, and wounding 27 others.

      Provincial governor said the bomber was a woman. The Taliban, who
      claimed the blast, said he was a man.

      Militants launched more than 140 suicide bombings in the country in
      2007, and many of those killed in the attacks have been civilians.

      At least 1,200 people — mostly militants — have died in insurgency-
      related violence in 2008, according to a tally compiled by The
      Associated Press based on reports from Afghan and Western officials.


      Afghan government investigates part of US in raid
      Sunday 6th July, 2008

      An air raid which killed 15 civilians on Friday, is being
      investigated by the government in Afghanistan.

      The US army has insisted only Taliban fighters were killed in the
      attack in the north-eastern province of Nuristan.

      The US Military has also denied any responsibility in the killing of
      at least eight women and children on Sunday.

      A local doctor in the White Mountains on the Pakistan border said
      the people were killed in an international troop raid.

      Emotions are running high in Afghanistan with local residents
      claiming international troops are not careful enough about selecting
      their targets.

      Almost 700 civilians have been killed in the last six months in
      raids and attacks, 250 of them by international or Afghan troops.


      20 die in missile strike in Afghanistan
      Tuesday, July 08, 2008

      At least 20 people have been killed in a missile strike by coalition
      forces in Afghanistan.

      Local people say that the group was a wedding party, and most of the
      dead are said to be women and children.

      However the US has said that those killed were militants involved in
      previous mortar attacks on a NATO base.


      Hunkering Down in Afghanistan
      Mike Whitney

      "We are watching NATO bleed to death on the Afghan plains":

      Afghanistan was supposed to be the "good war"; a "just response" to
      the attacks of September 11. It was supposed to bring bin Laden to
      justice and quash the threat of terrorism where it originated. 95
      per cent of the American people supported the invasion of
      Afghanistan. Now less than half think the U.S. will prevail.

      The war was promoted as a way to replace a repressive fundamentalist
      regime with a democratic government based on western ideals. Bush
      promised to rebuild war-torn country, transform its feudal system
      into a free market economy, and liberate its women from the
      oppression of Islamic extremism. But none of the promises have been
      kept and none of the goals have been achieved. The "good war" has
      turned out to be -- what Tariq Ali calls -- "a brutal war of

      After seven years of fighting, the country is in ruins and its
      future is more uncertain than ever. The Taliban have regrouped and
      taken over strategically vital areas in the south. They have
      launched attacks on US supply lines coming from Pakistan and taken
      control of Khost. Presently, they are inching their way north and a
      battle for the capital appears to be inevitable.

      The US does not have the manpower to establish security in
      Afghanistan, so it has stepped up its bombing campaign making 2008
      the most deadly year on record. Civilian casualties have
      skyrocketed and millions of Afghans have become refugees. The
      careless killing of civilians has only strengthened the Taliban and
      swollen their ranks. The US has lost the struggle for hearts and
      minds; the Afghans have grown tired of foreign occupation.


      40 dead in Indian embassy blast in Afghan capital
      By AMIR SHAH
      Associated Press
      Mon Jul 7, 208

      KABUL, Afghanistan - A car bomb ripped through the front wall of the
      Indian Embassy in central Kabul on Monday, killing 40 people in the
      deadliest attack in Afghanistan's capital since the fall of the
      Taliban, officials said.

      The massive explosion detonated by a suicide bomber damaged two
      embassy vehicles entering the compound, near where dozens of Afghan
      men line up every morning to apply for visas.

      President Hamid Karzai condemned the bombing and said it was carried
      out by militants trying to rupture the friendship between
      Afghanistan and India.

      The Afghan Interior Ministry hinted that the attack was carried out
      with help from Pakistan's intelligence service, saying
      that "terrorists have carried out this attack in coordination and
      consultation with some of the active intelligence circles in the
      region." The Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood
      Qureshi, said Pakistan condemned the attack and terrorism in all

      The embassy is located on a busy, tree-lined street near
      Afghanistan's Interior Ministry in the city center that is protected
      on both ends by police checkpoints. Several nearby shops were
      damaged or destroyed in the blast, and smoldering ruins covered the
      street. The explosion rattled much of the Afghan capital.

      Shortly after the attack, a woman ran out of a Kabul hospital
      screaming, crying and hitting her face with both of her hands. Her
      two children, a girl named Lima and a boy named Mirwais, had been

      "Oh my God!" the woman screamed. "They are both dead."

      Najib Nikzad, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said the blast killed
      40 people. Earlier, Abdullah Fahim, the spokesman for the Ministry
      of Public Health, said the explosion killed at least 28 people and
      wounded 141, but an update of the number of injured was not
      immediately available. The Interior Ministry said six police
      officers and three embassy guards were among those killed.

      In Delhi, India's foreign minister said four Indians, including the
      military attache and a diplomat, were killed in the attack. Foreign
      Minister Pranab Mukherjee said India will send a high-level
      delegation to Kabul in coming days.

      The blast also killed five Afghan security guards at the nearby
      Indonesian Embassy, where windows were shattered and doors and gates
      broken. Two diplomats were slightly wounded, Indonesia's foreign
      ministry said.

      In Washington, Gordon Johndroe, a White House national security
      spokesman, offered condolences to the victims.

      "Extremists continue to show their disregard for all human life and
      their willingness to kill fellow Muslims as well as others," he
      said. "The United States stands with the people of Afghanistan and
      India as we face this common enemy."

      Afghanistan has seen a sharp rise in violence from Taliban militants
      in recent months. Insurgents are packing bombs with more explosives
      than ever, one reason why more U.S. and NATO troops were killed in
      June than any month since the 2001 invasion.

      Still, a Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, denied that the
      militants were behind the bombing. The Taliban tend to claim
      responsibility for attacks that inflict heavy tolls on international
      or Afghan troops, and deny responsibility for attacks that primarily
      kill Afghan civilians.

      "Whenever we do a suicide attack, we confirm it," Mujahid said. "The
      Taliban did not do this one."

      The 8:30 a.m. explosion was the deadliest attack in Kabul since the
      fall of the Taliban in 2001 and the deadliest in Afghanistan since a
      suicide bomber killed more than 100 people at a dog fighting
      competition in Kandahar province in February.

      No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

      In Delhi, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said the attack
      would not deter the mission from "fulfilling our commitments to the
      government and people of Afghanistan."

      Afghanistan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta visited the
      embassy shortly after the attack, ministry spokesman Sultan Ahmed
      Baheen said.

      "India and Afghanistan have a deep relationship between each other.
      Such attacks of the enemy will not harm our relations," Spanta told
      the embassy staff, according to Baheen.

      The Indian ambassador and his deputy were not inside the embassy at
      the time of the blast, Baheen said.

      Militants have frequently attacked Indian offices and projects
      around Afghanistan since launching an insurgency after the ouster of
      the Taliban at the end of the 2001. Many Taliban militants have
      roots in Pakistan, which has long had a troubled relationship with

      When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s, the Islamic
      militia was supported by Pakistan, India's arch-rival. Pakistan
      today remains wary of strengthening ties between Afghanistan and

      The United Nations' envoy to Afghanistan said that "in no culture,
      no country, and no religion is there any excuse or justification for
      such acts."

      "The total disregard for innocent lives is staggering and those
      behind this must be held responsible," the envoy, Kai Eide, said.

      The U.N. sent an e-mail to its staff advising them to stay off
      Kabul's roads because of reports that a second suicide car bomber
      was in the city.

      The embassy attack was the sixth suicide bombing in Kabul this year.
      Insurgent violence has killed more than 2,200 people — mostly
      militants — in Afghanistan this year, according to an Associated
      Press count of official figures.

      The embassy in the last several days had beefed up security by
      installing large, dirt-filled blast walls often used by military

      While Afghanistan has seen increasing violence in recent months,
      Kabul has been largely spared the random bomb attacks that Taliban
      militants use in their fight against Afghan and international troops.

      In September 2006, a suicide bomber near the gates of the Interior
      Ministry killed 12 people and wounded 42 others. After that blast,
      additional guards and barriers were posted on the street.

      In two separate bombings Monday against police convoys in the
      country's south, seven officers were killed and 10 others were
      wounded, officials said.

      In Uruzgan province, a roadside bomb killed four police on patrol
      and wounded seven others, said provincial police chief Juma Gul

      In the Zhari district of Kandahar, another roadside blast killed
      three officers and wounded three others, said district chief Niyaz
      Mohammad Sarhadi.

      NATO's International Security Assistance Force, meanwhile, said one
      of its soldiers died in an attack in the south on Sunday.

      Associated Press Writer Rahim Faiez contributed to this report.


      US strike kills Two in Pakistan
      Wed, 02 Jul 2008

      A US missile strike in the Bajaur region in May killed many civilians

      Two people have been killed and two others wounded when a suspected
      US missile landed near a border post in a Pakistani tribal area.

      The missile, apparently "fired from the eastern Afghan province of
      Kunar, landed near a Pakistani check post" in Sakhi Pass area of the
      tribal district, senior security official Javed Khan told AFP

      It was not clear if the missile that hit the troubled Bajaur
      district was launched by Taliban militants in Afghanistan or
      international forces fighting them, the official said.

      The missile killed an Afghan refugee and a local resident. Two
      others including a security official and a taxi driver were wounded,
      residents and local officials said.

      US strikes on the Pakistani territories which have killed more than
      60 people this year, have sparked outrage in the country.

      Pakistan has protested the US-led coalition attacks in Pakistan's
      tribal areas, saying the attacks were against sovereignty of the



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