UN: Foreign govts behind killings in Afghanistan
- UN envoy: Foreign intelligence services behind spate of mysterious
killings in Afghanistan
By FISNIK ABRASHI
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
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
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
"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
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
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
"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
"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
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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