GENews & Agence France-Presse & Terry Pedwell / CP – 2006-08-30 01:05:08
19 US Troops Annihilated in Afghanistan
KavKazCenter.com / GENews
IRIB (August 28, 2006) — A Taliban Spokesman, Dr Mohammad Hanif, has reported of the killing of 19 US occupation soldiers in south and east of Afghanistan.
In a phone interview with IRIB Pashto Radio, Dr Hanif said Sunday evening that Taliban fighters attacked the US occupation forces at the Bachit District of the Afghan town of Kumdish in Nurestan Province, killing 13 US soldiers.
The Taliban Spokesman said the fighters also targeted a US military vehicle around the same time in Sahra Bagh of Afghanistan Khost Province, as a result of which at least six US soldiers were killed.
He further reported that a US military helicopter was hit and crashed just before landing in the airport of Sahra Bagh.
Mohammad Hanif went on saying Taliban forces Sunday night pounded a US military base in Nangraj Town of the Loghman Province that led to a half-an-hour clash between them and the occupation forces.
In a separate inccident three British soliders reprtedly killed when their Landrover hit the mine, instently killing the occupants.
French Troops Killed in Afghanistan
(August 26, 200 ) — Two French special forces soldiers have been killed in an attack in eastern Afghanistan where they were working with a US-led coalition hunting down Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces, officials said today.
Taliban fighters meanwhile stormed district government and police posts in the south of the country, sparking hours-long firefights that left two rebels dead and two policemen missing, Afghan officials said.
A French unit on patrol in the province of Laghman was hit by a homemade bomb yesterday and ambushed by extremists who attacked with small-arms and machine-guns, the US-led coalition in Kabul said.
The coalition blamed the attack on “extremists”, who could include various anti-government forces. The defence ministry in Paris said the attackers were from the extremist Taliban movement removed from government in late 2001. The attack was near the Laghman capital Mihtarlam, 145 km east of Kabul.
Two French soldiers were also wounded and were in a stable condition at a hospital in the main US military base at Bagram, near Kabul, the coalition said.
French forces are involved in US-led anti-Taliban operations and some form part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) that is also working to establish security to facilitate reconstruction.
Foreign and Afghan troops are battling an insurgency which has grown each year since the Islamist Taliban government was driven from power in late 2001 for harbouring the al-Qaeda terror network.
Seven French soldiers have been killed in action since September 2005, according to figures released Friday by French army general staff.
Six of the French troops were from special forces fighting the Taliban alongside US troops in the Spin Boldak region near the border with Pakistan. The other was with the ISAF.
The fighting has killed 80 foreign soldiers this year, which has seen a spike in Taliban-linked violence. Around 1000 Afghan rebels have also been killed as have scores of civilians.
The French special forces, which number about 200 and operate in secret, moved to the eastern city of Jalalabad around the end of July when ISAF took command of international forces in the south from the coalition.
The coalition is focused on counter-insurgency operations in the east and says it has arrested several suspected al-Qaeda fighters in operations in the area in the past weeks, with others killed in clashes.
Today Taliban attacked police and government offices in two districts in the south but were repelled in hours-long battles that left six rebels and a government worker dead, officials said.peA purported spokesman for the Taliban said the fighters had briefly captured the two districts but government officials rejected the claims.
Late yesterday, insurgents stormed a government building in the Moqur district of southern Ghazni province, sparking a five hour exchange of fire with police, provincial spokesman Abdul Ali Fakori told AFP. “A secretary of the district court was killed and two police were wounded,” he said.
Late on Thursday the extremist Islamists attacked police posts in a remote district of troubled Zabul province.”Three police posts were overtaken by Taliban and after hours of battle police retook control of the posts,” provincial police chief Noor Mohammad Pakteen told AFP. “Six Taliban were killed, 12 were wounded,” he said. A policeman was wounded and two were missing.
The Taliban have previously claimed to have captured remote and underprotected districts, but officials have usually rejected the claims.
However the militants did hold two districts in southern Helmand province last month, one for up to 48 hours, before being driven out by coalition and Afghan troops.
Afghan Cop Killed in Friendly-fire Shooting
Terry Pedwell / CP
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (August 26, 2006 ) — Canadian soldiers killed an Afghan National Police officer and injured six others Saturday in two apparent friendly-fire shooting incidents in southern Afghanistan.
The shootings took place just days after a Canadian soldier shot and killed an Afghan boy and injured a teenager following an incident in which a Canadian convoy was struck by a suicide bomber.
In the first incident Saturday, Canadian soldiers fired on a truck carrying armed men after repeatedly warning the truck to stop, said a NATO spokesman.
Several warning shots were fired, sparking a shootout that resulted in the death of one man and injuries to four others, said Col. Fred Lewis, deputy commander of Canada’s NATO contingent in southern Afghanistan.
“It is believed that the persons in the vehicle opened fire in response to warning shots fired by the Canadians,” Lewis said. “It was at this time (that) Canadian soldiers returned fire on the vehicle and its six occupants.”
Only later did the Canadians discover that the men in the unmarked truck were Afghan National Police officers in plain clothes.
“Neither their vehicle nor their immediate appearance readily identified them as such,” said Lewis.
Less than an hour later, a motorcycle carrying two people approached the same Canadian artillery position – approximately 25 kilometres west of Kandahar – at high speed, military officials said.
The Canadians once again opened fire after warning the driver several times to stop, injuring both motorcyclists. They, too, turned out to be Afghan police officers. There were no Canadian casualties.
All six injured Afghans were airlifted to the international military hospital at Kandahar Air Field for treatment. Their conditions were unknown.
NATO described both shootings as self-defence reactions to volatile circumstances, but apologized for the incidents. “We share an extremely close and professional relationship with the Afghan National Police and we deeply regret this incident,” said Lewis. Afghan police and Canada’s arms-length military investigative body, the National Investigation Service, were to probe the shootings.
It’s unclear why the Canadians perceived a truckload of men as an imminent threat, even if they were armed.
Recent suicide attacks in southern Afghanistan, for instance, have involved mainly small vehicles driven by individual bombers rather than groups of insurgents. As well, truckloads of armed men, often in civilian clothing, are a common sight in the region.
Lewis couldn’t explain the reasons behind the shooting, saying details of the initial incident were still being gathered. “I think the key here is that these Afghan national security force members were not in uniform,” he said.
On Tuesday, a young Afghan boy was shot after a suicide attacker struck a Canadian resupply convoy in Kandahar City, killing one soldier and injuring three others. Cpl. David Braun, 27, of Raymore, Sask., died when a vehicle packed with explosives detonated beside the convoy. One civilian – a young girl – was also killed by the blast, along with the attacker.
Approximately two hours after the attack, two Afghan youths were fired on by a Canadian soldier when their motorcycle breached a security perimeter around the bombing site. A single bullet passed through the 17-year-old driver, striking and killing his young passenger.
The boy’s identity was not released by NATO officials, although a neighbour identified him by a single name, Asif. The neighbour also said the boy was eight years old. Earlier reports indicated he was 10.
Canada has roughly 2,200 soldiers working as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, most of whom have just recently arrived in Kandahar as part of a fresh new six-month rotation of troops.
Lewis declined to speculate on whether the shootings might be linked to the fact that the soldiers involved were new to the job. “I would say right now that the soldiers have acted exactly in accordance with the rules of engagement and the training that they’ve undergone,” he said. “They did what they had to do.”
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