Afghan visitors pose for photos and pretend to sell each other passenger tickets next to a rusty little locomotive in a shattered corner of the Afghan capital.
Built in Germany in 1923, this little engine is all that is left of King Amanullah Khan's effort to modernize Afghanistan by constructing a 7 kilometer-long railroad in downtown Kabul in the 1920s. The locomotive is now a curiosity at the Kabul Museum, standing below the ruins of the former king's battle-scarred palace.
For 24-year old Abil Ahmad, it is the first time he has seen a train in Afghanistan.
"It's a very sad symbol," says the university student. "Unfortunately we don't have a train today."
In fact, the first modern railroad in Afghanistan in nearly a century is nearing completion in the north of the country.
From Drew Griffin, CNN Correspondent
Tapes obtained by CNN of interrogations of a group of U.S. servicemen charged with the unprovoked killings of Afghan civilians describe gruesome scenes of cold-blooded murder carried out under the influence of illegal drugs.
The following is a partial transcript of those tapes, between a military investigator and Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, one of the five U.S. soldier charged with the premeditated murder of three Afghan civilians.
"So we met this guy by his compound, so Gibbs walked him out, set him in place, was like standing here," said Morlock, detailing how, on patrol earlier this year and under the command of his sergeant, Calvin R. Gibbs, he and others took an Afghan man from his home, stood him up and killed him.
"So, he was fully cooperating?" the military investigator asks on the tapes.
"Yeah," Morlock responds. FULL POST
A suspected U.S. drone strike killed two people in Pakistan's tribal region Monday, intelligence officials said.
It was the 19th suspected drone strike in Pakistan this month. That's the highest number in any month since the United States began attacks with the unmanned aircraft, according to a CNN count.
NATO helicopters crossed into Pakistani airspace from Afghanistan in pursuit of insurgents over the weekend, killing 49 people, a spokesman told CNN Monday.
Crossing the border did not violate the International Security Assistance Force rules of engagement, Maj. Michael Johnson said.
Pakistan is very sensitive about United States-led military operations on its territory and issued a strong protest Monday.
Pakistan called the incursions "a clear violation and breach" of the United Nations rules for foreign forces in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan Crossroads is where CNN's reporting converges -- bringing you a diversity of voices, stunning images and video, global perspectives and the latest news from on the ground in Afghanistan and around the world.
- This blog was archived in October 2011.
From all parts of the world and spanning all ages, more than 2,500 U.S. and coalition troops have died in Afghanistan.
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