Afgan National Army graduation
March 31st, 2011
01:22 PM ET

Afgan National Army graduation

Afghan National Army officers march through colored smoke during a graduation ceremony in Kabul.

Afghanistan's police and army are due to take control of security in the some areas from July and across Afghanistan by 2014.

Read more on the July handover
Soldiers mistakenly kill themselves in Pakistan
Pakistani soldiers carry coffins of their colleagues during a funeral ceremony in Peshawar on Tuesday, March 29.
March 29th, 2011
11:27 AM ET

Soldiers mistakenly kill themselves in Pakistan

Fourteen Pakistani soldiers were killed when they fired a mortar to try and repel a group of militants but accidentally hit themselves, a government official said.

The incident occurred when the soldiers were traveling in a convoy of three vehicles Monday night near the village of Akakhel in Khyber Agency, said Roshan Khan, a government official in the agency.

Miltants fired on the convoy with machine guns and a soldier responded by firing a mortar. Somehow the mortar landed among the soldiers, killing them, Khan said.

Khyber Agency, 24 kilometers (14 miles) west of Peshawar, is the capital of northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is considered a hub for militants.

Khyber Agency also is one of the main supply routes for the U.S.-led coalition forces operating in Afghanistan and militants frequently attack NATO supply trucks in the region.

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Filed under: Pakistan
March 29th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Taliban militants capture remote Afghan district

Taliban militants captured a remote district in northeastern Afghanistan early Monday, officials said.

The militants took over the Waygal district in Nuristan province after a clash with police, said Mohammad Farooq, the security director of the province.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said the entire district was under Taliban control.

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Filed under: Taliban
Afghan police say Taliban kidnap 50, including officers
Afghan National Army soldiers ride in the back of a truck in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan on March 23.
March 28th, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Afghan police say Taliban kidnap 50, including officers

Taliban fighters kidnapped 50 people - including police officers - in northeastern Afghanistan on Sunday, police said.

The officers were among a group of people in four vehicles traveling in the Chapa Dara district, said Kunar province Police Chief Khalilullah Zaiyee.

The captured were unarmed and on leave, he said.

A Taliban spokesman said there were no civilians among the group captured.

"We have got documents and evidence that shows all the 50 captured people are policemen and they have also (confessed) during the investigations too," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told CNN.

Read the full story
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Filed under: Afghan security forces • Kidnapping • Taliban
March 28th, 2011
10:52 AM ET

Suicide attack kills at least 13 in Afghanistan

A suicide bombing targeting contractors working in eastern Afghanistan killed at least 13 people and wounded 50 others, according to conflicting accounts by NATO and government officials Monday.

The Afghan Interior Ministry described an attack that killed 20 construction workers and wounded 56 others.

The governor's office in Paktika Province had a third account of a suicide attack.

"Twenty-four people were killed and 59 people were injured while a car bomb full of explosive devices entered in to Zahir Construction Company and detonated the explosive at 8:30 p.m. last night," the governor's office said in a statement.

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Filed under: Civilian deaths • Suicide bombing
March 28th, 2011
10:48 AM ET

NATO says civilians 'accidentally killed' in Afghanistan airstrike

Civilians were accidentally killed during a NATO airstrike in Afghanistan, the organization's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement Saturday.

The statement did not specify how many civilians were killed and wounded in the Friday operation in Helmand province, which aimed to kill or capture a senior Taliban commander.

The airstrike hit two vehicles "believed to be carrying the Taliban leader and his associates based on intelligence reporting," the statement said.

The force is investigating.

Earlier this month tensions flared over the issue of civilian casualties caused by the NATO forces fighting in Afghanistan after nine Afghan boys died in a helicopter attack targeting Taliban insurgents.

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Filed under: Civilian deaths • NATO
The 9 who died in Wanat
March 25th, 2011
09:51 AM ET

The 9 who died in Wanat

In a story from CNN's Special Investigative Unit, Drew Griffin and Jessi Joseph examine the accusations against the U.S. Army of covering up mistakes in the 2008 battle of Wanat in Afganistan.

The July 13, 2008 battle at Wanat, near the Pakistani frontier, was one of the bloodiest since the Afghan war began in 2001. A U.S. force of 49, plus 24 Afghan troops, desperately fought off an attack by some 200 Taliban fighters, calling in air strikes barely 30 feet from their own positions during the struggle. The platoon, in close combat with Taliban fighters, repelled the enemy after nearly four hours of intense fire at a cost of nine Americans dead and 27 wounded.

Find out more about the fallen at CNN's Casualties: Home and Away:

Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Aiea, Hawaii
Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, California
Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, Georgia
Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle, Washington
Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tennessee
Matthew B. Phillips, 27, of Jasper, Georgia
Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, North Carolina
Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Missouri
Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Kentucky


Filed under: Casualties • Wanat
March 25th, 2011
09:51 AM ET

Army accused of covering up mistakes in Afghan battle

By Drew Griffin and Jessi Joseph, CNN Special Investigative Unit

It will go down in history as one of the U.S. military's worst battles in Afghanistan. And according to the families of the soldiers who died there, the history written by the U.S. Army is biased and inaccurate.

FULL POST

March 23rd, 2011
03:42 PM ET

Soldier pleads guilty in Afghan killing case

Joint Base Lewis-Mcchord, Washington (CNN) - "The plan was to kill people."

That's what Army Spc. Jeremy Morlock said Wednesday during a court-martial proceeding against him, moments after pleading guilty to killing Afghan civilians in 2010.

Lt. Col. Kwasi Hawks, the military judge in the case, had asked Morlock if he and fellow soldiers just meant to scare civilians with grenades and gunfire and it "got out of hand." FULL POST

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Filed under: Soldier tapes
March 22nd, 2011
07:22 AM ET

7 areas to begin handover to Afghan forces in July

Seven areas of Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul and a city in the restless province of Helmand, will begin to be handed over to Afghan forces to maintain their security in July, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday.

The announcement from the president marks the first step in NATO's long-awaited plan to hand over security to a series of provinces across the country, leading up to 2014 when it is expected that Afghan security forces will be in control of the whole country. FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghan security forces • Helmand • Kabul • Karzai