July 21st, 2011
11:19 AM ET

U.S. welcomes decision to remove ex-Taliban from sanctions list

Kabul, Afghanistan - The United States on Thursday said it welcomes a U.N. decision to remove sanctions against 14 former Taliban leaders in what is perhaps the latest signal of its willingness to reconcile with militants who break ties with al Qaeda.

"We recognize and welcome the efforts made by the High Peace Council to work towards peace, stability and reconciliation generally and its contributions to the July 15 decision," the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in a written statement.

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Filed under: Taliban
July 21st, 2011
10:48 AM ET

Afghan women train as pilots in Texas

Four women who are lieutenants in the Afghanistan military have come to the United States to study English at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. But it's their dreams of piloting helicopters that could help change the future of women in their homeland.

These four Afghan women will spend anywhere from six to eight months in San Antonio at the base where they will be mastering the English language. After that, they'll move to Alabama where they'll train with the U.S. Army and learn how to be helicopter pilots.

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Filed under: Women's issues
July 21st, 2011
09:10 AM ET

Huge poppy seed cache confiscated in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan - Nearly half a million of pounds of opium poppy seeds have been confiscated in southwestern Afghanistan during a joint raid by NATO and Afghan National Security forces, officials said.

The operation took place Wednesday in the Delaram district of Nimroz province, which borders Iran.

The find represents the largest uncovered by Afghan and coalition forces this year, according to Ministry of Interior spokesman Sediq Seddiqi.

The opium poppy can be used to make heroin and other drugs, and is considered a staple of insurgent funding. FULL POST

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Filed under: Drug trade
July 21st, 2011
09:08 AM ET

Army sergeant gets new hearing in alleged killing of Afghans

An Army sergeant facing court martial for allegedly leading a rogue group of soldiers accused of killing unarmed Afghan civilians will get a new hearing Thursday.

Sgt. Calvin Gibbs is one of 12 soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade accused of taking part in a plot to murder three Afghan civilians, plant weapons on them and cover up the alleged crimes.

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More background of the case


Filed under: Soldier tapes