January 12th, 2010
01:45 PM ET

Around the Web: Amanpour interviews Petraeus

CNN’s Christane Amanpour recently interviewed U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, who heads U.S. Central Command, on a range of subjects from Yemen to the war in Afghanistan. Read the full transcript

Meanwhile, across the border, Pakistan suffered “its worst year of terrorist violence last year, with more than 3,000 people killed, as Islamic insurgents, some of them allied with al Qaida, targeted civilians and destabilized the country, according to a new report,” reports McClatchy’s Saeed Shah.

“The tally compiled by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, a research organization based in Islamabad, found that terrorist attacks killed 3,021 people and injured 7,334 in 2009. There were 87 suicide bombings amid 2,586 terrorist strikes, a 45 percent increase over the previous year,” Shah reports.   


January 12th, 2010
10:50 AM ET

Britain moves to ban Muslim group

London, England  - A controversial Muslim group planning to stage an anti-war march through a town that receives British war dead will be banned in the UK from Thursday. British Home Secretary Alan Johnson prepared an order Tuesday proscribing Al-Muhajiroun, also known as Islam4UK.

The group's leader, controversial British Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary, had threatened to stage a march in the town of Wootton Bassett as a protest against the war in Afghanistan. The bodies of British war dead are traditionally brought to Wootton Bassett, near a Royal Air Force base, when they are returned to the country.

Read more and watch video of the controversial cleric

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Filed under: Daily Developments
January 12th, 2010
10:42 AM ET

Expert: CIA missed glaring red flags

Amman, Jordan  - In the murky world of spying, where choices are generally among shades of gray, success, by definition, goes unnoticed. Failure, however, is catastrophic.

So how did a Jordanian doctor play double agent, outsmart his CIA handlers, and end up killing seven Americans and a Jordanian military officer at a remote base in Afghanistan?

Read the full story from CNN's Nic Robertson

January 12th, 2010
10:40 AM ET

Quran desecration claims spur protests

KABUL, Afghanistan –Allegations that NATO-led soldiers desecrated a Quran in a weekend operation against the Taliban spurred an angry protest Tuesday in southwest Afghanistan, authorities said.

The protests, which turned violent, occurred in the Garmsir district of Helmand province, according to a statement by NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

During the protests, an insurgent sniper shot an Afghan official, the statement said, and ISAF service members then shot and killed the sniper. Armed protesters also attacked a National Security Department office and demanded the release of prisoners, Helmand province spokesman Dawood Ahmadi told CNN. They also torched a school, he said.

ISAF denied that its troops had any part in destroying a Quran. "While denying these allegations, we take them very seriously and support a combined investigation with local Afghan authorities," said Major Gen. Michael Regner, deputy chief of staff for operations for ISAF Joint Command. FULL POST

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Filed under: Daily Developments
January 12th, 2010
10:32 AM ET

Marijuana replacing poppy

In Helmand province, CNN's Atia Abawi visits a field where marijuana plants are grown instead of poppies. One farmer says he's growing the drugs out of economic desperation - he says he would grow grapes if they would pay enough.

January 12th, 2010
08:43 AM ET

French soldier in Afghanistan dies of wounds

PARIS, France - A French soldier wounded Monday in a gun battle with militants in eastern Afghanistan has died, the French Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

The soldier had been evacuated to the Bagram military hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds, the statement said. Another French soldier died Monday in the same clash, which took place in the village of Alasay, east of Kabul.

France has about 3,000 troops with the NATO forces in Afghanistan, and there have been 38 French deaths in the Afghan war. See the faces of the fallen in Coalition Casualties in Afghanistan

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Filed under: Troops