March 24th, 2010
07:53 PM ET

Around the Web: Details emerge of insurgent faction's peace plan

Carlotta Gall of the New York Times has details of a peace plan presented earlier this week to Afghan President Hamid Karzai by an insurgent faction led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Gall writes:

“A spokesman for the delegation, Mohammad Daoud Abedi, said the Taliban, which makes up the bulk of the insurgency, would be willing to go along with the plan if a date was set for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country. Publicly, a Taliban spokesman denied that.

The plan, titled the National Rescue Agreement, a copy of which was given to The New York Times, sets that date as July 2010, with the withdrawal to be completed within six months.”


March 24th, 2010
06:49 PM ET

Civil nuclear issue on Pakistan's agenda as talks with U.S. begin

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is promising "a new day" in U.S.-Pakistan relations and new efforts to move beyond previous mistrust and misunderstandings. And Pakistan is hoping improved relations will generate new American help with civilian nuclear power.

Clinton started two days of high-level talks with Pakistani leaders Wednesday morning at the State Department. She was joined by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and officials from both countries, including U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen.


Filed under: Pakistan
March 24th, 2010
04:37 PM ET

'I don't want to go home'

The Qambar Square camp in Kabul’s west is now home to more than 1,200 families from across Afghanistan.

Bibi Hawa lost her husband, daughter and son to war. She now lives with her three grandchildren in a tent at a refugee camp in Kabul.

The old woman cries as she says, “I fled from Marjah in Helmand province because of the fighting. I don’t want to go home any more. I lost my family there and I don’t believe the war will end in our province.”

She is dressed in old clothes and wrapped in an old blanket. As we talk she frequently asks for money.

March 24th, 2010
03:59 PM ET

U.S. officials: Ex-Gitmo prisoner becomes Taliban commander

A man who was released from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in December has become a senior Taliban military commander in Afghanistan, U.S. officials said.

Abdul Qayum Zakir was named to replace Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, whom Pakistani security forces captured last month, a Taliban operative told CNN.

A former Pakistani intelligence official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the subject, also confirmed Zakir's appointment. Zakir was released from U.S. custody on December 7, U.S. officials said.

- CNN's Barbara Starr, Adam Levine and journalist Amin Khan contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Baradar • Taliban
March 24th, 2010
10:24 AM ET

Mountain trails reveal weapons smuggling route

Nima Elbagir reports for CNN: We had traveled from the city of Herat in out to Afghanistan's western border to film a story on the smuggling of weaponry to the Taliban from Iran – we wanted to get a sense of how much was being done to block the smuggling trails along the Iranian border - an area of remote mountain trails and passes.

Read the full story from Nima Elbagir

Related: U.S. officials: Taliban fighters training in Iran

Filed under: Iran
March 24th, 2010
10:07 AM ET

Officials: Strike kills 21 militants in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan  - A Pakistani military attack on five suspected militant hideouts killed 21 militants Wednesday, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The aerial assault targeted militant hideouts and a training center in the areas of upper Orakzai Agency, one of the seven districts of Pakistan's tribal area bordering Afghanistan, the officials said. They asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

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Filed under: Pakistan
March 24th, 2010
09:07 AM ET

Pakistan: 4 militants killed in drone strike

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Four militants were killed and several were injured Tuesday night in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's tribal region, two Pakistani intelligence officials and a local government official told CNN.

The officials said the drone fired two missiles at a target in Machis, a village near Miranshah in North Waziristan, one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

A count by the CNN Islamabad bureau found there have been 22 drone strikes in the tribal region this year. All have targeted locations in North Waziristan or near its border with South Waziristan. The officials asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

- Nasir Dawar contributed to this report for CNN.

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Filed under: Drone strikes • Pakistan