Headscarves for female soldiers in Afghanistan defended
1st Lt. Ana Monteiro swings with an Afghan girl at Ariana School in Kabul, Afghanistan.
April 5th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

Headscarves for female soldiers in Afghanistan defended

The top American military officer defended the Department of Defense policy of encouraging female troops to wear headscarves while on duty in Afghanistan, despite criticism the practice makes "second-class warriors."

"Those female service members ... do so as a personal choice," Adm. Mike Mullen wrote to Rep. James Langevin, D-Rhode Island, last week. "They feel this gesture helps them in accomplishing their mission by serving as a sign of courtesy and respect toward the locals."

For years, some American military women have worn headscarves, similar to traditional Afghan hijabs, when interacting with local civilians.

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Official: 2 Americans killed while training Afghan policemen
April 4th, 2011
10:22 AM ET

Official: 2 Americans killed while training Afghan policemen

Two American NATO-led troops were killed by an Afghan Border Police officer Monday, a local official told CNN.

The victims were teaching a group of border policemen in a meeting room in Faryab in northern Afghanistan, according to the deputy governor of Faryab province, Abdul Sattar Bariz.

The gunman escaped on foot, running toward the desert, Bariz said.

"Initial reports say that there were about six Americans inside the meeting room and only two of them have been killed," he said, adding that he did not have many other details.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said earlier two NATO troops had been killed after an individual wearing an Afghan police uniform opened fire.

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Filed under: Afghan security forces • NATO
April 4th, 2011
10:00 AM ET

The Take: Zakaria on the Quran burning

CNN's Fareed Zakaria discusses the Quran burning by an extremist Florida pastor and the violent reprisals in Afghanistan.

April 4th, 2011
09:59 AM ET

Petraeus condemns Quran burning as protests rage on

Top U.S. officials in Afghanistan on Sunday condemned the burning of a Quran in the United States that sparked three days of protests in which more than 20 people died.

Burning the Muslim holy book "was hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible," said Gen. David Petraeus, who heads the U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan.

U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry said in a statement that Americans respect the Quran "and all religious texts and deplore any action that shows disrespect to any religious faith."

"At the same time, I want to emphasize, as have many Afghan leaders, that to attack and kill innocent people in response to the deplorable act of one individual is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity," Eikenbery's statement said.

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Filed under: Kandahar • Understanding Afghanistan
April 2nd, 2011
12:37 AM ET

Suicide bombers killed in attack on NATO base

Four suicide bombers died Saturday after trying to attack Camp Phoenix, a NATO base in Afghanistan, police said.

Two of the attackers blew themselves up, two others were fatally shot by police.

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Filed under: NATO
April 1st, 2011
11:49 AM ET

Bush warns of fallout from early Afghanistan exit

By CNN's Alexander Mooney

Former President George W. Bush is worried the U.S. might pull out of Afghanistan too early to the detriment of that country's women.

In an interview with Fox News that aired Thursday, Bush warned that Afghan women will "suffer" should the Obama administration decide to downscale troop levels there. FULL POST


Filed under: Withdrawing troops
April 1st, 2011
11:04 AM ET

U.N. staff killed in Mazar-e Sharif

At least 12 people were killed Friday in an attack on a United Nations building in Afghanistan that followed a demonstration against the reported burning of a Quran in Florida this month, authorities and a U.N. source with knowledge of the events said.

Eight workers for the U.N. and four Afghans were killed, said Abdul Rauof Taj, security director of Bulkh province. At least 24 people were injured, he said.

The attack followed a demonstration against the reported burning of a Quran this month by Florida pastor Terry Jones, who gained international attention last year with his plans to burn a Quran, the U.N. source with knowledge of events said. FULL POST


Filed under: United Nations