July 14th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Report: War-related civilian deaths up in Afghanistan

(CNN) - The use of powerful improvised explosive devices - IEDs - by militants in Afghanistan has caused a "dramatic" hike in "conflict-related civilian deaths" in the first half of the year, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a report Thursday.

The war-weary nation "experienced a 15 per cent increase" mainly because of "the use of landmine-like pressure plate improvised explosive devices by anti-government elements," according to the UNAMA's Mid-year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Civilian deaths
Army Ranger receives Medal of Honor for Afghanistan heroics
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry lost his right hand in Afghanistan tossing a grenade away from fellow soldiers.
July 12th, 2011
03:12 PM ET

Army Ranger receives Medal of Honor for Afghanistan heroics

An Army Ranger who lost his right hand while tossing an enemy grenade away from fellow soldiers in Afghanistan was awarded the Medal of Honor Tuesday.

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry became the second living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Iraq and Afghan wars, according to the U.S. military.

"Leroy Petry showed that true heroes still exist, and they're closer than you think," said President Barack Obama, who presented the award to Petry.

"It's very humbling to know that the guys thought that much of me and my actions that day, to nominate me for that," Petry said, according to an Army News Service report.

Petry was awarded the medal for his actions on May 26, 2008, in Paktia, Afghanistan.

Read the full story

Post by:
Filed under: Medal of Honor • Troops
July 12th, 2011
02:25 PM ET

What's next for Afghan stability after Ahmed Wali Karzai's death?

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was shot and killed Tuesday, gunned down by a bodyguard in Kandahar. The Taliban say the shooter was on their payroll.

CNN Sr. International Correspondent Nic Robertson weighs in on the relationship between the brothers, how much is known about him and how important he was to the United States and Afghanistan. FULL POST

Filed under: Kandahar • Karzai
July 12th, 2011
07:41 AM ET

Officials: Karzai's half-brother shot dead

The half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai was shot dead at his home in Kandahar on Tuesday, authorities said.

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Kandahar provincial council chief, was killed during a gathering, said provincial governor Tooryalai Wesa. He did not know a motive.

While the governor initially said a friend killed Karzai, his spokesman later clarified that the death was at the hands of a guard.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying that the guard accused of shooting him was working for them.


Read the full story

Post by:
Filed under: Kandahar • Karzai
Inside Afghan orphanages
July 11th, 2011
08:45 AM ET

Former child refugee becomes hero to hundreds of orphans

Afghanistan has been called the worst place to be a child.

One in five will die before their 5th birthday, according to UNICEF. More than 600,000 children sleep on the streets. More than 2 million are orphans.

But one woman is trying to improve the lives of Afghan orphans and change the sobering statistics.

Andeisha Farid, 28, founded the Afghan Child Education and Care Organization in Kabul in 2008 to create orphanages that were safe environments, places to learn and paths to the future.

From Kabul, Farid talked with CNN about her own devastating childhood, teaching kids about tolerance and security concerns living in Afghanistan. FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Life and Culture
July 6th, 2011
08:13 AM ET

Two female MPs brawl in Afghan parliament

Two female members of the Afghanistan Parliament got into a physical fight Tuesday following a discussion of rocket attacks from Pakistan.

General Nazifa Zaki, a former army general, threw her shoe at fellow MP Hamida Ahmadzai, video from parliament showed. FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Karzai • Pakistan
July 5th, 2011
09:28 AM ET

Inside a combat outpost

A team, along with journalist Nick Paton Walsh, embedded with U.S. troops at Combat Outpost Pirtle – King in Afghanistan. You'll see what day to day life is like for these soldiers fighting a war, but you'll also see what it's like to face the ultimate adrenaline rush as they encounter deadly gunfire.

While the CNN team was there covering fighting from the side of the troops, they came perilously close to bullets raining down upon their camp.

[Cross-post from CNN's Back|Story]

Filed under: Behind the Scenes • Troops