Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars spent to train, equip and support Afghanistan security forces may end up wasted, according to the watchdog of reconstruction spending.
The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, retired Marine Gen. Arnold Fields, in what may be his final public event before he retires next month, painted a starkly pessimistic picture of what lies ahead in Afghanistan. FULL POST
An Afghan journalist suffered first-degree burns in an acid attack in the capital earlier this week, a report said.
Razaq Mamoon is a writer and television presenter, according to Reporters Without Borders, a media rights organization.
Mamoon was attacked with acid Tuesday night as he left home, the group said. He is hospitalized with nonlife-threatening injuries.
A suspect, identified only as Rafiullah, has been arrested, the Interior Ministry said Friday.
Reporters Without Borders is urging the Afghan government to fully investigate the attack.
"We have already identified a dozen or so cases of violence against Afghan journalists for 2011," the group said. "The authors and originators of this barbarous act must be swiftly identified and arrested."
Acid attacks on journalists are not common in the country, according to NIA, an Afghan organization that protects journalists.
Civilian security forces in Afghanistan take matters into their own hands. TV 2 Norway's Yama Wolasmal reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Pakistani President Asif Zardari met at the White House on Friday.
Their discussion focused on fighting terrorism and "the importance of cooperating toward a peaceful and stable outcome in Afghanistan," the White House said in a statement.
"The President underscored the importance of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and our continued support for Pakistan," it said.
Zardari is in Washington to attend a memorial service Friday for diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who was Obama's envoy in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Holbrooke died last month.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden huddled with Zardari on Wednesday in Islamabad during his unannounced visit to the region. Biden also met with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and senior military officials.
- CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report
Italian police supported by the European Police Agency arrested 26 people this week suspected of smuggling thousands of illegal immigrants from Afghanistan into Europe.
The smuggling network was responsible for transporting about 200 hundreds migrants a month since August 2008, according to a news release from Europol. Twenty percent of those moved through the network were children, the police agency said. FULL POST
With the U.S. bill for Afghanistan reconstruction at $56 billion and counting, the watchdog for that spending took himself out of the game Monday, amidst intense pressure and congressional criticism.
Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold Fields said he would leave his post as SIGAR - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction - in three weeks, effective February 4. FULL POST
NATO officials said Monday they have sent a team to investigate an incident in central Afghanistan where troops thought they were battling militants, but instead may have exchanged gunfire with Afghan police. FULL POST
A suicide attack in Afghanistan's Kandahar province killed at least 17 people and wounded 23 others on Friday, officials said.
The explosion took place in the southeastern town of Spin Boldak, a hotbed of Taliban militants.
The suicide attacker detonated himself in a public bath where the border police commander was bathing, said the spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province. FULL POST