Editor's note: Aliza I. Kassim is an editor at CNN’s International Desk in Atlanta covering the Middle East and south Asia. Aliza is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and has reported for various media organizations from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
It is hard to believe that the name that became infamous and on the lips of every child and adult alike, from the depths of the East to the peaks of the West, finally met his demise on May 1, 2011.
Editor's Note: CNN's "Taliban" documentary explores filmmaker Paul Refsdal's embed with the Taliban and reveals the Taliban at war and at rest, preparing weapons and coordinating ambushes, praying, playing, even at home with their families. It airs on CNN TV Saturday, December 11, 8 p.m. ET
In November 2009, Norwegian freelance journalist Paul Refsdal is riding in a pick-up truck on a dusty track of Afghan road. The Taliban have kidnapped him.
If the truck turns right, he knows he's being sold to another militant group. A left turn means his kidnappers have decided to let him go.
His journey started when Refsdal, who wanted to document the daily lives of the Taliban, accepted the invitation of a Taliban commander to film him and his fighters. Refsdal later accompanied another Taliban commander, Omar, to his hideout on a second embed.
The U.S. and NATO allies are looking to turn two or three Afghanistan provinces over to Afghan control by June of next year, with "several more" in the in the summer or fall, according to a senior NATO
While the plan is still a rough estimate of transition, the picture of how Afghans will begin to take over security by as early as March 2011 in some areas is beginning to emerge as NATO leaders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai
meet in Lisbon for meetings on the war.
Officials say there is no set goal to define "success," but the expectation is that some provinces would be handed over even before the U.S. deadline to begin removing some troops from Afghanistan.
The United States is beefing up its firepower in Afghanistan by employing heavily armored tanks in Afghanistan for the first time in the nine-year war, a military spokesman said Friday.
The U.S. Marine Corps plans to use a company of M1A1 Abrams tanks in restive Helmand province by early spring, said Marine Maj. Gabrielle Chapin.
The M1A1 tank is the fastest and most deadly ground combat weapons system available. It will allow for more aggressive missions while mitigating risks to U.S. forces, the military said.
Explosions on oil tankers carrying fuel for
NATO-led forces in Afghanistan killed two people and wounded four in northwestern Pakistan, a local official told CNN.
The incidents took place near Afghanistan in the areas of Landi Kotal and Torkham in the Khyber Agency, part of Pakistan's tribal region, said Shafi Ullah Wazir, the Khyber political administrator.
Wazir said explosive devices were planted on the tankers, which were bound for NATO's International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan.
Concessions were banned on bases at one point because they took up space for supplies..
U.S. troops in Afghanistan may soon get their burgers back.
Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill, who took over as the senior non-commissioned officer in Afghanistan this month, told Stars and Stripes on Thursday that he was reversing a ban on fast food concessions such as Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken that had been instituted earlier this year.
“For troops to be able to go and grab a burger or a piece of chicken or whatever, I don’t really think it’s that bad,” Hill told Stars and Stripes.
The concessions ban had been put in place by Gen. Stanley McChrystal in February as the military was boosting its troop strength in Afghanistan. McChrystal said the concessions took up space on bases and in supply lines.
“This is a war zone – not an amusement park,” McChrystal’s senior NCO, Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall, said at the time.
The Pakistani army killed one of the most wanted Taliban commanders on Sunday in the country's tribal region, the military said Tuesday.
He is Ameer Ullah Mehsud, one of the founders of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, removed last week as the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, has told the Army he will retire, Army spokesman Gary Tallman said Monday.
No date was set for the retirement of McChrystal, a four-star general who assumed command of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan last year.
Meanwhile, a new USA Today/Gallup survey shows that a majority of Americans support President Barack Obama's decision to remove McChrystal.
Al Qaeda says its No. 3 man and commander of its operations in Afghanistan has died, according to a group that monitors Islamist websites.