April 5th, 2011
10:38 AM ET

Hamid Karzai to blame for Afghan riots?

Irshad Manji, Ayaan Hirsi Ali discuss America's struggle in Afghanistan following riots over a Quran burning in Florida.

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Filed under: State of Afghanistan • Understanding Afghanistan
Protests continue in Afghanistan against Quran burning
Afghans pray inside the Hazrat-i Ali shrine in Mazar-i-Sharif where an angry mob stormed a U.N. compound on April 1.
April 5th, 2011
10:36 AM ET

Protests continue in Afghanistan against Quran burning

About 1,000 protesters gathered in front of Kabul University on Tuesday morning, as protests continue throughout Afghanistan to condemn the burning of a Quran by a pastor in the United States.

The demonstrators marched toward the city center amid a heavy police presence but without incident, said Kabul City police official Abdullah Mahboob.

The sight was in marked contrast to earlier demonstrations, some of which turned deadly.

On Sunday, police and stone-throwing demonstrators clashed in Kandahar with as many as three people killed in the violence.

At least nine people were killed and 73 injured in Kandahar on Saturday, and 12 people died Friday - including seven U.N. employees - when angry demonstrators stormed a U.N. compound in Mazar-i-Sharif.

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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
February 25th, 2011
02:19 PM ET

Inside an Afghan bank massacre

CNN's Phil Black reports on a Taliban-led massacre in an Afghan bank.

February 24th, 2011
10:29 AM ET

Afghan minister: We'll need U.S. help after 2014

Afghanistan will need help from the United States after a planned withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2014, Afghanistan's defense minister said Wednesday.

Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak made the comment to Defense Secretary Robert Gates during a visit to the Pentagon in Washington.

"It will need your help beyond 2014," Wardak said.

Gates complimented Afghanistan for taking what he called an increasingly leading role in their security.

President Barack Obama has announced plans to begin withdrawing some troops from Afghanistan this July, with all U.S. combat troops scheduled to be out of Afghanistan by 2014.

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Filed under: Decision: Afghanistan • Troops • Understanding Afghanistan
Senators question Afghanistan's ability to fund force build-up
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Under Secretary of Defense and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Defense Robert F. Hale arrive to testify before a Senate Armed Services Committee.
February 18th, 2011
10:40 AM ET

Senators question Afghanistan's ability to fund force build-up

Some U.S. senators are questioning whether the ambitious plans to increase the size of Afghanistan's security forces are coming at a cost that Afghanistan can never afford to underwrite.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says the size of Afghanistan forces - what he called "our ticket out of Afghanistan" - is under discussion inside the Obama administration.

Bringing new life to an ancient fortress
February 17th, 2011
03:52 PM ET

Restoring Herat's legendary citadel

The ancient citadel building in Herat is undergoing a massive restoration, which officials say they hope to finish by May with an extended deadline just announced. Late last year, CNN's Tommy Evans and Nic Robertson explored the citadel, where workers were on the way to completing restoration of the baked brick parapet around the perimeter wall, consolidation of existing historic structures within the site and the clearing of accumulated debris from the area.

U.S. watchdog warns billions invested in Afghan security at risk
January 24th, 2011
12:18 PM ET

U.S. watchdog warns billions invested in Afghan security at risk

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

December 17th, 2010
11:15 AM ET

New guidelines for night raids in Afghanistan

Coalition troops in Afghanistan have been issued revised guidelines for conducting night raids, an official from NATO's International Security Assistance Force said Friday.

The raids are considered effective tools to rout insurgents, but they have angered Afghan civilians and government officials.

The new directive is meant to underscore the need to coordinate raids with the Afghan government and inform civilians about the reasons for the operation, the ISAF official said.