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2003 in Afghanistan – Sludge Pump EZG – Slurry Pump EMM


January 1: On his way to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Kuchi elder Haji Naim Kuchai (aka Naeem Kochi) was detained by U.S. troops. Kuchai had stopped the car in which he was travelling some 25 kilometres south of Kabul when the incident occurred. He was then taken to an undisclosed location.

More than 300 rockets, mostly 107 mm, smuggled from neighbouring Pakistan were seized by border police in the Durbaba region of the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan.

January 2: BearingPoint of McLean, Virginia announced that it had installed and was helping to operate a financial management information system for the Afghan government. The work was part of a $3.95 million contract the company won to help the government upgrade its accounting system.

This marked the last day of a three-month transition period in Afghanistan to swap old Afghani banknotes for new currency, which retained the name but had three zeros knocked off.

International Security Assistance Force peacekeepers found explosive materials planted in a Kabul school.

January 3: The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said that security problems and poor living conditions meant it was still unsafe for many of the more than 4 million Afghan refugees to return home.

January 4:A two-day meeting of Iran, Afghanistan and India marked a new start in boosting cooperation in the region. The meeting was headed by the three countries’ trade ministers to discuss ways of implementing their earlier agreements on bolstering trade and transit ties, including construction of a railway to link Iran’s southeastern Sistan Baluchestan to the Afghan provinces of Nimruz, Farah, Helmand and Kandahar.

The first 1,000 of 25,000 Afghans participating in the haj pilgrimage to Mecca departed Kabul, one year after a mob of angry hajis attacked and killed a government minister there. Only 6,500 of some 15,000 applicants were able to make the journey in 2002.

January 6: A suspected Taliban was arrested in Bamyan Province and taken to Kabul.

The commander of the International Security Assistance Force, Turkish General Hilmi Akin Zorlu, told reporters that the US led war against Iraq could provoke terrorists to step up attacks against foreigners.

Within the first week of 2003 in Zabul Province, armed men stole at least seven vehicles belonging to British, U.S. and Afghan aid agencies in broad daylight and the local office of the Afghan Development Agency suffered a grenade attack. These incidents put the future of aid operations to the region in jeopardy.

January 7: Two Ariana Afghan Airlines jet planes carrying Muslim pilgrims from Herat to Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage made precautionary landings in the United Arab Emirates. Forces within the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan suspected a hijacker or a bomb was on board one of the flights. Afghan and UAE officials found no signs of any hijack attempt.

Mullah Salam, a former Taliban regional commander was released from U.S. detention. It wasn’t immediately clear where Salam had been held or why was he freed. He went home late to Zabul Province in Afghanistan.

January 8: Afghanistan’s trade minister Syed Mustafa Kazmi signed an agreement in Tehran to open “all channels” to trade between Iran and Afghanistan and allow Afghan vehicles access to all parts of Iran.

Afghanistan’s foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah that Pakistan that it should do more to police the Afghan border and capture Taliban and al Qaeda leaders. He implied that some of the leaders of the Taliban were in Pakistan.

In Kabul, Paula Dobriansky, the U.S. undersecretary of state for global affairs, announced that the U.S. would provide a $3.5 million grant to support education, small businesses and other programs for Afghanistan’s women. Private businesses, including Daimler-Chrysler and AOL Time Warner, would provide another $80,000 for additional programs. Dobriansky was in Afghanistan to lead a U.S. delegation at the second meeting of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council.

Two fuel trucks were damaged by explosions on board as they were parked about three miles (5 km) from a U.S. coalition forces base in Kandahar, Afghanistan. One of the Afghan drivers was injured slightly.

U.S. special forces uncovered about 150 land mines near Jalalabad, after being tipped off by local Afghans.

In Keshende, Afghanistan, one person was killed and three were wounded in an armed clash between forces of Ustad Atta Mohammad and of Abdul Rashid Dostum.

In Loi Karez, four people died and one was hurt in a fire fight between Afghan forces and suspected members of the ousted Taliban militia.

January 9: A ceremony was held at the Kabul Inter-continental Hotel to celebrate the reopening of the Xinhua Kabul Bureau, which was originally set up in 1956 and had to suspend its operation in 1979.

Eight Afghans were killed and 10 were injured when a minibus travelling from Spin Boldak to Pakistan crashed on a mountain road. The driver lost control of the vehicle near the Pakistani border town of Chaman.

January 10: The governor of Herat Province, Ismail Khan, placed further restrictions on women’s education by banning women being taught by men in privately run courses and by preventing women from attending classes in a building at the same time that men are being taught.

The World Health Organization reported 115 cases and 17 deaths from pertussis in Khwahan District, the provincial capital of Badakhshan.

Utilizing the Generalized System of Preferences, U.S. president George W. Bush named Afghanistan a “least-developed beneficiary,” a move that allowed Afghanistan to export about 5,700 products to the U.S. without tariffs.

In Jalalabad, Afghanistan, U.S. special forces soldiers discovered in feed sacks about 900 pounds of propellant, 180 pounds (82 kg) of steel ball bearings, and 200 rocket-propelled grenades.

January 11: As a gesture of goodwill, Afghan General Abdul Rashid Dostum released 50 prisoners who fought for the former Taliban regime from a jail in Kunduz. Incarcerated since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, the prisoners were handed over to Pashtun tribal elders. Dostum had been accused of war crimes against prisoners, including the suffocation of nearly 1,000 Taliban fighters transported in airless cargo containers after their surrender. The general denied the charges, but said 200 detainees already suffering from illness and wounds sustained during fighting may have died while being taken to jail. President Karzai supported the release.

Residents of Paktia Province reported a pirate radio station broadcasting appeals to overthrow the fragile Afghan government and attack U.S.-led coalition forces.

The U.S. military resumed clearing land mines at Bagram Air Base, two days after an explosion injured a U.S. soldier. The base had nearly 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) that had not yet been cleared of land mines. Since the beginning of 2002, more than 7,000 mines had been removed from Bagram.

President Karzai announced the formation of four commissions to accelerate the disarmament of warlord armies and rebuild the Afghan National Army. The disarmament commission would be headed by Vice President Abdul Karim Khalili. The re-integration commission would be headed by Deputy Defence Minister Attiqullah Barlai. Two ex-army generals, Rahim Wardak and Gulzarak Khan were to head the recruitment and training commissions.

People in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan found posters threatening death to anyone supporting President Karzai’s U.S.-backed government.

January 12: In Balkh, Afghanistan, an electronics repairman and a 14-year old boy were killed immediately when a bomb hidden inside a tape recorder detonated. An unidentified man left the tape recorder at the shop, saying he would return later. When the man failed to return, the repairman inserted batteries, setting off the blast.

In Shebergan, Afghan authorities arrested a man suspected of planning to assassinate warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum and his top deputies. The man allegedly admitted to acting on orders of the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Pamphlets distributed in Peshawar, Pakistan said a group calling itself the “Secret Army of Muslim Mujahideen” had claimed responsibility for at least 50 attacks in Afghanistan, mostly on U.S. soldiers and bases near the eastern Afghan border.

January 14: U.S. special forces found 322 107-mm rockets in the vicinity of Zarin Kalay, near Khost.

The Afghan security chief of Spin Boldak said that minor clashes had been reported recently between Afghan forces and suspected members of the Taliban. He said small groups of Taliban fighters, led by local commander Hafiz Abdur Rahim, were operating in Kandahar and other southern provinces.

The Parliament of Slovakia voted 113-10 to approve the extension of their 40-member military engineering unit in Afghanistan. Working in Afghanistan since September 2002, the engineers worked on major rehabilitation projects such as the runway at the airport in Bagram.

Iran and Afghanistan signed a contract regarding a two-phase project meant to transfer electricity from Iran to Herat.

January 15: U.S. Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz took a one-day tour of projects in Afghanistan, including a women’s hospital in Kabul, road work done by U.S. military personnel, and mock attacks by the Afghan National Army. Later Wolfowitz met with President Karzai, Turkish General Hilmi Akin Zorlu (commander of the International Security Assistance Force), and had dinner with U.S. troops.

European Union External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten announced more than 230 million in new aid to Afghanistan for improving stability and human rights. In 2002, the EU spent 275 million on Afghanistan.

January 16: Fifty-two Afghan agents of the Afghan Presidential Protective Service graduated from a basic training course run by the U.S. Diplomatic Security Bureau’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance department.

January 17: The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to extend and improve efforts to control the remnants of Afghanistan’s former Taliban government and the al-Qaeda network.

Around 5,000 Afghan police were sent to the southern town of Spin Boldak because of reports that some former Taliban activists were trying to re-group in the region.

At the invitation of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Afghanistan’s cricket team arrived in Peshawar, Pakistan to compete in the Cornelius Trophy. The Afghan team was expected to play four three-day matches during its 18-day visit.

January 18: On the one-year anniversary of its first visit to Camp X-Ray at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, the International Committee of the Red Cross renewed its appeal to the U.S. to clarify the status of hundreds of terror suspects it was holding without charge. To date, the U.S. designated them as illegal combatants rather than prisoners of war.

In a warm-up one-day game, the Afghan cricket team earned a draw against Peshawar in Pakistan. Chasing 219 runs for victory in 30 overs, Afghanistan was 199 for six in 27 overs when the match was called off due to darkness.

Twelve Afghan women in Kabul took automobile road tests. The driving program was sponsored by Medica Mondiale. Women had not been allowed to drive in Afghanistan since 1992.

January 20: In the midst of his three-day tour of India, the Afghanistan Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mohammed Sharif announced that India pledged to provide 100,000 tons of wheat and 15,000 tons of fertilizers to Afghanistan. However, Pakistan remained a road block in the plans because it had objections over Indian food passing through its territory.

The head of the Afghan Cable Center in Jalalabad appealed to the Afghanistan Supreme Court to reverse its decision of December 12, 2002 that banned cable TV. However, chief justice Mowlawi Fazl Hadi Shinwari reaffirmed his original decision. Shinwari said that the decision was based on Islam, and that the Court regard cable broadcasts to be immoral and against the Afghan traditions and Islamic principles.

A kindergarten complex in northern Kabul that was refurbished by the British contingent of the International Security Assistance Force re-opened for school. The $20,000 project, paid for by the British government, charities and the soldiers themselves, included new paint, new windows, a new boiler, desks, carpets, electricity and running water.

January 22: About 25 kilometres east of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Afghan soldiers seized more than 1,000 containers of acetic anhydride a chemical used in turning opium into heroin.

President Karzai issued a decree to fight against illegal excavation and antique smuggling.

January 23: A reported from the British Royal Institute of International Affairs stated that a sizeable portion of the money channeled to rebuilding Afghanistan had been spent on humanitarian aid. Furthermore, much of the $5.8 billion promised by international donors had not yet arrived.

January 24: In different villages near Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, U.S. forces and Afghan troops arrested 20 armed suspects, including two alleged Taliban commanders. Rocket launchers, explosives and automatic rifles were also recovered.

An Afghan physician and four clinicians arrived in Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan under a program sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The five medical specialists were to learn a basic tuberculosis-diagnosis procedure at the Research Institute of Tuberculosis. They would return to Afghanistan on February 13.

January 25: A district security chief of Logar Province, Afghanistan, was kidnapped by suspected antique smugglers.

January 26: Gunmen attacked a convoy from the U.N. refugee agency, the UNHCR, as it traveled through Nangarhar Province, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Two policemen were killed, and another four men were believed to have died. One of the alleged attackers was later arrested.

Near the town of Shkin in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, unidentified gunmen shot and killed two Afghan soldiers and one civilian, injuring another.

January 27: President Karzai ordered a Cabinet inquiry into the ban on cable television broadcasts which had been dictated by Chief Justice Fazl Hadi Shinwari a week earlier.

At least 18 enemy personnel were killed near mountains north of Spin Boldak, as U.S.-led coalition forces battled nearly 80 rebels in Afghanistan. B-1 bombers, F-16s and an AC-130 gunship were called in for supports, including two Norwegian F-16s, one of which dropped a pair of laser-guided bombs on a bunker. It was reported that this marked the first time a Norwegian aircraft had fired at hostile forces in combat since World War II. The B-1s dropped nineteen 2,000 pound (900 kg) bombs.

The United Nations Development Programme held a ceremony reopening thirty communal baths (hammams) in Kabul, Afghanistan, bringing back to female citizens a vital institution for their social and hygienic needs.

January 28: U.S. war planes, including B-1 Lancer bombers, F-16 Fighting Falcons and AC-130 gunships, bombed rebel fighters in the mountainous region near Spin Boldak, Afghanistan. Some 200 U.S. special forces troops were engaged in the mountain battle.

Before giving his State of the Union address, U.S. president George W. Bush spoke by telephone with President Karzai and reiterated the commitment of the U.S. to seeing “a prosperous, democratic and stable Afghanistan” and that the U.S. would “stay the course.”

In Afghanistan, a decree by Herat Province governor Ismail Khan allowed women to perform on radio, television, and the stage for the first time since 1992. This move came in response to accusations that Khan was stymieing the advancement of women in the province.

In the Bagram Air Base barracks north of Kabul, South Korean army major Lee Kyu-sang shot and killed Captain Kim Hyo-sung. The captain had refused an order to speak quietly on the telephone. The call involved the leasing of construction equipment with some Afghans. Kyu-sang, who said he didn’t know the gun was loaded, was arrested.

January 29: The United Nations Environment Programme reported that more than half of Kabul’s water supply was going to waste. It found children working 12-hour shifts in dangerous factories, and sleeping at their machines. In Herat, only 10% of the 150 public taps were working. There, and in Mazari Sharif, Kandahar and Kabul, the team found medical waste from hospitals in the streets and an abandoned well.

In the Adi Ghar mountain area about 14 miles (23 km) north of Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, U.S.-led coalition forces, consisting of 300 men, identified 27 caves and had cleared 12 of them. The caves contained supplies such as food, water, blankets, fuel, mules, and signs that wounded men had been treated. U.S. and allied warplanes then pounded the cave complex with 500 and 2,000 pound (220 and 900 kg) bombs. In fire exchanges, at least 18 rebel fighters were killed. A U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopter came under small-arms fire. This was part of Operation Mongoose.

President Karzai fired his interior minister and replaced him with Ali Ahmad Jalali, a formermujahideen (holy warrior) commander who fought in the resistance during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

UNESCO and the Afghan government launched a major project to boost literacy throughout Afghanistan. The project was financed by a US$500,000 contribution from the Japanese government through a funds-in-trust. The main focus of the project involved development of literacy teachers production of teaching materials. To date, only 51.9 percent of men over the age of 15 and a mere 21.9 percent of women in the same age group could read and write.

January 30: An MH-60, an adapted version of the Black Hawk, crashed during training near Bagram Air Base, killing four.

Sweden announced it would contribute $5.9 million to help Afghanistan repay debts to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

January 31: An anti-tank mine rigged to a mortar bomb destroyed a bridge outside Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing as many as 15 people travelling on a bus. The bus driver Ahmad Zia, and a 12-year-old boy survived.


February 1: The Afghan Presidential Protective Service began assisting U.S. agents to protect President Karzai.

The U.S. base in Gardez was designated as the location of a coordination center for reconstruction projects in the region.

February 2: As part of a global U.N. campaign to cut deaths among mothers and new-born children, UNICEF began a week long project to vaccinate 740,000 women in four major [Afghan cities.

February 3: A private memo from Canadian deputy chief, Vice-Admiral Greg Maddison to the chief of the Canadian defense staff, Gen. Ray Henault, said that command of the United Nations forces in Afghanistan was “not viable with Canada as the lead nation” without multinational support. Canada was scheduled to take over command in August, 2003.

Nabil Okal, an Israeli military court sentenced a Palestinian man to 27 years in prison for training in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda. Okal said he was innocent.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reported that Afghanistan remained the world’s largest producer of opium poppy despite efforts to stop trade and cultivation.

Troops of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division completed clearing more than 75 caves in the Adi Ghar mountain of Afghanistan.

February 4: Afghan government forces clashed with suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in the mountainous area of Shawali Kot north of the city of Kandahar. Two Dutch F-16 aircraft bombed the cave complex as part of a follow-up to the attack.

Twenty female teachers from Afghanistan began a one-month training course at five women’s universities in Japan. The program was sponsored by the Foreign Ministry-affiliated Japan International Cooperation Agency.

February 5:Helge Boes, a CIA counter terrorism officer, was killed and two wounded in a grenade accident during a live fire exercise in eastern Afghanistan.

February 6: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers and the head of the U.S. Permanent Mission, Ambassador Kevin Moley, signed agreements for U.S. contributions for humanitarian needs of $15 million for Afghanistan and $12.1 million for Iraq.

February 7: U.S. troops were fired upon while they were searching a compound south-west of Gardez, Afghanistan in an early morning operation following an intelligence report. There were no casualties on either side.

Kabul residents reported a man on a bicycle dispersed leaflets from a previously unknown Islamic group (called Pious Mujahideen (holy warriors) of Islam) demanding the immediate departure of U.S.-led forces from Afghanistan and a return to a strict Islamic dress code for women.

A report by the Post-Conflict Assessment Unit of the United Nations Environment Programme revealed that 99% of the Sistan wetlands in Afghanistan and Iran were dried out.

Rebels attacked an Afghan army post on the Ayub Mama post in Helmand Province near thePakistani border, killing five soldiers and wounding four others. Two Afghan soldiers were also abducted.

Twenty-five men arrived at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay, pushing the number of terror suspects at the naval base to about 650. The arrivals came a day after The Pentagon reported a recent rise in suicide attempts among detainees at the base.

February 8: German Defence Minister Peter Struck said that US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had assured Struck that he would support the German proposal for NATO to take over.

February 9: On the orders of President Karzai, 138 people, including 72 members of the Taliban, were freed from Afghan jails in a goodwill gesture before the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. Freed were prisoners who were critically ill, older than 60, serving minor offences or women who had finished half their sentence.

Afghanistan launched a campaign to recruit more women for training at the national police academy in Kabul. Priority was to be given to women who were denied education opportunities under Afghanistan’s former Taliban rulers. To date, There were 29 women among the nearly 1,500 students undergoing training.

February 10: Afghanistan became the 89th nation to join the International Criminal Court. The ratification took effect May 1, 2003. The court will prosecute those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It will intervene only when a country is unable or lacks the political will to carry out the trial.

Germany and the Netherlands took over joint command of the international peace-keeping force in Afghanistan. The command was handed over by Turkey’s Maj-Gen Hilmi Akin Zorlu during a ceremony at a secondary school in Kabul. Dignitaries present included President Karzai, German Defence Minster Peter Struck, and the Dutch Defence Minister Benk Korthals. As Lt-Gen Norbert Van Heyst vowed to maintain law and order, a rocket landed a hundred meters from a German base in Kabul. Struck was taken to shelter during the visit to Kabul when two rockets landed in his vicinity. To date, The German contingent in the peacekeeping force numbered about 2,500. The Turkish contingent numbered about 1,400, but was likely to be reduced to 160 men.

February 11: U.S. bombers fired laser-guided bombs at 25 armed Taliban suspects near the village of Lejay in the Baghran valley. Afghan authorities said that the raids had killed 17 civilians.

February 12: Canada said it would send up to 2,000 troops (consisting of a battle group and a brigade headquarters) to Afghanistan later in the year to bolster the United Nations peacekeeping mission. To date, Canada had two warships, two maritime patrol aircraft, three transport plans, and about 850 military personnel in the region searching for al Qaeda or Taliban operatives from Afghanistan.

President Karzai urged the international community not to abandon Afghanistan in the event of a U.S.-led war on Iraq. Such a move, he told the BBC, would lead to instability not just in Afghanistan, but within the region.

Key members of the United State Senate criticized the Bush administration for glossing over difficulties it still faced in Afghanistan. Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar said the administration appeared to be losing interest in Afghanistan.

The British announced that they had granted political asylum to three former Taliban fighters. None of the fighters had engaged in direct combat with British or U.S. troops.

February 13: In Operation Eagle Fury, coalition warplanes dropped four 500 pound bombs and fired several hundred rounds of ammunition at the caves. Special forces patrols had collected abandoned ammunition casings and rocket-launchers. 15 fighters were captured by more than 100 US troops, while an estimated 30 rebels were believed to have suffered heavy injuries.

The United States Congress stepped in to find $295M in humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistan after the Bush administration failed to request any money in the latest budget. In its budget proposal for 2003, the White House did not ask for any money to aid humanitarian and reconstruction costs in Afghanistan. The chairman of the committee that distributes foreign aid, Jim Kolbe, said that when he asked administration officials why they had not requested any funds, he was given no satisfactory explanation. The $295M was not even close to the $825M promised in a bill signed by Bush in December 2002.

Another detainee attempted suicide at Camp X-Ray at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba. It was the 16th attempted suicide there since detentions began.

February 14: In Kabul, four armed robbers stormed into the office of a French charity (Solidarity, working to help farmers), tied up two Afghan employees and stole cash. Police chief General Basir Falangi said authorities were investigating and vowed to find the robbers.

Suspected Taliban remnants fired two rockets into the southern Afghan town of Spin Boldak, but there were no casualties. A third rocket landed near a Pakistani border post.

February 15: U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that the Bush administration continued to hold the belief that Afghanistan still belonged to the Afghans. He said US forces were in Afghanistan to promote the goal of long-term stability and independence through the development of local institutions. In response to concerns over the U.S. shifting its focus onto Iraq, he said that whatever else happens in the world, the US would not abandon Afghanistan.

U.S. Lt. Gen. Dan McNeill met separately with President Karzai and village elders in Helmand Province to discuss a coalition assault a week earlier that allegedly left several civilians dead. Karzai expressed concerns for the safety of civilians in operations carried out by US-led military coalition hunting for Islamic militants. Local officials and villagers in Helmand Province have said that at least 17 civilians, mostly women and children, had been killed in coalition bombing raids in the mountainous region that week. The U.S. military said that only an eight-year-old boy was wounded in the operation, and added that coalition forces had the right to self-defense.

February 16: In Balochistan, Pakistan, strong winds and heavy rains caused a wall to collapse in a Latifabad refugee camp, killing a nine-year-old girl and injuring three of her family members. Some 50 Afghan families in a Mohammad Kheil camp also lost their homes and tents in the storms. Later in the week, UNHCR distributed tents, food, coal and blankets to the affected refugees, along with 150 tents and 900 quilts to storm-hit refugees in Chaghi refugee village in Baluchistan Dalbandin area.

United Nations officials in Kabul said that rains brought signs of recovery in southern Afghanistan, where reservoirs are filling up in drought ravaged Kandahar and Helmand Provinces.

Afghanistan and UNICEF announced a program to re-train thousands of teachers, particularly women forced out of work during the Taliban regime. About 70,000 teachers across 29 of the country’s 32 provinces will begin to receive the on-the-job training in the coming weeks. Teachers will be instructed on new ways to teach Dari and Pashtu. They will also be trained to teach awareness of the dangers of landmines.

The United Nations said that authorities were looking for new housing for 100 impoverished families who recently moved into cliff-side caves that surround the famed Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in central Afghanistan.

The United Nations World Food Program began to distribute to the Afghan people 10,000 mt of fortified high-energy biscuits recently donated by the Indian government. President Karzai inaugurated the program by distributing biscuits to schoolchildren of the Amani High School in Kabul.

Three children drowned when they were swept away by flood waters near Kandahar.

February 17: Afghan officials, workers, and citizens gathered at the Kabul museum for the opening of two newly renovated rooms. The purpose of the rooms was to begin repairing the collection of thousands of statues that were smashed in the Spring of 2001. The British Government, with the advice of the British Museum, paid for the renovation, and British soldiers partook in the work. Japan promised photographic equipment, Greece was to rebuild one wing, the Asian Foundation was to develop an inventory, and the U.S. pledged more money for a restoration department. UNESCO was to work on the windows and water supply.

Officials in Kunduz Province ordered the closure of video shops. The order was in response to Western and Indian films that contained violence and nudity.

A statement sent to Pakistani newspapers urged Afghans to wage a holy war against U.S. forces and the U.S.-backed Afghan government. The statement was attributed to fugitive Taliban chief Mullah Mohammed Omar.

An avalanche triggered by heavy rains killed two people and injured four others in Kunar Province Afghanistan. Avalanches and heavy snow blocked the Salang Tunnel in northern Afghanistan.

February 18: A fire swept through an observation post outside the U.S. headquarters outside the U.S. military Bagram Air Base, forcing a quick evacuation. The cause of the fire was not known. No one was injured.

The United Nations confirmed reports of new Taliban training camps in eastern Afghanistan.

An 81-year old man from Ohio, Daniel Chick, armed with two pistols and dressed in military-style pants and sweater, was briefly detained in Haifa, Israel. He told police that he was on his way to Afghanistan in hopes of hunting down Osama bin Laden and claiming a $25 million bounty. He was trying to board a boat for Cyprus. To avoid facing charges after appearing before a judge, Chick agreed to give up his weapons and leave Israel. Allegedly, after leaving the U.S., Chick made stops in Germany to visit his daughter and Italy, where he caught a flight to Israel. His attorney was Gideon Costa.

February 19: Operation Viper began as U.S. CH-47 Chinook helicopters carrying US troops touched down in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. Their mission was to hunt down Taliban leaders believed hiding there.

The U.S. designated former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as a global terrorist after tying him to acts of terror committed by al-Qaida and the Taliban. U.S. financial institutions were ordered to freeze all financial assets belonging to Mr. Hekmatyat.

The U.S. agreed to provide US$60 million to Afghanistan to train a national police force and to wipe out drugs. The agreement for the projects was signed by Zalmay Rassoul and U.S. ambassador to Kabul Robert Finn.

Japan agreed to provide $35 million for a project to disarm militias in Afghanistan. To date, it was estimated that there were between 150,000 and 200,000 militiamen in Afghanistan. The aid was to be used to build facilities aimed at providing discharged soldiers with an education and employment training.

February 20: President Karzai left Kabul for a four-nation tour (Japan, Malaysia, the U.S., and India). Karzai is accompanied by Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah and a high-level official delegation.

In Washington, DC, NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertsondiscussed a proposal that in the summer of 2003 NATO might assist Canada when it took over from the Netherlands and Germany in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan. “Wel be examining that over the next few weeks,” he said “to see whether there is a consensus on it, whether it makes sense, how best the job can be done.”

Seeking more ethnic balance, Afghanistan’s Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim announced that it replaced 15 ethnicTajik generals and created a new, high-level post. The ousted generals were replaced by officers from the Pashtun,Uzbek and Hazara ethnic groups. The new position of a fourth deputy defence minister was given to Gen.Gul Zarak Zadran, a Pashtun. Abdul Rashid Dostum kept his post as one of the four deputy ministers. The ousted generals will be given other jobs within the ministry.

In Kabul, Afghanistan a new commission was formed to further evaluate the proposed laws and present its findings to the cabinet. The commission included Abdul Rahim Karimi, Enayatullah Nazari, Abdul Salam Azimi, Musa Ashari, and Musa Marufi.

In Kabul, a commission headed by Information and Culture Minister Sayyed Makhdum Rahin was formed to oversee the March 21 celebrations of Nawruz (Norouz), the Afghan New Year.

February 21: President Karzai arrived in Tokyo, Japan to attend a conference of nations involved in pledging donations toAfghanistan. In a press conference, Karzai expressed confidence that his government would succeed in creating a unified Afghan fighting force, and in stabilizing areas beyond Kabul. But he also acknowledged that fighting has continued between rival warlords and that terrorist pockets continue to plague areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border. He estimated that about 100,000irregular troops still need to disarm. Japan is the second largest donor nation of Afghanistan after the U.S.

Canada announced it would not able to run peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan alone later this year, and asked for NATOhelp. Canada will send a battlegroup and a brigade-level headquarters to Afghanistan in August, 2003 to take over command of the 4,000 member United Nations force. Canada’s commitment could involve as many as 2,800 troops on each of two six-month rotations. The general in charge of international security policy in the Canadian Department of Defense resigned over the decision.

David Singh, the public information officer for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, warned staff to take precautions following anonymous threats warning of increased retaliation in the context of the possibility of war between the U.S. and Iraq.

In a press conference, U.S. Military spokesman Colonel Roger King said that in the last 24-hours Operation Viperbrought about the detention of seven more suspected Taliban members, bringing the number during the mission up to about 25.

German Defence Minister Peter Struck said Germany could withdraw its 2,500 troops from the 4,700 strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan if a war in Iraq began and escalated tensions in the region.

Pakistan donated arms and ammunition to the Afghan National Army, signifying an attempt to strengthen Pakistan influence in the post-Taliban government in Afghanistan. The weapons include 5000 submachine guns, 180 mortars, 75rocket-propelled grenade launchers and 10,000 mortar bombs. Pakistan will also help train Afghan army personnel.

The managing director of Sui Southern Gas Company reported that Pakistan needed to finalize one natural gas import pipeline project by the end of 2003 to meet soaring gas demands in the years ahead. The three projects under discussion included an Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline, and a Qatar-Pakistan pipeline.

February 22: A one-day international donors’ conference to help President Karzai tighten control over Afghanistan took place in Tokyo, Japan. There were about 45 donor nations and international organizations in attendance. The meeting, called by Japan, sought to raise money for efforts to disarm warlords and extend President Karzai’s authority outside Kabul, Afghanistan.

In Islamabad, Pakistan, Afghan Minister for Petroleum and Mines Juma Mohammad Mohammadi and other administrators from Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to invite India to take part in a potential $2.5 billion gas pipeline project to connect the states.

Fighting between supporters of Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and rival Gen. Atta Mohammed broke out near Maymana, the capital ofFaryab Province. The two sides battled with machine guns, rocket launchers and artillery. Six civilians were killed in the crossfire.

In Tokyo, Japan President Karzai secured $51 million in aid from Japan ($35M), the U.S. ($10M), the United Kingdom and Canada ($2.2M).

A massive fire swept through a food and fuel warehouse in the central bazaar in Jalalabad. Six cars, plus large quantities of motor oil, flour, mayonnaise and other commodities were consumed by the fire.

The Tawainese Department of Customs Administration of the Ministry of Finance announced that Afghanistan was included in a list of eleven countries being given econd-tier tariff rates in hopes of facilitating trade development.

February 23: A International Committee of the Red Cross project started in Bamyan that provided women with vegetable seeds and training to tend family plots more productively.

An Afghan soldier working with U.S. special forces was killed and another wounded in a firefight at a compound just east of Tarin Kot in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan. The clash also left one enemy fighter dead and another wounded.

In a new report entitled “Disaster Management Framework for Afghanistan,” the United Nations urged Afghanistan to draw up plans to respond to natural disasters. Achieving that capacity would likely take at least 10 years, the report said.

About five alleged Taliban fighters fired Afghan security forces about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northeast of Kandahar in Zabol Province near the Pakistani border. The ensuing fire exchange left one of the attackers dead. Security force commander Haji Wazir Mohammed was seriously wounded.

The United Nations called on donors to help fund the repatriation of an expected 1.2 million Afghan refugees in the coming year. The repatriation will begin March 2 and is expected to cost US$195 million, but, to date donors had only provided US$15.4 million.

Seven Taliban suspects with a stock of arms and land mines were arrested at a house in Kandahar.

February 24: Afghan Minister for Mines and Industries Juma Mohammad Mohammadi and Pakistan foreign ministry official Mohammad Farhad Ahmed were among eight people on board a Cessna plane that crashed into the Arabian Sea shortly after takeoff. The aircraft was headed for Balochistan, Pakistan near the Iranian border. Also on board the aircraft were three other Afghan officials, two crew members and Sun Changsheng, CEO of MCC Resource Development. They had been traveling to a copper and gold mining project being run by a Chinese firm in Balochistan. Weather officials say it was clear and sunny in Karachi at the time of the crash. The plane had crossed into a Pakistan military “no-fly zone” before it crashed into the sea.

Jean-Marie Guhenno, the undersecretary-general in charge of United Nations peacekeeping, called for immediate measures to improve security in Afghanistan, where international aid agencies have been threatened by kidnappings and violence. Guehenno referred to a series of recent incidents, including mine and grenade attacks in Kandahar and Kunduz, and kidnapping threats in Kabul, Jalalabad and Kunar provinces where security had been reinforced. He said contingency plans had been made for a withdrawal of U.N. agencies from certain areas of Afghanistan. He also added that human rights continued to be undermined by poor overall security, including reports of extra-judiciary executions, extortions and forced displacements.

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lobbering, a German spokesman, denied reports that Germany plans to pull its peacekeepers out ofAfghanistan if there is war in Iraq.

The Asian Development Bank announced plans to provide about US$200 million in financial assistance for the reconstruction ofAfghanistan this year. $150 million is earmarked for infrastructure rehabilitation; $50 million is earmarked for agriculture.

The road between Gardez and Khost was cut off by supporters of warlord Bacha Khan Zadran after local officials seized a dozen of his militiamen’s vehicles. Paktia Gov. Raz Mohammad Dalili sent a delegation of elders to try to resolve the problem.

Norwegian troops were sent to Afghanistan for a three-month tour. The soldiers included a mix of commandos from the Norway’s army and navy with training in winter and mountain warfare, and mine-clearing personnel. The exact number of troops wasn’t revealed. Norway also announced that it would pull out its six F-16 fighters by the end of March, 2003.

President Karzai arrived Malaysia for a Non-Aligned Movement summit.

Telephone Systems International purchased 4 million worth of GSM switching equipment from Siemens Mobile Communications. The equipment, including a Siemens switch, would support TSI’s subsidiary, the Afghan Wireless Communication Company. The switch would be installed in Kabul.

February 25: Habibullah Jan, a district administrator in Nimroz Province in Dilaram, 135 miles northwest of Kandahar, Afghanistan, was assassinated. Jan’s body guard was wounded in the attack.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), about 3,400 tons of opium were produced inAfghanistan in 2002, making it the largest opium producer in the world, followed by Myanmar and Laos. The report also stated that more than three quarters of the heroin sold in Europe originated in Afghanistan. The UNODC called on President Karzai to take a tougher stance on the production of the illegal crops.

The Afghan government found a giant cache of weapons including mortars, missiles and anti-tank land mines in an abandoned compound in the eastern Nangarhar region, near the border with Pakistan. Mortars, AK-41 anti-tank land mines, BM-12 Chinese-made missiles and munition rounds were found when troops searched the compound in Bander district, 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Jalalabad.

A British SIS officer killed two Afghans with a Makarov pistol during a shootout at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. The shootout was sparked by the two Afghans pulling a gun in an attempt to abduct him. The British man, identified as Colin Berry, was also shot in the abdomen during the exchange of fire. Berry had been operating in Afghanistan for several months previously on covert operations in relation to Opium trafficking. He was also actively engaged in the tracing and recovery of Stinger (U.S), Blowpipe (U.K) and Soviet Surface to Air launchers and missiles .After the incident Berry was assisted by U.S Special Forces operatives that he had been working alongside. He was taken to the ‘Italian War Victims’ hospital for interim treatment whilst a helicopter was organised for a flight to neighbouring Pakistan. During the wait the U.S team was instructed to ‘pull back’. As a consequence Berry was discovered and arrested by the Afghan Ministry of Interior – Secret Police. They immediately detained Berry at a secret location for questioning.

February 26: President Karzai visited the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, DC. What was to be a private panel discussion instead turned into a hearing with television cameras and reporters present. The Bush administration later apologized to Karzai for the way he was treated by the senate. In the hearing, Karzai gave an optimistic view of the state of Afghanistan, to the dismay of some senators. Karzai disputed beliefs that 100,000 militiamen living in the provinces are beyond the influence of his government. He also turned down offers from senators that they lobby for an expansion of the international force, saying he would prefer to expand the new national Afghan army, which to date had about 3,000 trained troops.

Canada announced that it would be unable to make any substantial deployment of ground troops to Iraq because of its commitment to peacekeeping in Afghanistan.

Afghan forces found a giant cache of weapons including mortars, missiles and anti-tank land mines in an abandoned compound in the Nangarhar region.

February 27: During a meeting at the White House, President Karzai asked President George W. Bush “to do more for us in making the life of the Afghan people better, more stable, more peaceful.” Bush said the U.S. had “a desire for human life to improve” in Afghanistan, but offered no public assurances that a war with Iraq would not hinder the Afghan recovery.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson met with President Karzai and renewed the department’s commitment to promote health in Afghanistan, including training, staffing and working with the U.S. Department of Defense to rebuild a women’s hospital in Kabul.

UN spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said that the U.N. suspended operations in Gosfandi district of Sar-e Pol Province due to factional skirmishes.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto told an audience at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri thatAfghanistan still needs the world’s attention, which has been diverted to a possible U.S. war against Iraq.

February 28: Using a pistol and then a sub-machinegun, an Afghan man killed two policemen guarding the U.S. consulate inKarachi, Pakistan. Five other officers and a passerby were injured.

U.S. troops discovered a “bomb-making facility” near Jalalabad. The troops found the materials after searching five compounds in Shinwar district. Also recovered were three 82 mm mortars, one grenade launcher, five machine-guns, 1,000 mortar rounds, 300 rockets, mines and thousands of ammunition cases.

Antonella Deledda, Central Asia representative for the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, said from Tashkent, Uzbekistan that the steady flow of opium and heroin from Afghanistan was causing rising drug addiction and AIDS infections across the region, especially in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Ruud Lubbers, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, traveled by road from Kabul to Mazari Sharif and met with warlords Abdul Rashid Dostum, Atta Mohammed and Ustad Sayeedi. Afghan Refugees Minister Inayatullah Nazerialso attended the talks. Lubbers complained about insecurity and ethnic tensions and urge the warlords to unite to help Afghans return to their homes.

Afghanistan’s Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim headed to Washington, DC for a six-day trip intended for talks with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Also traveling with Fahim was Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Hatiqullah Baryalai. Speaking to the press before his flight left Kabul, Fahim urged the U.S. to provide more cooperation and financial assistance to rebuild his Afghanistan’s national army.


March 1: Two Afghan government soldiers were wounded in a blast in Kandahar.

Thousands of people gathered outside a police station in the Dasht-e Barchi district of Kabul, Afghanistan after claims that a policeman tried to kidnap a woman there. There were also claims that policemen had raped two women. Surrounding the police station, protesters wanted those responsible for the alleged attack to be punished. Protesters also nominated their own candidates to police the district. Some merchants closed shop in solidarity. Police officers were injured by protesters, who attacked them with stones in western Kabul’s Dashta-e-Barchi district. Two civilians were also reported wounded. Shots were fired by police.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that 395,752 Afghans had voluntarily returned home fromIran since a UNHCR joint program with Tehran to the effect began on April 9, 2002. (see details of the UNHCR Afghan repatriation programs)

U.S. troops raided the compound of Haji Ghalib, the chief of security for Ghanikhel District of Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan, arresting him and two others and seizing heavy weapons. Ghalib’s son, Mohammed Shafiq, said the U.S. forces also seized missiles, mortars and a large quantity of anti-tank mines during the arrest. The two people detained along with Ghalib were not identified.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was arrested in a joint raid by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents and Pakistani police in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Three Afghan soldiers were wounded when their pickup truck ran over a landmine during a routine patrol at Panjwai district, 30 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of Kandahar.

March 2: The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Afghan poverty-stricken families earning money by selling their daughters was on the rise.

Germany pulled out its elite KSK anti-terror forces from Afghanistan. The German defense ministry refused to comment on the report.

Afghan border guards arrested a Pakistani man, Sayed Wali, in eastern Afghanistan on charges of illegally entering Afghanistan. They accusing him of spying for his Pakistan. He was arrested in the Shinwar district near Torkham.

March 3: At 6 a.m., a rocket hit a house in Kandahar, Afghanistan, injuring a man and his wife and causing panic in the area. The wife, Bibi Koh, was in serious condition.

U.S. military aircraft scattered leaflets over southern Afghanistan, according to residents in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan. The pamphlets offered cash rewards for help in arresting Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. The leaflets did not say how to collect the money or who to contact to inform on bin Laden.

The U.S. military pushed into a new valley in southern Afghanistan in search of fugitive leaders of the ousted Taliban regime. 12 people had been detained over the past three days and more than 60 rifles from two weapons caches were discovered in Baghni valley. One of the weapon caches was found down a well, wrapped in plastic and tied to a rope.

March 4: U.S. special forces found 96 rocket-propelled grenades, five rifles and ammunition after searching a compound in the southeastern border town of Spin Boldak, Afghanistan.

A U.S. military vehicle struck a four-year-old Afghan boy just west of the southern city of Kandahar, Afghanistan. The boy sustained a severe head injury and was medically evacuated to Bagram Air Base for evaluation. By March 7 he was in stable condition.

In Copenhagen, Denmark, two Danish officers faced preliminary charges of negligence in connection with an April 6, 2002 explosion that killed five bomb squad members in Afghanistan.

President Karzai arrived in Qatar to participate in the summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to discuss the crisis in the Middle East.

A U.S. soldier was brought to a hospital facility at Bagram, Afghanistan after being injured when his vehicle rolled over inBamyan Province. The soldier was in stable condition.

Gunmen killed Sher Nawaz Khan, a Pakistani intelligence official, in a border area near Afghanistan. Kahn was riding a motorbike to work in the border town of Wana, 180 miles (290 km) south of Peshawar. The gunmen followed Khan in a car then shot him repeatedly after knocking him off the motorbike.

Qari Abdul Wali, a military commander in the hard-line Islamic Taliban regime said from a hideout near the southern Afghan town of Spin Boldak the that arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would not weaken the al Qaeda network.

The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) pledged a $50 million line of credit in support of U.S. private sector investment in Afghanistan. This was in addition to the $50 million OPIC line of credit that the Bush administration announced January 2002. One project will be the construction of a five-star international hotel in Kabul to be managed by Hyatt International, to which OPIC anticipates providing $35 million in financing and political risk insurance. OPIC will also provide political risk insurance to enable a U.S. manufacturer to donate a compressed earth block machine for the construction of three schools, at least one of which will be for girls.

March 5: U.S. and Italian military officials announced that about 500 Italian troops would soon replace a similar number of U.S. soldiers deployed in eastern Afghanistan’s Khost region. About 1,000 Italian soldiers from Task Force Nibbio had already arrived at Bagram Air Base. Officials said that 500 Italians will stay at Bagram and the remaining 500 were to take over in mid-March from Americans at Camp Salerno, a coalition base near the eastern town of Khost. To date 8,000 of the 13,000 coalition forces were from the U.S..

President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai arrived in India for a four-day visit. Karzai’s agenda included boosting bilateral trade and investment and seeking aid for his war-ravaged country.

Near Bagram, Afghanistan, paratroopers from the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division seized 132 82mm mortar rounds, 34 pieces of unexploded ordnance and “numerous” anti-tank and anti-personnel mines.

One civilian was killed and three were wounded their jeep struck a landmine in Zer-e-Koh, Afghanistan, just south of Shindand Air Base in western Herat Province, said warlord Ammanullah Khan.

Fighting broke out in Gosfandi, Afghanistan in Sar-e Pol Province between two local commanders, both loyal to warlord Atta Mohammed. At least two fighters were dead and three others wounded.

In Zer-e-Koh, Afghanistan, seven children were injured when explosives placed inside a bottle blew up.

Lt. Gen. Norbert van Heyst, commander of International Security Assistance Force, said in Kabul, Afghanistan that war inIraq could provide an opportunity for remnant al-Qaida and Taliban forces to try to “destabilize” Afghanistan.

Residents of Khost, Afghanistan found 15 kg (32 lb) of explosives under the seat of a motorcycle. They notified U.S. troops at nearby Chapman Air Base. The device, designed to detonate by radio, was dismantled and there were no injuries.

March 6: A preferential trade agreement was signed in a ceremony in New Delhi, India attended by President Karzai and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. The trade pact will enable free movement of goods specified by the two countries at lower tariffs. The volume of trade between the two countries in 2001-02 totaled $41.89 million. Vajpayee also announced a $70 million grant to rebuild a major road in Afghanistan. Included in the pledge was the third of three 232-seat Airbus 300-B4s to help rebuild Ariana Afghan Airlines.

“The Situation of Women and Girls in Afghanistan,” a United Nations report revealed that intimidation and violence against women continue without resistance Afghanistan. To date, Afghan women worked, studied and even held some government posts, but in more rural areas they continued to be forced into marriages and were victims of domestic violence, kidnapping and harassment.

U.S. military coroners ruled as homicides the deaths in December 2002 of two prisoners at a U.S. base in Afghanistan. The two prisoners died at the makeshift prison in the U.S. compound at the Afghan base north of Kabul. The autopsies found that the men had been beaten, and one had a blood clot in his lung.

At least nine suspected al Qaeda members were killed in an operation by U.S. and Afghan troops in the far west of Afghanistan in the Ribat area, where the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran meet.

March 7: During his 3-day visit of India, President Karzai told a business meeting in Delhi that he hoped India would join an oil pipeline project to ship gas from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan and Pakistan. Later, Mr Karzai flew to the Himalayan town of Shimla, India to pick up an honorary doctorate in literature from his alma mater. Mr. Karzai took a postgraduate course in political science at Himachal University from 1979 to 1983.

Mortar rounds landed about 2.5 km (1.5 mile) from a guard tower north of Bagram Air Base.

In a small village in Vardak Province, three men armed with AK-47s stopped a U.N. World Food Program vehicle and blindfolded its three Afghan occupants. The robbers stole radio equipment, a satellite telephone and money before fleeing into the mountains on foot.

U.S. soldiers took a 4-year-old Afghan boy from the central Madr Valley to the base for treatment of suspected bacterial meningitis. He was in very serious condition.

U.S. Special Forces near Spin Majid, Afghanistan in Helmand Province detained seven men suspected of planning attacks on coalition forces. They were detained with bomb-making instructions in their possession. U.S. military spokesman Col. Roger King did not say whether they were suspected of being al-Qaida terrorists or supporters of the formerTaliban government.

Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, home minister of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, said two of Osama bin Laden’s sons were wounded and possibly held by U.S. and Afghan troops in Ribat. The White House cast doubt on the report. Later, Zehri would say that he had been misquoted.

A U.S. soldier sustained head injuries in a road accident on in central Bamyan Province was evacuated to Bagram, which serves as the headquarters of coalition forces in Afghanistan. The soldier was in stable condition.

The third explosion in as many days rattled Jalalabad, blowing out windows of a government office but causing no casualties. The bomb was hidden in a sewage drain. A bomb detonated near the office of the World Food Program the previous day. The day before that another exploded near a hospital.

The Republic of Macedonia sent 10 soldiers to be stationed, under German command, in the Kabul.

Fighting erupted on when Uzbek warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum’s men attacked positions held by supporters ofUstad Atta Mohammad’s Jamiat-e-Islami faction in Pashtoon Kot district, south of Faryab’s provincial capital,Afghanistan. Several people were killed or wounded.

March 8: In Jalalabad, U.S. forces released three Afghans after questioning them at a U.S. detention facility about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. A U.S. helicopter flew them from Bagram to Asadabad. One of the freed men,Saif-ur Rahman, was a border security official in Kunar before he was arrested in December 2002.

U.S. troops took part in operations to destroy 800 “bomblets” from a cluster bomb, discovered near Mazari Sharif.

An explosion in the Baghrami District of Afghanistan about 15 kilometres (9 mile) south of Kabul killed an interpreter working for international peacekeepers and lightly injured a Dutch soldier. Both were airlifted from the scene asInternational Security Assistance Force troops blocked off the scene of the incident on a street lined by shops and mud houses. The injured man was a 23-year-old corporal with the 11th Air Mobile Brigade. The explosion was detonated by remote control.

Several people were killed or wounded in a fresh outbreak of fighting between supporters of Uzbek warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum and Tajik commander Ustad Atta Mohammad.

Intensifying efforts to capture al-Qaeda members, a patch of some 400 square kilometers around the town of Rabat, Afghanistan was the focus of air and ground operations by Pakistani army and paramilitary forces backed by U.S. CIA communications and tracking experts.

Six medics and three other volunteers in charge of logistics, all from Hungary departed for Kabul, Afghanistan, where they will work at a German military hospital and a Dutch surgery unit as part of International Security Assistance Force.

The first Afghan radio station programmed solely for women began broadcasting in Kabul. The first broadcast was called “The Voice of Afghan Women.” Director Jamila Mujahed said one-hour radio programs would be broadcast every afternoon in the local Pashtu andDari languages in Kabul on 91.6 FM.

March 9: Pakistani security forces carried out raids in Jalozai and Shamshatoo, Afghan refugee camps near Peshawar. No one was detained.

Masood, an Iraqi national and two Afghan men were picked up in Hayatabad, Pakistan. They were questioned for involvement in the slaying of a Pakistani intelligence officer (was shot and killed on March 4 in Wana) and suspectedal-Qaida links. Computer discs and other unspecified documents were recovered from their possession.

President Karzai said that he hoped war in Iraq could be avoided. But he also said the Iraqi people deserved to choose their own government.

The 22nd suicide attempt by a detainee took place at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay. To date, about 650 detainees from 43 countries were being held there on suspicion of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban. To date, the men had not been charged and were not allowed lawyers. To date, five detainees had been released, including three Pakistanis and two Afghans.

One U.S. airman suffered multiple fractures to his right foot after he was struck by a fork lift truck during aircraft-loading operations at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

A 45-year-old Afghan man to the hospital at Bagram Air Base after he was shot in the leg in a hunting accident near Orgun.

March 10: Afghanistan officially activated its .af Internet domain name on for Afghan e-mail addresses and Web sites.

The National Democratic Front was officially launched during a ceremony at a Kabul hotel. Its purpose was to foster Western-style democracy and act as a counterweight to Islamic fundamentalism.

The U.S. military denied reports it had stepped up its presence along Afghanistan’s northeastern border with Pakistan in its ongoing hunt for al-Qaeda fugitives. Some sources in Pakistan, however, claimed that Osama bin Laden had been in the Siakoh mountain range near Nimroz Province.

Three members of a local council were killed and five wounded in an explosion in the province in the Zale Dasht district ofKandahar in Afghanistan. The bomb appeared to be operated by remote control. Among the surviving casualties were Ziaul Haq and Sher Ali Aqa.

U.S. forces in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan detained a man after finding a cache of anti-personnel mines.

Seeking help in the capture of Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mohammed Omar, U.S. aircraft dropped leaflets in the region of and broadcast radio messages in Spin Boldak.

March 11: President George W. Bush apologized to President Karzai for the way Karzai was treated by a U.S. Senate committee on February 26. Some senators said they feared Karzai, by highlighting facts like millions of children returning to school and the government’s smooth introduction of a new currency, had put too positive a spin on Afghanistan’s problems. One senator said stressing the positive could hurt Karzai’s credibility.

A delegation of Afghan legal officials and experts gathered in Washington, DC, completed a four-day conference managed byInternational Resources Group and hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace. The participants worked by consensus to lay out the future of the justice system in Afghanistan.

Three judges on a U.S. appeals court unanimously dismissed a challenge by Afghan war detainees at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The challenge regarded their being held without access to their family or a lawyer. The judges agreed that the detainees, which include including two Britons, twelve Kuwaitis and two Australians, were not protected by the U.S. Constitution.

In Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, two rockets fired by unknown attackers hit two houses near the governor’s house. No one was injured.

One Afghan militia force soldier was killed in a blast near Barikot on the border with Pakistan. A coalition special forces member and an Afghan interpreter were wounded.

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Disclosure Conference, National Press Club, 27 September 2010 (extended version, English subtitles)

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