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Afghanistan | International

Afghanistan sees violence upsurge
by BBC (reposted)
Thursday May 18th, 2006 6:16 AM
Afghanistan has been hit by some of the heaviest fighting since the US-led invasion in 2001 to oust the Taleban.
Taleban fighters are battling police in Helmand province where officials say about 50 militants and 13 police died.

Coalition and Afghan troops have conducted more operations in Kandahar and say at least seven militants died.

A US national was killed by a suicide bomber on Thursday in Herat, where such attacks are rare, while another bomber blew himself up in the city of Ghazni.

The Ghazni blast happened at an Afghan army base as a US military convoy was passing. The bomber and a civilian were killed.

This came shortly after an attacker rammed a bomb-filled vehicle into a convoy in Herat, killing himself and a civilian American contractor.

So far this year there have been at least 20 suicide attacks compared with 17 for the whole of 2005 and five in 2004.

Biggest attack

The fighting in Helmand began on Wednesday when Taleban forces stormed the town of Musa Qala.

At least 13 Afghan policemen were killed, along with about 50 Taleban fighters, officials said.

"It was the biggest attack [in Helmand] since the fall of the Taleban," provincial governor Amir Mohammad Akhundzada told Reuters news agency.

Fighting was continuing on Thursday in the village of Sar Besha, about 20km (12 miles) north of the town, a spokesman for Helmand's governor told the BBC.

He said coalition forces were providing air support to chase away the militants.

'Ungoverned space'

The Taleban have stepped up attacks on foreign and Afghan forces as the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force expands to help the Afghan government with security and reconstruction.

Isaf currently has about 9,000 personnel but plans to build up to about 21,000 troops by November.

Nato spokesman in Afghanistan Mark Laity told the BBC that resistance to the deployment was only to be expected.

"Although the Americans have done a brilliant job down there, a lot of Helmand, Kandahar...all these areas in the south, are effectively ungoverned space," he said.

The aim was to move forces in to really take control of the territory later this year, he said.

More
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4992462.stm
by UK Guardian (reposted)
Thursday May 18th, 2006 9:48 AM
More than 100 people were killed today in some of the fiercest violence to erupt in Afghanistan in more than four years.

Foreign troops were involved in multiple skirmishes with Taliban fighters, two suicide car bombs were detonated and rebels launched a substantial assault on a small village in the south of the country.

The fatalities included up to 87 Taliban fighters and suicide bombers, 15 Afghan police, a US civilian, an Afghan civilian and a Canadian soldier, officials said.

The battles were concentrated in the south and follow months of increasing attacks in the region.

An assault by hundreds of fighters on a small southern town was one of the largest attacks by militants since 2001 and marked another escalation in the campaign against Afghanistan's US-backed president, Hamid Karzai.

The overnight attack on a police and government headquarters in Musa Qala in Helmand province led to eight hours of clashes with security forces. The Afghan interior ministry said about 40 militants were killed, though police said they had retrieved only 14 bodies.

The interior ministry also said 13 police were killed and five wounded in the attack.

The assault was countered by Afghan police reinforcements who eventually forced the militants to flee, said Captain Drew Gibson, a spokesman for the British army, which has forces in Helmand province. In neighbouring Kandahar province, as many as 27 Taliban militants were killed during a US-led operation Seven were confirmed deaths and 15 to 20 more may have been killed in an associated airstrike near the village of Azizi, the US military said.

In another battle in Kandahar province, a Canadian soldier and about 18 Taliban militants were killed late last night, said Major Scott Lundy, a Canadian military spokesman.

Canadian soldiers were supporting Afghan police and soldiers on a mission to oust Taliban fighters in Panjwayi district, about 30 20 miles west of Kandahar city, when they were attacked by rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire, Major Lundy said.

A female Canadian soldier, Captain Nichola Goddard, was killed, he said. Three Afghan soldiers were wounded and about 35 militants were detained, he added.

A suicide car bomber in the western city of Herat, near the Iranian border, killed an American civilian on a State Department police training project, said the US embassy spokesman Chris Harris. Two other Americans were wounded, he said.

A second suicide car bomber attacked the gates of an Afghan army base in the town of Ghazni, 70 miles south of Kabul, said local official Sher Alam. A passing motorcyclist was killed and a pedestrian wounded, but none of the soldiers at the base were hurt, he said.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,,1778098,00.html
by more
Thursday May 18th, 2006 9:48 AM
Up to 105 people are reported in killed in Afghanistan in firefights, two suicide car bombs and a rebel assault on a village.

Much of the violence, some of the fiercest since the Taliban's ouster, occurred in Helmand and Kandahar provinces on Thursday, where thousands of additional NATO troops are to deploy this summer to counter an increasing number of insurgent attacks.

US and Afghan officials said the Taliban toll from fighting on Wednesday night and Thursday ranged up to 87.

The attacks also killed 15 Afghan police officers, one American civilian, a Canadian soldier and an Afghan civilian.

Assaults

An assault by hundreds of Taliban fighters on a small southern town was one of the largest attacks by militants since 2001 and marked an escalation in the campaign by supporters of the former Taliban regime to challenge the US-backed government of Hamid Karzai, the president.

The attack late on Wednesday and early on Thursday on a police and government headquarters in Musa Qala in Helmand province sparked eight hours of clashes with security forces.

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http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9D23B95C-961B-4ADF-AE78-8F8A2FAF86DE.htm
by BBC (reposted)
Thursday May 18th, 2006 1:00 PM
Southern Afghanistan was the birthplace of the Taleban and over the past few months it seems the remnants of the former government are still determined to fight.

The attacks have taken the form of confrontations, like that seen in Helmand and Kandahar over the last 24 hours; suicide attacks - there were two on Thursday - or roadside bombs targeting military convoys.

There is no doubt the strength of the insurgents has been increasing and the thousands of British and international troops moving into the south of the country will have their hands full.

Just over the Pakistan border, north of Quetta and in Miram Shah - in fact throughout the border tribal belt beyond the control of any government - the Taleban and al-Qaeda have been growing in strength.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4994448.stm
by cool!!
Thursday May 18th, 2006 3:04 PM
Throw the arrogant meddling Euro-American torturer trash out on their heads