President Hamid Karzai inaugurated a military compound costing $70 millions in the southeastern city of Gardez, capital of the Paktia province.
The huge compound for the Army Corps No 203 is spread over a 1.5 kilometer area can house as many as 4,500 soldiers. The president assured armed forces of all possible facilities, hoping they would measure up to the security challenge.
Corps Commander Rahmatullah Raufi told to Media the project was financed with part of $250 million assistance pledged by the US for the provision of facilities to Afghan army around.
Tribal elders and governors of Khost, Paktia and Paktika also met with President Karzai and briefed him on the situation prevailing in their provinces.
Paktia Governor Hakim Taniwal informed this news agency that Karzai himself paid a visit to the newly-built army headquarters and joined soldiers for lunch.
Jun 30, 2005
Jun 29, 2005
A US soldier, believed to be dead, went missing when a military vehicle skidded off the road and fell into river in the eastern Kunar province on Monday.
A statement released from US Bagram airbase on Tuesday said the incident occurred in the Paich Darra district. Other soldiers traveling in the Humvee remained unscathed.
Search has been launched to recover the missing soldier but no clue has been found so far, says the statement.
Snow has begun fast melting due to the recent rise in mercury causing overflow in rivers and their tributaries all over the country.
Jun 25, 2005
Love your Kabul
Jun 19, 2005
Freedom of _Expression in Afghanistan can be seen from two different points of view.
If we consider the current realities of Afghanistan as a mega picture, freedom of _expression will have but only a niche in it. A closer look will prove that such a freedom is associated with a range of factors and parameters.
Authorities' vision is quite dissimilar to the opinion of those liberals who have the experience of media undertaking. The State has formulated the rules of mass media in which freedom of _expression has significantly been safeguarded.
But, the implementation of such rules would be highly difficult. The culture of tolerance of opponents has not become institutionalized. There have a number of instances in which the 'official' guardians of freedom of _expression have not tolerated criticism of their deeds.
The most important evidence, showing lack of freedom of _expression and its representation in Afghanistan, is apparently unknown groups that can be termed as warlords or sometimes terrorists.
As a matter of fact, this country is at the edge of falling into the mafia trap. Some even believe that the present state is in the grips of Drug Mafia.
The blocking factor of freedom of _expression over the centuries and years has only and merely been the "Sharia-oriented vision by some religious leaders, who consider themselves as "commissioners of religion. They do misuse religious orders in line with their own benefits.
This group has many times prevented the establishment of freedom, and betrayed the public. Their opposition to Amanullah, a freedom-loving king, who freed his country from the British, made him to leave his country for good and curse it.
I think in order to overcome this obstacle; one has to take careful but strong steps. Any rapidity could result in a fresh disaster. Gone are the era of revolutions and insurgencies. One has to think of reforms, and try one's bests towards achieving freedom of thoughts and _expression.
Jun 17, 2005
Congratulation to all Afghan Bloggers, I have a good news today. Yesterday, I heard an Afghan Blogger Sohrab Kabuli the owner of http://kabul2.blogsky.com (Notes from Kabul) among among 60 blogs from International selected the best blog for defending the Freedom Expression.
This will be a good news for those Afghan who are defending the Freedom expression and censorships.
This also would be a good news for encouraging Afghan youths to join in Blog world. The thing which is very new in Afghan society it gives an idea to move for their developments.
Reporters Without Borders selected around 60 blogs that, each in their own way, defend freedom of expression. The organisation then asked Internet-users to vote for the prize-winners - one in each geographical category. More information about the Blog awards.
After two months of voting, here are the results :
AFRICA AND MIDDLE
Shared Pains http://kabul2.blogsky.com
Press Think http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink
Country: United States
Mojtaba Saminejad http://8mdr8.blogspot.com
Jun 15, 2005
“It is not a good idea” said Angelina Jolie, pretty Hollywood star and goodwill ambassador for the UNHCR. She was expressing her reaction over the idea of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to relocate the Afghan refugee camps out of Pakistan back into Afghanistan.
Angelina, who was in Pakistan on a four day mission to focus world attention toward the hundred thousands of Afghan refugees, feared that moving of the refugees from Pakistan to Afghanistan would add the people’s suffering.Angelina Jolie is one of those female film stars who used to rule over the hearts of millions of the male spectators of Hollywood Movies. She is quite extraordinary as she made her first screen debut at the age of five, alongside her father in the Hal Ashby-directed comedy “Looking to Get Out”. She was 16 when she struck out on her own finding work as a professional model in London, New York and Los Angeles and appearing in music videos for the likes of Meatloaf, the Lemonheads, Lenny Kravitz and the Rolling Stones.1993 she started her professional carrier as film star from “Cyborg II, Glass Shadow”. Then a series of blockbuster movies like “Leg”, “Playing God”, “Pushing Tin”, “Original sin”, “Bone collector”, Tome raider” etc. booted up her status as one of the high profile actresses.She was named as the honorary ambassador for UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on 27th of August 2001 by Ruud Lubber UN high commissioner for refuges. Since that she has been helping refugees in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Cambodia and Pakistan. Another worth mentioning point is that Angelina covers all costs related to her missions and shared the same rudimentary working and living conditions as UNHCR field staff. She has been proved to be a committed and devoted ambassador for UNHCR.
Covering her hairs by traditional shawl during her visit to a refugee camp near Peshawar said that she was dismayed by the lack of funds spent on education. She further said there was a need to boost development efforts in Afghanistan as fast as possible, "especially in the rural areas so that people can return to their homes." According to the UN officials Pakistan is receiving $12 million per year as aid for around one million refugees in the various camps around Pakistan.More then two decades of chaos forced hundred thousands of our country fellows to leave Afghanistan and shelter themselves mostly in neighboring countries Pakistan and Iran. Though the number of refugees in Pakistan has been a political issue rather then a technical one but still a big number of Afghans are living in Pakistan’s refugee camps without any doubt. Their life conditions according to reports are not very good and need to be improved. UN says over 2.3 million of refugees have already repatriated home and in spite of the undesirable condition another 400,000 are expected to return to their home this year.After Presidential Elections and formation of his technocrat cabinet a wave of hope is created in the hearts of hundred thousands of people for a better and safe future. Afghan started looking forward toward a news Afghanistan based on mutual respect and golden principles of coexistence. Afghan started dreaming to live in a completely new and democratic society. Soon after snow melt and start of spring a series of bloody battles and lose of tens of people from the both sides of Taliban/al Qaeda and coalition/Government forces once again made worried the innocent people who didn’t yet completely waken from their sweat dream. The level if insurgency will certainly affect the repatriation of refugees back to their home. At least the refugees belong to the South and Eastern parts of country, the areas which are supposed to be the strong holds of Taliban and al Qaeda militants. But still the hope is still alive that Afghanistan will never go back to that disastrous period which remains always as the spot on the recent history of our country.
Afghans as well as the international community are not going to allow the situation to be worsened as it was in early nineties. Anyhow the valuable work of Angelina Jolie for deprived refugees throughout the world and specifically Afghan refugees who the part of our existence and we are incomplete with them. We appreciate all your efforts Angelina Jolie and respect all your emotions for our homeless brothers and sisters.Angelina jolie please allow us to tell you that “WE LOVE YOU”. And wish you good luck in every walk of life.
On Monday, a suicide car bombing in the city of the Kandahar killed five US soldiers. This was the second of such attack in as many weeks. Although afghan and US officials insisted that only five soldiers were injured in the latest in string of assaults in the former Taliban stronghold, independent sources claimed five American soldiers were killed in the bombing of the convoy on the Kandahare – Heart Highway.
Mohammad Ayub Salangi, the chief of police for the province said the attack which involved a taxi drove and crashed into the coalition forces. He added it was a suicide bombing that left the attacker’s body blown to pieces. But the US led coalition force’s spokeswomen in Kabul, Cindy Moore said only four soldiers had been wounded in the attack.
The Taliban, on the other hand, claimed that at leas 10 people were killed in the blast. Their spokesman spoke to Media news agency and claimed responsibility for the attack. Wherever, the casualty figure, the result is more killing of young soldiers by the extremists who claim to do it in the name of Islam.
Jun 13, 2005
Four US troops were killed when a suicide bomber drove an explosive-packed car into an American military convoy in the troubled southern Kandahar province on Monday.
Afghan and US officials insisted only five soldiers were injured in the latest in a string of assaults in the former Taliban stronghold, but independent sources claimed five American soldiers were killed in the bombing of the convoy on the Kandahar-Herat Highway.
Provincial police chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi said to Media the attack - involving a taxi car crashed into the coalition forces' convoy - took place near the mausoleum of Mir Wais Baba. He added it was a suicide bombing that left the attacker's body blown to pieces.
Salangi continued the injured were shifted to hospital before his arrival on the spot. "I have unconfirmed reports that five soldiers have been killed," he informed.
But coalition forces' spokeswoman in Kabul Cindy Moore said only four soldiers had been wounded in the attack. "They have been shifted to hospital for medical treatment and investigations are underway."
She explained the coalition forces were conducting a routine patrol when an improvised explosive device hit their convoy, wounding four US service members. According to the spokeswoman, the injured were evacuated to the Kandahar airfield.
In media, Colonel James Yonts of the US army described the soldiers as members of a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) assigned with civil-military aid work in the restive region.
"One of the four wounded is in a serious condition," he revealed, saying the victims were receiving medical attention at the Kandahar airfield." Yonts would not conjecture as to who might have mounted the daring assault.
However, Kandahar city police chief General Salem Ihsas, without elaborating his assertion, told Media charred body parts of the bomber suggested he was an Arab national.
A senior intelligence official in Kandahar divulged the explosive-packed car hit the convoy carrying officials of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), killing two people and wounding three others. He believed the attacker was an Arab.
Witnesses said three of the injured soldiers were carried on stretchers into a military helicopter while another two choppers were hovering over the area. Soon after the explosion, coalition military vehicles rushed to the site, they claimed.
No one has so far accepted responsibility for the deadly attack. But Taliban have stepped up violence in the south to disrupt the upcoming parliamentary polls scheduled for mid-September.
At least 13 US soldiers have been killed since March in attacks in southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan, months after top American commanders claimed the Taliban-led insurgency was fast running out of steam.
Jun 12, 2005
Archeologists have discovered an ancient town in the Nirk district of the central Wardak province.
The town, as old as 200 AD, has been unearthed in Alghata Hill at Dadil village, 50 kilometres west of here. The town is spread over about one and half kilometre area, provincial authorities informed.
Zalmai Mayar, head of the provincial Information and Culture Department, has mentioned to media that the historical site was unearthed on May 24 as a result of a joint survey launched by the UNICSO, Afghanistan Archeology Institute and French Embassy in 2003.
"Forty-five workers took part in the excavation following the discovery of the town," Mayar said, adding walls were engraved with different kinds of paintings. He reckoned it would take about six months to fully unearth the site.
He said 19 of the 40 surveys carried out in different parts of the country had proved successful thus far while chances of discovery of more archeological sites were bright
Jun 10, 2005
Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni was set free by her kidnapper late Thursday night and handed over to Italian Embassy officials in Kabul.
Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali told a clutch of hard-nosed journalists at 10.10pm: "We are glad announcing that her release has finally been secured after long-drawn-out negotiations."
He thanked the Afghan people including religious scholars, widows and tribal elders for their support in realizing the objective. "Throughout the whole episode, we preferred peaceful means of resolving the crisis with a view to ensuring the hostage's safety."
Cantoni also spoke to her parents, friends and family members following her release, the minister said, assuring the government was determined to stone-wall such incidents in future.
"Clinging to our policy we have made no concessions at all, much less pay ransom, to criminals," Jalali asserted, reiterating all possible measures would be taken to block a repeat of such incidents.
Senior intelligence officer at Interior Ministry Jalili earlier confirmed the aid worker had been freed. "All I can tell you is that she has been released," he snapped without elaborating.
Sources disclosed former Kunar governor Malik Mohammad Zarin had played a crucial role in securing the release of the 32-year-old CARE International worker, who was snatched from her car in the heart of the Afghan capital city on May 16.
Approached for comments, Malik Zarin claimed after several rounds of parleys, kidnapper Taimoor's mother was freed around sundown ahead of Cantoni's freedom. "Taimoor had only one demand, which was met to pave the way for Cantoni being set at liberty," the then governor said, adding not even a single penny had been paid in ransom.
Sources familiar with the marathon, tenuous negotiations confided to Media the woman was in good health, "though she appeared a touch pale and enervated." They refused to be dragged into discussing the nuts and bolts of the talks, which remained shrouded in secrecy.
An Interior Ministry statement released hours before the anxiously-awaited development predicted the crisis would soon come to a peaceful end. "We are now 24 days into this crisis, and are hopeful it will end peacefully," Lutfullah Mashal observed.
He continued the government was in regular contact with the kidnapper and Cantoni's safe release remained its top priority all through the sordid saga.
She has been in Afghanistan over the last three years working for the rehabilitation of war victims including widows and children. It will be pertinent to recall that she had been abducted from Qila-i-Moosa district of Kabul.
The Italian embassy in Afghanistan and the Karzai government ran a hectic campaign, distributing posters and stickers bearing Cantoni's photographs with Afghan women and children.
Published in Pashto and Dari languages, the posters urged people to share information, if any, with the government about the Italian national. A day earlier, Kabul schoolgirls held out stickers seeking public help for Cantoni's release.
Jun 7, 2005
Female aid workers in Pul-e-Khumri city in Baghlan province have been advised to stay at home after three women were found hanged by the neck on Monday morning in the centre of the city.
The bodies had a letter attached threatening women working for foreign aid organisations, according to local sources. One of the three was identified as being involved with the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and the second was a local civil servant .The third remains unidentified according to Baghlan deputy governor, Daulat Mohammad Rafee, said to Media.
Jun 2, 2005
Jun 1, 2005
Scores of people including the Kabul police chief were killed and wounded in a massive suicide bombing in the southern Kandahar city Wednesday morning, witnesses and security officials said.
The bomb went off with a big bang inside the Abdul Rab Akhunzada Mosque at 9:00am when a large number of people including senior government officials were performing qul for the Kandahar Ulema Council leader Mullah Abdullah Fayyaz.
Giving an eyewitness account, Mohammad Essa told Pajhwok Afghan News Kabul police chief Gen. Mohammad Akram Khakrezwal, widely respected for his commitment to boosting security in the Afghan capital city, was among the fatalities.
Khakrezwal had gone to the Taliban stronghold to participate in the soyem for the pro-government religious scholar, who was gunned down by two unidentified motorcyclists in the increasingly shambolic city on Sunday.
Although the killing of Khakrezwal is yet to be confirmed officially, a knowledgeable source in the Interior Ministry revealed the senior police officer was among the victims. "Yes, we have received reports that Khakrezwal has perished in the blast," he said on condition of anonymity.
According to participants of the religious ceremony, the explosion jolted the mosque as soon as a man clad in military fatigues entered the premises. "Pools of blood and charred human body parts could be seen all over the place, as the injured screaming out in terror ran for the exit," an eyewitness claimed.
Abdul Jabbar, a doctor at Kandahar's Mirwais Hospital, confirmed they had received 16 dead bodies and 30 injured people, some of them in critical condition. He feared the death toll could go up as many of the injured including government officials were in serious condition.
Interior Ministry spokesman Lutfullah Mashal put the number of fatalities at more than 30, but witnesses claimed the toll could be even higher because "we saw nearly 33 bodies." Up to 70 people were inside the worship-place to offer prayers for the renowned scholar at the time of the bombing.
Soon after Maulvi Fayyaz's slaying vehemently denounced by President Hamid Karzai as a cowardly act, Taliban spokesman Latifullah Hakimi had claimed responsibility for the killing.
Just a week earlier, the ousted student militia had threatened to kill ulema drumming support for the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for September 18.
It will be pertinent to explain Gen. Akram Khakrezwal was appointed as Kabul police chief two months back. His resolute stance against armed gangs, bandits and anti-state elements earned him a robust reputation for professional integrity.
In the Taliban era, he had served as Helmand police chief, a province out of the student militia's control at that time. Before assuming charge of office in Kabul, he headed the Balakh police force.
The son of Haji Shahjehan, Khakrezwal was born in Kandahar. After college education, he underwent top-level police training and held a number of senior positions.
news source: pajhwak
27 killed in Afganistan Mosque blast
20 killed in bomb explosion in southern Afghanistan
Up to 40 killed in Kandahar explosion
17 Killed in blast inside Afghan Mosque
More than 30 killed in bomb explosion in south Afghanistan: official
30 die in Kandahar mosque blast