Latest Afghanistan News

  • Iraqi parliament hopeful Khazali fought in Syrian civil war
    Iraqi parliament hopeful Khazali fought in Syrian civil war 23 hours ago

    An Iraqi Shiite who proudly fought Sunni rebels in Syria's civil war is now running for parliament in his home country, where the conflict has raised already-high sectarian tensions. More »

  • U.S. jurors hear Abu Hamza's praise for September 11 attacks
    U.S. jurors hear Abu Hamza's praise for September 11 attacks Tue, Apr 22, 2014

    By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a video of radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri shown to jurors at his trial on Monday, he did not hesitate when a television interviewer asked him about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people. "Everyone was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center," Abu Hamza said in the undated film played in a U.S. court where the former imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London faces terrorism-related charges. Prosecutors have accused the one-eyed, handless Abu Hamza of trying to set up a jihadist training camp in Oregon, giving assistance to militants who took 16 Western tourists hostage in Yemen in 1998, a kidnapping that ended with the deaths of three Britons and an Australian, and raising money and supplies for al Qaeda in Afghanistan. If convicted of the most serious charges, the Egyptian-born Abu Hamza would face life in prison. More »

  • Exclusive - U.S. force in Afghanistan may be cut to less than 10,000 troops
    Exclusive - U.S. force in Afghanistan may be cut to less than 10,000 troops Tue, Apr 22, 2014

    By Missy Ryan and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan may drop well below 10,000 - the minimum demanded by the U.S. military to train Afghan forces - as the longest war in American history winds down, Obama administration officials briefed on the matter say. Since Afghanistan's general election on April 5, White House, State Department and Pentagon officials have resumed discussions on how many American troops should remain after the current U.S.-led coalition ends its mission this year. ... More »

  • U.S. jurors hear radical cleric's praise for September 11 attacks
    U.S. jurors hear radical cleric's praise for September 11 attacks Tue, Apr 22, 2014

    By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a video of radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri shown to jurors at his trial on Monday, he did not hesitate when a television interviewer asked him about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people. "Everyone was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center," Abu Hamza said in the undated film played in a U.S. court where the former imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London faces terrorism-related charges. Prosecutors have accused the one-eyed, handless Abu Hamza of trying to set up a jihadist training camp in Oregon, giving assistance to militants who took 16 Western tourists hostage in Yemen in 1998, a kidnapping that ended with the deaths of three Britons and an Australian, and raising money and supplies for al Qaeda in Afghanistan. If convicted of the most serious charges, the Egyptian-born Abu Hamza would face life in prison. More »

  • Saudi Arabia sentences eight to death for 2003 attacks - SPA Mon, Apr 21, 2014

    A Saudi Arabian court on Monday sentenced three more men to death, raising the number of people condemned for their involvement in a suicide attack on expatriate residential compounds in Riyadh in 2003 to eight, the state news agency reported. Another 40 people were sentenced to terms of two to 35 years for assisting the attacks in north-eastern Riyadh, which were part of a three-year campaign by al Qaeda that killed hundreds and was aimed at destabilising U.S. ally Saudi Arabia. Riyadh crushed the campaign in 2006, detaining more than 11,000 people in its security prisons, it has said. The remnants of that al Qaeda group fled to Yemen where in 2009 they joined local militants to form Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, now seen as one of the most dangerous branches of the movement around the world. More »

  • Saudi Arabia sentences five to death for 2003 attacks - SPA Mon, Apr 21, 2014

    A Saudi Arabian court on Sunday sentenced five men to death for their involvement in a suicide attack on expatriate residential compounds in Riyadh in 2003, the state news agency reported. Another 37 people were sentenced to terms of three to 35 years for assisting the attacks in north-eastern Riyadh, which were part of a three-year campaign by al Qaeda that killed hundreds and was aimed at destabilising U.S. ally Saudi Arabia. Riyadh crushed the campaign in 2006, detaining more than 11,000 people in its security prisons, it has said. The remnants of that al Qaeda group fled to Yemen where in 2009 they joined local militants to form Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, now seen as one of the most dangerous branches of the movement around the world. More »

  • Katherine Jenkins to Wed Film Producer Beau
    Katherine Jenkins to Wed Film Producer Beau Mon, Apr 21, 2014

    Classical music star Katherine Jenkins has announced she is to marry her film producer boyfriend. More »

  • Al Qaeda kills 14 Algerian soldiers in ambush Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    By Lamine Chikhi ALGIERS (Reuters) - Islamist militants killed at least 14 Algerian soldiers in an ambush in mountains east of the capital Algiers at the weekend in one of the deadliest attacks on the military in years. The troops were in the Tizi Ouzou region, 120 km (75 miles) east of Algiers, when they were attacked by al Qaeda's north African branch, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), state news agency APS and a security source said on Sunday. The attack on Saturday night came just days after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 77, was re-elected for a fourth term following a campaign that portrayed the ageing leader as the key to continued security for the North African OPEC state. Since the end of its 1990s war with armed Islamists, attacks have been rarer in Algeria. More »

  • Abdullah widens lead in Afghan presidential vote - latest count
    Abdullah widens lead in Afghan presidential vote - latest count Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    By Jeremy Laurence KABUL (Reuters) - Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah's lead in the Afghan presidential race has widened, the latest official tally of votes released on Sunday showed, although half of the votes have yet to be counted. Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission said initial results based on almost 50 percent of the vote out of the total 34 provinces showed Abdullah in the lead with 44.4 percent, followed by ex-world bank official Ashraf Ghani with 33.2 percent of the votes it said were not fraudulent. "The lead we were expecting, it didn't come as a surprise, but perhaps we were expecting a bigger lead," Abdullah told Reuters in an interview at his home in Kabul. Final results are due on May 14, and a run-off, if needed, will take place in late May. A run-off is seen as a risky proposition in Afghanistan, given security concerns, the prospect of a low turnout and the cost - the bill for the first round was put at more than $100 million. More »

  • Abdullah widens lead in Afghan presidential poll
    Abdullah widens lead in Afghan presidential poll Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah is well ahead of his main rival in Afghanistan's presidential election, officials said Sunday after half of the ballots were counted, though a run-off vote still looks likely next month. More »

  • Militants kill 11 Algerian soldiers in ambush Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    By Lamine Chikhi ALGIERS (Reuters) - Islamic militants killed at least 11 Algerian soldiers in an ambush on a patrol in mountains east of the capital Algiers, a security source said on Sunday, in one of the deadliest attacks on the military in years. The troops were searching for militants in the Tizi Ouzou region, 120 km (75 miles) east of Algiers, when they were attacked by fighters from al Qaeda's north African branch, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the source told Reuters. Another 11 soldiers were wounded, the source said. The attack came just days after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 77, was re-elected for a fourth term following a campaign that portrayed the aging leader as key to continued security for the North African OPEC state. More »

  • Nintendo's trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
    Nintendo's trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    A customer checks out used Game Boy consoles a videogame shop in Tokyo, on April 17, 2014 More »

  • Kate takes controls in fighter jet
    Kate takes controls in fighter jet Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    It was an offer the Duke of Cambridge probably thought his wife could not refuse - jumping in the back seat of his fighter jet. More »

  • Special Report - How the U.S. made its Putin problem worse
    Special Report - How the U.S. made its Putin problem worse Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    By David Rohde and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON AND NEW YORK (Reuters) - In September 2001, as the U.S. reeled from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, Vladimir Putin supported Washington's imminent invasion of Afghanistan in ways that would have been inconceivable during the Cold War. He agreed that U.S. planes carrying humanitarian aid could fly through Russian air space. He said the U.S. military could use airbases in former Soviet republics in Central Asia. And he ordered his generals to brief their U.S. counterparts on their own ill-fated 1980s occupation of Afghanistan. More »

  • Touring royals meet Australian military families
    Touring royals meet Australian military families Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate met with the families of Australian soldiers killed in recent conflicts Saturday and took a front-row fighter jet seat as their tour headed north. More »

  • Column: Why 14 year old Twitter ‘terrorists’ have nothing to worry about
    Column: Why 14 year old Twitter ‘terrorists’ have nothing to worry about Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    There is such a thing as being too sensitive and overreacting when people do stupid things on social media, writes Aaron McKenna. More »

  • Abu Hamza Was 'Committed To War' - Prosecutor
    Abu Hamza Was 'Committed To War' - Prosecutor Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Abu Hamza, an Islamic preacher on terror trial in New York, "was committed to war" and "hid behind religion", prosecutors have said. "Abu Hamza was not just a preacher of religion," Mr Kim said. The Egyptian-born Hamza, who was indicted under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, denies wrongdoing. More »

  • Radical cleric promoted jihad from London mosque, U.S. jury told
    Radical cleric promoted jihad from London mosque, U.S. jury told Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - From his perch as a prominent imam at a north London mosque, Abu Hamza al-Masri sent devoted followers around the world - from Oregon to Afghanistan - to pursue violent jihad against non-believers, a federal prosecutor told jurors in New York on Thursday. "His goal was clear, it was simple, and it was vicious," Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Kim said in Manhattan federal court at the start of Abu Hamza's trial on terrorism-related charges. "Abu Hamza was not just a preacher of religion, he was a trainer of terrorists." Prosecutors accuse the one-eyed, handless cleric with trying to set up a jihadist training camp in Oregon; But Joshua Dratel, Abu Hamza's attorney, told jurors that while Abu Hamza may have been guilty of using inflammatory rhetoric, he had never participated in criminal activity. More »

  • Briton 'global exporter of terrorism' NY trial hears
    Briton 'global exporter of terrorism' NY trial hears Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    British hate preacher Abu Hamza was a "global exporter" of violence and terrorism intent on waging war against non-Muslims, prosecutors said Thursday as the Egyptian-born cleric's trial opened in New York. More »

  • Testament: Tribute to Getty Images Photographer Chris Hondros
    Testament: Tribute to Getty Images Photographer Chris Hondros Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    photographer Chris Hondros was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade in Libya on April 20, 2011. Testament, published by Powerhouse Books, is a collection of his powerful photographs and writing, spanning more than a decade of coverage from some of the world's major conflict zones, including Liberia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti and Libya. On April 20, 2011, Chris Hondros and acclaimed photojournalist Tim Hetherington were both killed while covering a battle on Tripoli Street in Misrata, Libya. More »

  • Taliban negotiator under house arrest in UAE, says Afghanistan
    Taliban negotiator under house arrest in UAE, says Afghanistan Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    By Hamid Shalizi KABUL (Reuters) - A leading Taliban peace negotiator has been placed under house arrest in the United Arab Emirates, officials said on Thursday, dealing a blow to President Hamid Karzai's efforts to jump-start a nascent Afghan peace process before leaving office. Agha Jan Mutassim, a finance minister during Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, has been missing for over a week, according to the Afghan government, disappearing after arranging a meeting in Dubai between Afghan and Taliban officials in February. "Mutassim ... one of the key Taliban leaders and who supported Afghan peace initiative, was put under house arrest in the UAE where he lived," the Afghan High Peace Council, a body formed by Karzai to engage in peace talks with the Taliban, said on Thursday. "The Afghan government has made requests to the UAE authorities to lift all the restrictions," it said in a statement. More »

  • Putin says trust lost in ties with U.S. before Ukraine crisis Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that trust between Russia and the United States had been damaged before the crisis in Ukraine, but that he wanted to restore their cooperation. "To a certain extent trust has been lost, but we do not think we are to blame," Putin said in a televised phone-in with the nation. He said it was U.S. hypocrisy that had brought relations to their worst level since the Cold War: "The United States can act in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya but Russia is not allowed to defend its interests." The two countries have been at odds over a range of issues, from U.S. missile defence plans to NATO expansion and the civil war in Syria. To improve ties, Putin said, the United States should respect others' interests and international law. More »