News Updates

15 March - 1 April, 2019
  • Afghan Vice President Survives Attack on Convoy
    The Taliban ambushed a convoy escorting the vice president of Afghanistan, killing at least one of his bodyguards, Afghan officials said Sunday. The vice president, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, survived.
    General Dostum, the leader of the Uzbek ethnic minority in Afghanistan and a bitter foe of the Taliban, had just returned to Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh Province in northern Afghanistan, after a personal trip to Uzbekistan. On Saturday evening, he was traveling to his home province of Jowzjan when his convoy came under attack for about an hour in the village of Timorak, in Balkh.
    The convoy pressed on to Jowzjan Province, where it was again ambushed by the insurgents, according to Amanuddin, head of the local police in Timorak.
    Mr. Amanuddin, who like many Afghans uses only one name, said the attackers had destroyed one of General Dostum’s vehicles and killed three of his bodyguards. “Their guys lied about the casualties to the media,” he said, referring to early reports that no one had been killed. (31 March, 2019 New York Times)
  • Taliban Kill Police Officers, Including a Chief, in Afghan City (29 March, 2019 New York Times)
  • Taliban Kill Dozens of Security Forces in Major Strike in Afghanistan ( 24 March 2019, New York Times)
05 March - 14 March, 2019
  • Disputed claims as US air raids kills 11 in Afghanistan's Ghazni: The US has conducted a series of air attacks against Taliban fighters, but elders and local officials say they killed 35 civilians. The Taliban and the United States show no sign of slowing down their battle in Afghanistan, even as they conclude peace talks in Qatar. Meanwhile, on the ground in Afghanistan, the violence continues. The US has conducted a series of air attacks against Taliban fighters, but elders and local officials say they killed 35 civilians. American forces are refuting reports of civilian deaths and have called it "Taliban propaganda". Al Jazeera's Charlotte Bellis reports from Kabul (14 March, 2019, AlJazeera)
  • Is an Afghan peace deal finally within grasp? The path to peace is still long and tedious, but today Afghans have more reason to be hopeful than ever before
    After 16 days of talks in the Qatari capital Doha, US and Taliban negotiators have wrapped up their longest round of negotiations on March 12, signalling concrete progress towards a peace deal to end the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan. Following the marathon talks, both Taliban and US representatives voiced optimism about the future of negotiations and announced that they already produced a "draft" agreement on two key issues - the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban's pledge to cut ties with al-Qaeda and other terror groups. However, the sides also acknowledged that significant progress needs to be made on other thorny issues before the clenching of a peace deal that could end the conflict for good. (14 March, 2019 Al Jazeera)
  • US forces kill five Afghan soldiers in 'self-defense' airstrikes
    US forces launched two "self-defense" airstrikes near an Afghan National Army check point in the Uruzgan province on Wednesday, according to a coalition spokesman. The Afghan government issued a statement saying that five Afghan soldiers were killed and 10 were wounded in the strikes -- numbers the coalition is also accepting, an official told CNN.
    US and coalition officials told CNN that the strikes were launched Wednesday morning local time after a US-Afghan convoy came under fire from friendly forces positioned near the check point. No US forces were killed during the incident. "The US launched a precision airstrike near an Afghan National Army check point on Wednesday after Afghan and US forces came under fire and requested air support," according to Lt. Ubon Mendie, a spokesman for the US forces based in Afghanistan. (13 March, 2019, Al Jazeera)
  • 2 Weeks of U.S.-Taliban Talks End with ‘Progress’ but No Breakthrough (New York Times, 12 March, 2018)
  • Death toll from attack on Shi'ite gathering in Afghan capital rises to 11 (8 March, 2019 Al Jazeera)
  • Attack on Shi'ite Muslim gathering in Afghan capital kills three (Reuters, 7 March, 2019)