Entries in Bagram (5)


NTSB to Investigate Cargo Plane Crash at US Base in Afghanistan

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGRAM, Afghanistan) -- Officials from the Afghan Ministry of Transport held a news conference Monday morning and offered an update on the Boeing 747 cargo plane that crashed dramatically at Bagram Air Base on April 29.

The black box from the plane will be taken to the United States by a team from the National Transportation Safety Board. Preliminary information leads officials to believe that the crash may have been caused by a shift in weight of the plane's cargo.

According to Mohammad Afzal Ramzi, a representative of the Ministry of Transport, the last word heard on the black box was either "wait" or "weight." Authorities will have to determine which word the pilot was saying.

Most of the parts found at the site of the crash were burned, while some of the parts that hold cargo in place, including chains and buckles, were broken. At the time of the crash, the plane had been carrying five mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles along with other heavy military equipment.

The investigation could take a year before an official cause is connected to the crash.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


U.S. and Afghanistan Reach Agreement on Control of Bagram Prison

Kevin Horan/Stone(WASHINGTON) -- After negotiations and delays, the International Security Assistance Force has turned control of Bagram detention facility to the Afghan government.

The prison was a main topic of conversation when Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel traveled to Afghanistan earlier this month. Previous attempts to hand over the detention facility were delayed by concerns that Afghan officials would release high-risk detainees.

According to the New York Times, Bagram was the only remaining American prison for long-term detention in Afghanistan, and the agreement to turn over control is a key to widning down the war in Afghanistan.

A Pentagon spokesman told the Times that, "the transfer will be carried out in a way that ensures the safety of the Afghan people and coalition forces by keeping dangerous individuals detained in a secure and humane manner in accordance with Afghan law."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Three Afghans Killed, NATO Helicopter Destroyed in Insurgent Attack

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- A NATO helicopter was destroyed and three Afghan intelligence agents were killed after a rocket attack at Bagram Air Base, according to NATO officials.

The attack happened Monday at 10 p.m.  The rockets landed directly on the airfield -- one of the biggest in the country -- leading a Chinook CH-47 to catch fire.

“It was parked on the airfield,” Charles Stadtlander, a NATO spokesperson, said. “The helicopter caught fire after it was hit by indirect fire.”

There were both coalition and Afghan service members aboard the helicopter when it caught fire.  Three Afghans aboard were killed, while an undisclosed number of coalition troops were hurt.  NATO’s International Security and Assistance Force typically does not provide details on troop casualties when they are non-fatal.  

Afghan officials say the three Afghans killed were all members of the National Directorate of Security, the country’s intelligence service.  Two other Afghans were hurt.

In a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Rocket attacks at Bagram, a major, sprawling coalition base an hour’s drive north of Kabul, aren’t rare.  Last month, an insurgent rocket attack damaged the plane being used by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, during his visit.  The plane was parked on the tarmac at the time and no one was killed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghanistan Takes Control of Bagram Prison from US

Kevin Horan/Stone(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Bagram prison, the main U.S. detention center in Afghanistan over the past decade, was formally turned over to Afghan authorities during a ceremony Monday.

In a statement, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that government control of the facility holding more than 3,000 prisoners helps move the rest of the world closer to recognition of Afghan national sovereignty.

Foreign Minister spokesman Janan Musazai also promised "humane treatment of all detainees and prisoners in accordance to our national and international obligations."

However, some human rights groups remain skeptical about Afghanistan's commitment to non-abusive treatment of detainees.

Open Society Afghanistan said following the transfer of Bagram that other countries in similar situations often play fast and loose with regulations of internment.

Spokesman Rachel Reid stated, "In our experience in other countries, it’s been very open to abuse, because what it enables a government to do is to detain people without trial and often without a lawyer."

Meanwhile, U.S. Deputy Public Affairs Officer Jamie Graybeal stressed that while Bagram is now under Afghan control, the new arrangement won't limit American authority in capturing and detaining enemies of the state and criminals.

That could turn into a further source of contention between Washington and Kabul since the U.S. is concerned that the Afghans may start freeing Taliban prisoners, a possibility that might keep the American military from turning over suspects it captures.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghanistan Taking Control of Major Prison Run by US

Kevin Horan/Stone(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The U.S. and Afghanistan seem headed for another serious setback in their relations as an Afghan three-star general is poised to assume control of Bagram prison from the American military.

Gen. Ghulam Farooq Barekzai, a former top official with the Defense Ministry, has been named to run the detention center that holds at least 3,200 inmates.

The U.S. agreed last month to allow Afghanistan to run the prison after Kabul argued that it was a violation of its national sovereignty to have prisoners detained indefinitely by foreign guards.

What is disturbing to Washington and the Pentagon is that the U.S. will have no veto power over which prisoners are released, many of whom are mid-to-high level Taliban militants.

It's expected that if these detainees are set free, they'll return to the battlefield to fight against coalition and Afghan forces.

At best, the Afghans will permit American officials to have what is termed a "consultative role" to express concerns about certain detainees.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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