Entries in Insurgents (22)


Three Americans Killed in 'Insider Attack' in Afghanistan

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PATIKA, Afghanistan) -- An apparent insider attack has killed three Americans in the Patika region of Afghanistan.

A man wearing an Afghan army uniform turned his weapon on his American trainers early Saturday, killing three. Two of the trainers were U.S. soldiers. According to BBC News, when the man began firing, a number of international troops fired back at him.

In an unrelated attack, an Italian soldier was killed with a grenade in the Farah province. According to BBC News, the International Security Assistance Force is terming that incident an "insurgent attack." Three additional Italian soldiers were wounded in the attack, says BBC News.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


UN Reports May Was Deadliest Month in Iraq in Five Years

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As many had feared, May not only turned out to be the deadliest month in Iraq since American forces left the country a year-and-a-half ago but also the month with the most fatalities since June 2008.

According to statistics released last Saturday by the United Nations, at least 1,045 civilians and security personnel died in May due to violence, largely because of the rise in sectarian conflicts.

The greater Baghdad area alone accounted for more than half of those killed by insurgents and militants seeking to stir up simmering animosities between Sunnis and Shiites.

Car bombs and other types of explosives were the primary killing instruments used.

Calling May's death toll "a sad record," Martin Kobler, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Iraq, said, "Iraqi political leaders must act immediately to stop this intolerable bloodshed."

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has repeatedly urged calm, vowing to go after the perpetrators of violent acts.

Nonetheless, his requests for national unity seem to be falling on deaf ears with Sunni lawmakers and tribesmen blaming him for conditions leading to a revival of sectarian tensions.

The U.N.'s death toll may be called into dispute since Iraqi officials claim it's closer to 580. However, the international body claims its numbers are more accurate, saying they're based on direct investigation and credible outside sources.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Rocket Attack in Afghanistan Kills One, Injures Three

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Locals are in shock after four rockets were fired into Kabul city Tuesday morning.

According to the chief of Kabul Police, one person was killed and three others were injured -- all were civilians.

One rocket landed in the northeastern part of Kabul, near a private television station, while another one crashed close to an office compound used by the Afghan intelligence service. The other two rockets landed near Kabul International Airport.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Multiple Insurgents Killed in Series of Suicide Attacks in Afghanistan

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Afghan authorities say more than 10 insurgents were killed in Kandahar City Monday afternoon in a series of suicide attacks.  

A spokesperson for the governor of Kandahar Province says three suicide bombers riding in a vehicle blew themselves up on a city street, killing two children and wounding six other civilians.

Authorities say several other insurgents launched a suicide attack on a Kandahar police station and were all killed by Afghan police.

In central Afghanistan, five Afghan police officers were killed when their truck struck a roadside bomb planted by the Taliban, Afghan officials said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghan Police Officers Poisoned, Ambushed by Insurgents

REZA SHIRMOHAMMADI/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- At least four Afghan National Police officers and two civilians were killed Tuesday when a police station in southern Afghanistan came under attack by insurgents.

The incident took place in the Nahre Saraj district of Helmand province, according to a spokesperson for the provincial governor.  Insurgents ambushed the officers at the checkpoint after poisoning their food. 

Along with the six fatalities, two cops were injured and three others are missing.  Some of the attackers were also said to have been killed when police fired back.

An investigation team has been sent out to the area to find out more.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan: Is It Working?

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury/Released(WASHINGTON) -- Counterinsurgency may not be the buzzword it was in 2009, when President Obama was deliberating strategy for the war in Afghanistan -- but it is still the Army's prevailing strategy in the war that passed the 10-year mark this weekend, a military official said.

So how are we doing with our latest strategy?

It's not so easy to tell, according to the official -- Lt. Col. John Paganini, the director of the U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Center -- because there's no easy way to measure its success and no specific end date on the books, though officials are aware U.S. war resources may be limited.

Part of the problem with measuring success, Paganini said, is that a central point of the strategy is to be nimble and willing to change methods as needs change.

"Every day is a challenge to be adaptive," Paganini said.  "So we can't say, 'Well, today we're doing really well,' because everything is adaptive."

The goal of the counterinsurgency strategy is to defeat Taliban and affiliated insurgents by helping to bolster the Afghan government and its security forces, winning the hearts and minds of Afghans, reintegrating and reconciling former insurgents into society and helping to kick-start a functioning national economy.

President Obama ordered a surge of U.S. military forces and government officials into Afghanistan in 2009 to accomplish the strategy's early objectives.

Paganini said that the strategy has changed since the beginning of the war.  In the last three or four years, the Army has shifted from focusing on the enemy to building sustainable, long-lasting programs run by Afghans at every government level.

"We are becoming adaptive to overcome the insurgency," Paganini said, "not just those who are out to kill us or apply military force against us, or the protectors of the society of the host nation, but it really also gets after, 'Why does the insurgency exist?  What are the conditions that allow the population to either passively or actively support an external entity that wants to degrade the ability of the host nation government's security force?'"

For example, he said, the biggest thing the Army eliminated was "the idea in the minds of the Afghan citizenry and the Afghan leaders that this is an external problem with external solutions."

"Reinforce the notion that they already have that this is their problem, and their solutions are going to fix this problem," he said.  "And I think what you've seen -- from the initial stages of an awareness of [the idea that Afghans hold the key to their fate], to an acceptance of that, to a practice of it -- that's where you've seen significant gains."

Paganini said changing the minds of Afghans could take generations.

"Is victory inevitable?" he asked.  "No, because there are so many conditions that are out there.  But we are clearly on the path for it. ... It could take generations.  It could take, you know, the people of Afghanistan one or two iterations with some semblance of an election and feedback mechanisms that let them see that this is good."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


ISAF Kills Afghan Taliban Leader Linked to Downed US Helicopter

Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- When a U.S. Chinook helicopter was shot down by Taliban insurgents in Wardak, Afghanistan, last month, killing 38 people on board, the target of operations that night escaped.

But on Tuesday, coalition forces finally tracked Qari Tahir down in a dry riverbed in Sayyidabad district and killed him with an air strike, NATO's International Security Assistance Force announced Thursday.

"Tahir was the Taliban’s top leader in Tangi Valley and was the target of a previous combined operation on Aug. 5, 2011, that resulted in the loss of the CH-47 Chinook last month.  He led a group of insurgent fighters throughout the valley and was known to use roadside bombs and rockets to intimidate the local populace," the ISAF said in a statement.

"After ensuring no civilians were in the area, the force called for the air strike which resulted in the death of Tahir and another insurgent," the statement continued.

The district where Tahir died has become one of the Taliban's closest safehavens to Kabul.  A few months ago, the Taliban overran a military base that had been transferred from the U.S. to Afghan security forces, and residents say insurgents regularly set up checkpoints throughout the area.

The ISAF doesn't admit the district is largely Taliban-controlled, but it does admit it has launched an average of one night raid in the district every week in 2011, killing 35 suspected insurgents and detaining more than 80.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kabul Embassy Siege: Blood, Bullet Casings Where Attackers Died

Enayat Asadi/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- On the ninth floor of a half-complete high-rise building a quarter of a mile from the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, there are signs of urban warfare.

Unfinished plaster walls have been chipped away by the impact of hundreds of bullets.  Pools of blood stain the cement where seven militants were killed and then, after their bodies were desecrated by angry Afghan police, dragged downstairs.  Stun grenade cartridges -- used by international special operations forces -- and thousands of bullet casings lie between heaps of cement bags.

ABC News and other journalists received a tour from Afghan police a few hours after the longest siege in Kabul in 10 years of war ended -- nearly 20 hours after it began.  Seven attackers believed to be from the Haqqani network, a Taliban affiliate, used dozens of incomplete rooms and right-angled staircases to fend off Afghan and international special operations forces.  The building provided insurgents an almost perfect setting from which to launch rockets into NATO's main military headquarters and the U.S. embassy.  At least six rockets hit inside the embassy, injuring four Afghans, but no Americans, according to U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

The battle to take the building back from insurgents took the lives of two policemen and three civilians and injured three international special operations forces, according to Afghan police officials and a spokesman for NATO troops.  In total, 16 people died, not including the attackers.  The siege also paralyzed a city of four million people for two days.  Even after the attack ended, traffic in the city was non-existent.

Tuesday's incident was the third major attack in Kabul just in the last 10 weeks, the most violent period in Kabul in almost two years.  Most residents said the attack filled them with fear; if insurgents could get into an area so close to the base and embassy, they wondered, what would stop them from going anywhere they wanted?

But despite the length of the attack and the security breach next to one of the most secure areas in all of Afghanistan, U.S. officials tried to downplay its significance.  Crocker even seemed to taunt the insurgents, calling the attack "minor league stuff" and "not a big deal."

But it has rattled an already on-edge population, and once again has called into question the ability of highly trained Afghan commandos to respond to major terrorist threats.  Afghan police acknowledged they needed the help of international special operations forces -- believed to be from New Zealand -- with whom they have been training.

The attackers arrived at the site on Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. disguised in burqas, according to Kabul's police chief, Gen. Ayoub Salangi.  They carried their weapons with them, but an intelligence official said they had possibly stored some additional firepower or ammunition in the building before they arrived.  They killed two guards and took positions on the top floors.  The ninth floor is where the majority of them seemed to have holed up.  At least four died in a large open area and in one of the side rooms on that floor, according to Salangi.

During the tour for reporters, police showed the bodies of four insurgents.  Two had been shot through the eyes or between the eyes, and one's head had been blown half off.  When crime scene investigators picked up one of the bodies, a live grenade was beneath him.

Even more quickly than normal, U.S. officials pointed the blame across the border at Pakistan and the Haqqani network, which is believed to be run out of the North Waziristan tribal area.

"We believe by virtue of the complexity of the attack and the way it was executed, that this probably was a Haqqani instigated attack," Lt. Gen. John Allen, commander of all international troops in Afghanistan, told reporters.  "With regard to the safe havens, we talk to the Pakistanis all the time.  We desire to partner with them to control insurgent infiltration across the border.  On some occasions it works, but in particular we seek to have the Pakistani government place greater pressure on the Haqqani network to keep them on the east side of the border."

That request was echoed by Crocker, but for the Pakistanis, it is not so easy.  In an exclusive interview with ABC News last week, Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik, who commands the Pakistani army in northwest Pakistan, said he did not have enough troops to go after the Haqqani network.  He also said an offensive against a militant group that attacks U.S. troops -- but generally avoids attacking inside Pakistan -- was not in Pakistan's interest, and Pakistan would not be bullied into anything by the U.S.

"I can't tell you how to do your job, right?  You know best how to do it," he said to an American reporter.  "This is our country.  These are our people.  These are our problems.  We will go into North Waziristan if we want to go for our domestic reasons."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Insurgent Attack on Afghan Capital Comes to an End

Enayat Asadi/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Nineteen-and-a-half hours after it began, the insurgent-led attack in Kabul, Afghanistan that targeted the U.S. Embassy and NATO military headquarters there has finally ended, Kabul’s police chief and interior ministry said Wednesday.

With the help of coalition forces, Afghan National Security Forces trapped the small group of insurgents in a construction site they were using as a firing position, sweeping each floor of the building until all was clear, NATO said.  At least six insurgents were killed in the operation, according to the interior ministry.

NATO reports that six servicemembers of its International Security Assistance Force were wounded in the siege -- three while helping to clear the construction site, and three when a rocket-propelled grenade hit a military base Tuesday that also came under fire.

Tuesday's attack was the third major one in Kabul in the last two-and-a-half months, and one of the longest the Afghan capital has ever witnessed.

NATO said the operation to end the siege took so long because the troops inside the building believed it was booby-trapped, forcing them to be more methodical than usual.  It also took so long because the ISAF made a decision not to fire at the insurgents from hovering helicopters due to the building’s location in the heart of the city.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Embassy, NATO Headquarters Come Under Attack in Afghanistan

U.S. State Department(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Insurgents launched one of their most coordinated attacks in Kabul on Tuesday, piercing the city’s most secure area to fire rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at the U.S. Embassy and the adjoining NATO military headquarters.

The assault was timed to coincide with at least three other suicide bomb attacks in the city, a sign that despite U.S. claims of progress in Afghanistan, militants are still able to launch high-profile — if not always successful — attacks in the capital.

Tuesday’s attack began at 1:30 p.m. and was still continuing at 9:00 p.m., a seven-and-a-half-hour siege that killed at least six and wounded 18. It is the third major attack in Kabul in the last two-and-a-half months, one of the most violent periods in the last few years and a challenge to Afghan forces, who are responsible for but have been unable to guarantee security in Kabul.

The insurgents took over a construction site less than 1,000 feet from the embassy and fought off not only Afghan police and commandos on the ground but also Afghan commandos who arrived in Soviet-made Afghan helicopters.

Insurgents fired at the embassy and military base, but there were no injuries caused in either location, a sign that their shooting was wild and, perhaps, random.

One of those killed was an Afghan who lived in a nearby house that was hit by a rocket.

Before the embassy attack began, at least three suicide bombers in different parts of the city targeted police, according to the city’s police chief, Gen. Ayuob Salangi. The worst of the attacks occurred in west Kabul, about five miles from the embassy, where a suicide attacker tried to enter a police precinct and blew himself up as he was shot, killing one policeman and injuring three others.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio