Entries in Wardak (2)


Afghan President Hamid Karzai to US Special Ops: Get Out

MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered all U.S. Special Forces out of two key provinces within two weeks, accusing Afghan units under their jurisdiction of being responsible for the torture, abuse, and disappearance of Afghan civilians.

The deadline was announced Sunday by Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizi at a hastily convened press conference, and later repeated in a statement from the Presidential Palace.

The decision came after Karzai met Sunday with his National Security Council. According to the statement, during the meeting "it became clear that armed individuals belonging to U.S. Special Forces engaged in harassing, annoying, torturing, and even murdering innocent people."

A NATO spokesperson says they are aware of the allegations, but would not provide further comment.

U.S. Special Forces are known to conduct operations with Afghan units that are separate from the normal Afghan Army. Because these units are often directly recruited, trained and supported by U.S. Special Forces, they fall outside of Karzai's control.

Afghans have long complained of harassment and intimidation at the hands of these forces, some of whom are seen as former criminals and militia members out to settle petty vendettas against tribal enemies.

Karzai's allegations refer to two specific incidents: The disappearance of nine Afghan civilians following a Special Forces operation, and the death of a student who was taken away during a night raid and whose body was found two days later under a bridge with torture marks and his throat cut. The incidents are believed to have occurred recently.

Wardak lies just to the west of Kabul and Logar to the south. Both provinces are considered key gateways to the city of Kabul.

In addition to the two-week deadline for all U.S. Special Forces to leave the two provinces, Karzai also ordered an immediate halt to all U.S. Special Operations activities in Wardak province.

The move comes a week after Karzai lashed out at coalition forces, ordering a ban on all airstrikes in residential areas. The ban came after several civilians were reportedly killed in an airstrike requested by Afghan forces.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


US Believes Haqqani Network Responsible for Wardak Attack

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Pentagon officials said Monday they suspect that the Haqqani Network was behind this weekend's bomb attack on a combat outpost in Wardak, Afghanistan, that wounded 77 U.S. personnel with non-life-threatening injuries.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Monday, "This was of course a deplorable attack against the combat outpost in Wardak and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms and we believe the perpetrators of the attack were from the Haqqani Network.  And again this is totally unacceptable behavior and we call on these kinds of attacks to cease."
Little said he wasn't going to get into how the U.S. has made that determination, but said, "Suffice it to say we have strong confidence. There is a very strong likelihood that top Haqqani leadership supported and were aware of the attack.”
Joint Chiefs of Staff Spokesman Captain John Kirby added, “This was not one guy with a suicide vest.  This was a large, large vehicle with a large amount of explosive material and you don’t conduct that kind of attack without good resourcing good planning and a fair level of coordination. "

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio