Afghanistan

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

Merkel cabinet OKs new rules easing deportation of asylum seekers

The cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday agreed a package of measures to ease the deportation of criminal asylum seekers.

Afghanistan demands Pakistan hand over militants, shut training camps

The Afghan government has demanded that Pakistan hand over terrorists operating on its soil and close tens of terrorist training camps, the Foreign Ministry in Kabul said Monday.

Afghan forces kill key al-Qaeda commander

Saifullah Akhtar, a key Al-Qaeda commander, and one of his fighters were killed in a special operation carried out by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) in Afghanistan's central province of Ghazni, the agency said in a statement on Sunday.

Taliban kill 5, kidnap 52 in northern Afghanistan

Taliban militants killed five and wounded one member of so-called local uprising forces in northern Afghanistan while kidnapping 52 farmers nearby, officials said on Wednesday.

Report slams Pakistan for pressuring Afghan refugees to head home

Police abuse, combined with deportation threats, compelled more than 600,000 Afghan refugees to leave Pakistan and return home last year, Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Monday.  

Thousands protest across Germany against deportations to Afghanistan

Thousands of demonstrators in several German cities called Saturday for a halt to deportations to Afghanistan, calling it an unsafe country and saying that Germany should not be forcing people to return there.

Car bomb in Helmand kills at least 6; Taliban claim responsibility

A car bombing in Lashkargah, the capital of Afghanistan's embattled Helmand province, killed six people on Saturday, including five Afghan army soldiers and a child, a local government official said. 

US to review claims of civilian casualties in Afghanistan airstrikes

The US forces in Afghanistan will review all material related to claims that US airstrikes had caused civilian casualties in Helmand province, a spokesman said on Friday.

Red Cross suspends operations in Afghanistan after attack on workers

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has suspended operations in Afghanistan after gunmen shot and killed six local staff members in northern Jawzjan province, spokesman Thomas Glass said Thursday.

Six local Red Cross staff shot dead in northern Afghanistan

Six local staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were shot dead in Afghanistan's northern Jawzjan province on Wednesday, officials said. 

Afghan president condemns 'inhumane and unforgivable' Kabul bombing

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned a suicide attack on the Supreme Court in Kabul on Tuesday that killed 21 civilians.

At least 19 dead in suicide bombing targeting Afghan Supreme Court

At least 19 people were killed as a suicide bomber on foot set off his explosives at the entrance of the Afghan Supreme Court in Kabul as employees left for home on Tuesday, an official said.

Severe weather kills 119 people across Afghanistan in four days

Heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures have killed at least 119 people across Afghanistan over the past four days, an official said Monday.

Afghan diplomat killed by security guard in Pakistan

An Afghan diplomat was killed inside an Afghan consulate in Pakistan by a security guard, police said on Monday.

UN: Child casualties rise dramatically in Afghanistan

At 3,512 in 2016, child casualties were the highest recorded in a single year, the United Nations said in its annual report on civilian casualties in the Afghan war released on Monday. 

Heavy snowfall, avalanches leave 96 dead in Afghanistan and Pakistan

At least 37 people died due to heavy snowfall, rain, avalanches and severe cold in several parts of Afghanistan over the past three days, an official said on Sunday.

UN lifts sanctions against former Afghan warlord

Former Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has been removed from a United Nations Islamic State and Al-Qaeda sanctions list, according to a statement published Friday.

Taliban militants shoot and kill girl and woman in north Afghanistan

Taliban militants shot and killed a girl and a woman in Afghanistan's northern Badakhshan province, an official said on Thursday.

US report: Afghan forces losing ground to Taliban since NATO retreat

Afghan forces have continued to lose ground to insurgents throughout the country since taking over security responsibilities from NATO at the end of 2014, a new report by a US authority revealed on Wednesday.

Close to 50 killed in heavy snow, severe cold in Afghanistan's north

At least 47 people have died in the last three weeks because of the severe cold and heavy snowfall in northern Afghanistan's Jowzjan province, an official said Tuesday.

UN launches mobile messaging system for Afghan refugees in Pakistan

The United Nations launched a mobile messaging service for young Afghan refugees in Pakistan, enabling them to make visible their needs and issues in the areas of health, education and protection, water sanitation, social welfare and others, the world body said in a press release on Friday.

Cold snap kills 27 children in northern Afghanistan, officials say

A cold snap and heavy snowfall across northern Afghanistan's Jawzjan province has killed 27 children, officials said on Thursday. 

Rights watchdog hits out at Germany over deportations to Afghanistan

EU members including Germany should immediately stop the forced deportation of rejected Afghan asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday.

Second group of rejected Afghan asylum seekers returns from Germany

A group of 25 Afghan asylum seekers whose requests to live in Germany were rejected arrived back in their home country on Tuesday, according to border police at Kabul airport.

Taliban to Trump: Do not follow in the footsteps of Obama and Bush

New US President Donald Trump should review US policy towards Afghanistan and not follow in the footsteps of his predecessors, Barack Obama and George Bush, said the Taliban in a statement late Saturday. 

UN: 550 million dollars in aid needed for Afghanistan

The United Nations on Saturday appealed for 550 million dollars in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan in order to target 5.7 million people in need of assistance in 2017. 

2016 deadliest for journalists in Afghanistan, says watchdog

With 13 killed, 2016 was the deadliest year for journalists "in the history of Afghanistan's media," the Afghanistan Journalist Safety Committee (AJSC) said in a report released on Thursday.

Kidnapped Spanish Red Cross worker freed in Afghanistan

A Red Cross aid worker abducted one month ago in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province was freed on Sunday, a Red Cross spokesman told dpa.

IS militants abduct thirteen teachers in eastern Afghanistan

Islamic States militants abducted 13 lecturers at a religious school in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province on Sunday, an official said.

Investigation finds US strike killed 33 civilians in Afghanistan

A US military investigation found that a November airstrike targeting the Taliban in northern Afghanistan's Kunduz province killed 33 civilians, US forces said on Thursday. 

Toll rises to 58 in three Afghan attacks; UAE says diplomats killed

The death toll from three attacks in Afghanistan climbed to 58 and the United Arab Emirates confirmed Wednesday that five of its diplomats were killed in southern Kandahar province. 

Up to 50 killed in attacks across 3 Afghan provinces

Up to 50 people were killed and about 90 injured in three attacks across Afghanistan on a bloody Tuesday.

Twin bombing in Kabul leaves 26 dead; Taliban claims responsibility

At least 26 people - including four policemen - are dead and 43 others wounded after two suicide bombers targeted the Afghan parliament on Tuesday, officials said. 

UN: More than 620,000 Afghans displaced by conflict

Ongoing conflict across different parts of Afghanistan forced more than 623,000 people to leave their homes in 2016, according to a UN report published Monday.

US Marines to deploy 300 troops to Afghanistan's embattled south

The US Marines will deploy 300 troops to Afghanistan's embattled southern Helmand province as part of NATO's advise-assist mission, the Marine Corps announced late Friday. 

After Afghanistan: protecting journalists in conflict zones

As the nature of warfare changes, so do the risks for journalists who cover war. Many news organizations now hire specialist staff to assess these risks and prepare correspondents for the dangers they may face.

Taliban publicly flogs six amid rise in extrajudicial punishments

Taliban militants have publicly flogged six people in central Afghanistan on allegations of robbery and adultery, provincial authorities said on Tuesday.

Sweden convicts five Afghan teens of raping Afghan minor

A Swedish court Friday convicted five Afghan teenagers of raping an Afghan minor, but rejected the prosecution's request that they be deported after serving their sentences.

Taliban welcomes Russian initiative to take members off UN blacklist

The Taliban said Thursday that it welcomed an initiative by UN Security Council members Russia and China to consider taking some of its adherents off a UN terrorism blacklist as part of peace efforts in war-torn Afghanistan.

Afghan woman beheaded by Taliban in northern Afghanistan

An Afghan woman was beheaded by the Islamist extremist Taliban late Sunday in Afghanistan's northern Sar-i Pul province, officials said on Monday.

Afghan government slams celebrated female pilot after US asylum claim

Nilofar Rahmani, a celebrated Afghan female pilot who was awarded the annual "Women of Courage" prize by the US State Department, has applied for asylum in the US, to the scorn of the government in Kabul. 

Eight killed in Taliban attack on Afghan MP's Kabul house

Eight people, including two children, were killed in a siege which lasted more than six hours at the Kabul home of Afghan parliamentarian Mir Wali, an official said Thursday.

Croatian defence officials meet Resolute Support Afghanistan commander

On the last day of their visit to Afghanistan, Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic and Chief-of-Staff General Mirko Sundov met in Kabul with Resolute Support mission commander, Army General John W. Nicholson for talks on the current issues regarding the mission, the Defence Ministry said in a press release.

Defence Ministry delegation visits Croatian troops in Afghanistan

A Croatian delegation led by Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic and Chief-of-Staff General Mirko Sundov arrived at Camp Marmal in Mazar-i-Sharif on Thursday, where the 5th Croatian contingent in NATO's Resolute Support Mission is stationed, the ministry said in a press release.

Rejected Afghan asylum seekers return from Germany, wonder what next

A group of 34 Afghan asylum seekers whose requests to live in Germany were rejected arrived back in Afghanistan early Thursday morning, some of them less than a day after they'd learned they would be deported.

Germany to deport first group of failed Afghan asylum seekers

Some 50 failed asylum seekers from Afghanistan were to be deported from Frankfurt Airport to Kabul on Wednesday, the first group deportation as part of an agreement the German government made with Kabul in October.

Croatian Defence Minister and military chief-of-staff visit Afghanistan

Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic on Tuesday arrived on an official visit to Afghanistan at the helm of a delegation consisting of Chief-of-Staff Mirko Sundov, Head of the Security and Intelligence Agency Daniel Markic and Assistant Minister Nikola Brzica and, upon arrival, immediately met with members of Croatia's contingent in Resolute Support Mission, the Defence Ministry said.

US reaffirms military and financial commitment to Afghanistan

The United States of America renewed its financial and military commitment to Afghanistan ahead of the changeover to the Trump administration in January next year.

Ghani urges Pakistan to keep aid and focus instead on own terrorists

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday that the 500 million dollars Pakistan has pledged in aid to Afghanistan would be better spent on stopping terrorism cells on its own soil.

Slovenian police catch 30 illegal migrants

Slovenian police caught 30 illegal migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan, including six minors and a child, near the coastal town of Koper on Thursday night, the town's Primorske Novice newspaper said on Friday citing the local police.

Five Afghan army forces killed in Taliban attack in southern Kandahar

At least five members of the Afghan armed forces are dead after an attack by Taliban militants wearing police uniforms at a checkpoint in Sha Wali Kot district of Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province, an official said on Friday.

Two rockets fired at Kabul diplomatic quarter

Two rockets were fired at a diplomatic quarter in the Afghan capital late Wednesday, an official told dpa.

Taliban promise to back, protect development projects in Afghanistan

Taliban forces have promised to support and protect development projects in Afghanistan, a statement released by the group on Tuesday read.

More than 500,000 internally displaced in Afghanistan, UN says

Conflict across Afghanistan has forced more than 500,000 people to leave their homes in 2016, the highest number on record for the country, a UN report said Monday.

Report: Afghan Vice President Dostum beats and kidnaps rival

Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum beat up and kidnapped a rival during a sports tournament in northern Afghanistan, the New York Times reported late Sunday.

Freezing weather kills 20 children in Afghanistan

Some 20 children have frozen to death in the northern Afghan province of Jowzjan and dozens of others are at risk, an official said on Friday.

Islamic State claims deadly suicide bombing at Kabul mosque

Kabul/Cairo (dpa) - The Islamic State extremist group has claimed a suicide attack that killed 30 people in a Shiite mosque in western Kabul.

Suicide bombing in Kabul Shiite mosque kills 30

A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest inside a crowded mosque in western Kabul on Monday killing 30 worshippers.

Islamic State commander in Afghanistan killed in US drone strike

A top commander of the Islamic State extremist militia has been killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, officials said on Saturday.

Report: Germany expects to send about 12,000 migrants back to Afghanistan

More than 12,000 Afghan migrants to Germany are to be sent back to their home country because large parts of Afghanistan are considered safe, according to a German government document reviewed by a German newspaper Thursday.

Suicide bomber kills four Afghan intelligence staff in Kabul

A suicide bomber set off his explosive vest near a van carrying staff from the National Directorate of Security - the Afghan spy agency - killing four of them on Wednesday morning, officials said. 

ICC: US forces in Afghanistan may have committed war crimes

There is a "reasonable basis" to believe that US forces may have carried out war crimes, including torture, in Afghanistan, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court said Monday.

Official: US airbase bomber joined Afghan peace process in 2008

Kabul (dpa)-  The suicide bomber who conducted an attack on Bagram airbase, the largest US military base in Afghanistan, killing foiur and injuring 16, had joined the reconciliation process years ago, local officials said on Sunday.

4 killed, 17 wounded as Taliban target US base in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber who apparently infiltrated Bagram Air Base on Saturday in Afghanistan killed two US soldiers and two US contractors, Defence Secretary Ash Carter said.

Afghan parliament dismisses three ministers for spending too little

Three cabinet ministers were dismissed by the Afghan parliament on Saturday after the ministers failed to spend their annual development budget.

Four killed, 14 wounded in explosion at US base in Afghanistan

Four people were killed and 14 others were wounded by an explosion Saturday at the largest US military base in Afghanistan, according to officials.

German soldiers kill two civilians in consulate attack in Afghanistan

German soldiers shot and killed two civilians as Taliban attacked the German consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif early Friday morning, an official said.

Six dead after attack on German consulate in Afghanistan

Six Afghans were killed and more than 120 people were injured late Thursday when a suicide bomber drove a lorry loaded with explosives into the German consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif, officials said.

Taliban asks Trump to pull US troops out of Afghanistan

Taliban militants asked US president-elect Donald Trump to pull all US forces from Afghanistan after Trump won the "hard-fought" US election on Wednesday.

Reports: Australian woman kidnapped in Afghan capital

An Australian woman was kidnapped at gunpoint in Afghanistan's capital Kabul late Saturday, local media reported. 

US forces admit civilians "likely" killed in Afghan airstrike

US forces in Afghanistan on Saturday said an initial investigation shows that an airstrike carried out in support of Afghan security forces in northern Kunduz province this week "likely resulted in civilian casualties."

Pentagon confirms death of senior al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan

Airstrikes targeting senior al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan last month killed at least one of their intended targets, the Pentagon confirmed Friday.

Airstrike on Taliban kills 30 civilians in north-eastern Afghanistan

Women and children were among the 30 civilians killed and 26 wounded in an airstrike following a joint operation by Afghan and foreign forces against Taliban militants in Afghanistan's north-eastern Kunduz province early Thursday, an official said. 

US held Afghan detainees in Guantanamo based on hearsay, report says

The US kept eight Afghan prisoners in its Guantanamo Bay facility solely on the basis of "vague accusations" rife with "gross errors of fact," according to a report published Thursday by a renowned international Afghan think tank.

Roadside bomb leaves seven dead in central Afghanistan

A roadside bomb blast left seven civilians dead in Afghanistan's central Parwan province Tuesday, a local official said.

UN: Number of people displaced by Afghan conflict on the rise

Ongoing conflict in different parts of Afghanistan has forced over 400,000 people to leave their homes so far in 2016, a UN report revealed on Monday.

Suicide bomber kills six in eastern Afghanistan

At least six civilians were killed and six others were wounded in a blast in Afghanistan's eastern Nanagarhar privince on Monday, local officials said.

More than 5,500 Afghan troops killed this year, US report shows

More than 5,500 Afghan security troops have been killed so far this year, the US government's Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in its quarterly report on Sunday. 

Local officials confirm death of two al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan

Two senior al-Qaeda leaders were killed by US airstrikes in Afghanistan, local officials said Thursday.

Islamic State militants kill 33 civilians in western Afghanistan

Islamic State fighters killed at least 33 civilians in an apparent revenge attack in western Afghanistan, local officials said Wednesday.

Afghan opium production up sharply, says UN report

Afghanistan's opium production has risen sharply this year in comparison to last, according to an executive summary of the country's official opium survey released Sunday.

Taliban members visit Pakistan to discuss possible Afghan peace talks

A three-member delegation of the Qatar-based Taliban this week travelled to Pakistan to discuss the resumption of peace talks with the Afghan government, a senior Pakistani intelligence official confirmed.

Spokesman: Taliban has been using drone technology for 18 months

The Taliban has been using drone technology to plan offensives for a period of 18 months, a spokesman said Saturday, a day after the organization released a drone-recorded video of a deadly attack on a police headquarters in Helmand province.

Attack in Afghan capital kills US soldier, civilian

A US soldier and a US civilian were killed Wednesday by an unknown gunman in the Afghan capital Kabul, the NATO military alliance said. 

Taliban militants deny involvement in Kabul shrine attack

A deadly attack on a Kabul shrine was not the work of Taliban militants, the Islamist group said Wednesday.

Taliban retreat from northern city, pursue offensive in south

Taliban militants are retreating from the capital of Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province, as fighting in the capital of a southern province intensifies, official sources said on Wednesday.

At least 14 dead, 36 injured in attack on Shiite shrine in Kabul

A single gunman attacked a crowded Shiite shrine in Kabul on Tuesday, leaving 14 people dead and 36 injured on the eve of a major holy day, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

Taliban overrun district centre in north-western Afghanistan

Taliban militants overran a remote district centre in Afghanistan's north-western Faryab province on Tuesday with Afghan forces retreating to an Afghan army base away from the main bazaar, an official said. 

Taliban attack capital of Helmand in southern Afghanistan

Taliban fighters launched an attack on the capital of Afghanistan's embattled southern province of Helmand, closing in on the already besieged city, officials said on Monday. 

Tens of thousands displaced as Kunduz fighting continues

Nearly 24,000 residents have been forced to leave the Afghan city of Kunduz due to ongoing fighting between security forces and Taliban militants, according to the UN.

Afghan army helicopter shot down by Taliban, seven killed

Seven people were killed early Sunday after an Afghan army helicopter was shot down by Taliban militants in the northern province of Baghlan, a local official said. 

Taliban kidnap more than 100 locals in Afghanistan

Taliban militants in the past days have kidnapped more than 100 travelers in two Afghan provinces.

Afghanistan stands to receive 15.2 billion dollars in aid until 2020

The international community pledged 15.2 billion dollars for Afghanistan over the next four years at talks in Brussels on Wednesday, falling slightly short of an aim to renew the current level of support for the conflict-ridden country.

Croatia has so far provided over EUR 6mn in aid to Afghanistan

Croatia has so far provided about 50 million kuna (6.6 million euros) in assistance to Afghanistan and will continue to help that country, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac said in Brussels on Wednesday.

EU, US promise to uphold Afghanistan aid pledges for next four years

The European Union announced Wednesday that it would offer Afghanistan 1.2 billion euros (1.34 billion dollars) annually over the next four years, at an international support conference, while the United States promised to keep its funding constant.

Afghan forces, Taliban fight for Kunduz in third day of clashes

Afghan forces attacked Taliban militant positions in Kunduz on Wednesday in the third day of clashes since the insurgents launched a coordinated attack on northern Afghan city.

Afghan forces beat back Taliban offensive in Kunduz city

Afghan forces late Monday beat back a Taliban offensive in some parts of Kunduz city, stopping their advance on the key provincial capital after the militants launched an attack late Sunday night, officials said. 

Parts of Kunduz city fall to Afghan Taliban, local officials claim

Heavy fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants on Monday afternoon continued following relative calm, with parts of the city falling to the Taliban, local officials claimed.

Taliban launch coordinated attack on Kunduz city

Taliban militants launched a coordinated attack on Kunduz city, the capital of the province of the same name and one of the most embattled provinces in Afghanistan's north, a security official said.