Baztab News

‘Voting means you’re crazy’: fear of Taliban haunts Afghanistan’s ballot

‘Voting means you’re crazy’: fear of Taliban haunts Afghanistan’s ballot

15 Hour The Guardian The Guardian

There have been attacks on a campaign rally and a candidate: voters say they are afraid for their livesAfghanistan must choose a new president this week, but every election over the last decade has been riddled with fraud and marred by violence, and fears are growing that the poll on may be the worst yet.It comes as the war is raging with unprecedented intensity. Last week alone, dozens were killed when the Taliban flattened a hospital in an attack in the south, and a US drone strike hit a group harvesting pine nuts in the east. And looming over the poll is the future of controversial US efforts to negotiate a troop withdrawal with the Taliban, suspended after a tweet by President Donald Trump but not entirely dead. Continue reading...

The Observer view on the Afghanistan peace process | Observer editorial

The Observer view on the Afghanistan peace process | Observer editorial

18 Hour The Guardian The Guardian

America has a duty to make sure that democracy does not failWhen Donald Trump revealed a secret plan for a “peace summit” with Afghan Taliban chiefs at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland earlier this month, the news caused a sensation. The idea that a group, officially designated as terrorists by the United States, was to be given the red-carpet treatment reserved for important allies shocked many in Washington.In fact, Trump had already cancelled the meeting – and with it, the entire, protracted US-Taliban withdrawal talks process. Trump claimed he changed his mind after a US soldier was killed in a Taliban suicide bombing. “Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they [the Taliban] admitted to... an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great, great soldiers and 11 other people,” he tweeted. Continue reading...

US drone strike intended for Isis hideout kills 30 pine nut workers in Afghanistan

US drone strike intended for Isis hideout kills 30 pine nut workers in Afghanistan

19 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Forty were also injured in the Wednesday attack which struck farmers and labourers who just finished work, Afghan officials sayA US drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State hideout in Afghanistan has killed at least 30 civilians who were resting after harvesting pine nuts.Forty people were also injured in the attack on Wednesday night which struck farmers and labourers who had just finished their day’s work at the mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters. Related: Afghan government and Nato killing more civilians than the Taliban Continue reading...

Taliban car bomb kills at least 20 in southern Afghanistan

Taliban car bomb kills at least 20 in southern Afghanistan

19 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Hospital patients caught in blast intended for intelligence officials, says defence ministryA Taliban truck bomb has killed at least 20 people and wounded 95 others when it exploded near a hospital in southern Afghanistan, an official has said.The Taliban, who have been carrying out near-daily attacks since peace talks with the US collapsed this month, said the target was a nearby government intelligence building in Qalat, the capital of Zabul province. Continue reading...

Afghanistan: dozens dead as country is rocked by triple attacks – video report

18 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

At least nine people have been wounded in eastern Afghanistan by a suicide bomber and gunmen in an attack on Wednesday, that came 24 hours after two other attacks in the country left more than 48 people dead.  The Taliban have claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attacks, while no one has yet said they were behind Wednesday’s attack. Taliban suicide attacks in Afghanistan leave dozens dead Continue reading...

Taliban suicide attacks in Afghanistan leave dozens dead

Taliban suicide attacks in Afghanistan leave dozens dead

17 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Explosions at election rally and in central Kabul follow collapse of US-Taliban peace talksTaliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded dozens more in two blasts Tuesday – one at a campaign rally for the president and the other in Kabul – with the insurgents warning of more violence ahead of elections.In the first attack, a motorcyclist detonated a suicide bomb at a checkpoint leading to a rally where President Ashraf Ghani was addressing supporters in central Parwan province, just north of the capital, killing 26 and wounding 42. Related: Donald Trump's cancelled Taliban talks are typical of a president who blows hot and cold Continue reading...

Russia hosts Taliban delegation following collapse of US talks

Russia hosts Taliban delegation following collapse of US talks

14 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Insurgent group visits Moscow days after after Donald Trump declares US negotiations with Afghan group ‘dead’A Taliban delegation has held talks with Russian officials in Moscow after US negotiations with the Afghan insurgents collapsed, the Russian foreign ministry has said.“The Russian president’s special representative for Afghanistan ... Zamir Kabulov, hosted a Taliban delegation in Moscow,” said a ministry spokesman, quoted by RIA Novosti state-funded news agency. Related: Trump’s new world disorder: competitive, chaotic, conflicted Related: Donald Trump's cancelled Taliban talks are typical of a president who blows hot and cold Continue reading...

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Trump confirms US has killed Osama bin Laden's son Hamza

Trump confirms US has killed Osama bin Laden's son Hamza

14 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Death of son of the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was reported but not confirmed in JulyDonald Trump confirmed on Saturday that the US has killed Hamza bin Laden, a son of the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Related: Who is Hamza bin Laden? Heir who sought to revive al-Qaida Continue reading...

How will John Bolton's dismissal affect US foreign policy?

How will John Bolton's dismissal affect US foreign policy?

10 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Trump’s anti-interventionist instincts likely to come to the fore in flashpoint countriesTrump ousts top adviser John Bolton: ‘I disagreed strongly with him’Donald Trump’s abrupt dismissal of John Bolton, his national security adviser, may reflect the near breakdown in personal relations between the two men, as well as Bolton’s rivalry with the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, but it will also have implications for US foreign policy in a range of flashpoints. Related: John Bolton fired as Trump's national security adviser – live news Continue reading...

Man held hostage by Taliban-linked group says wife is 'incompetent mother'

Man held hostage by Taliban-linked group says wife is 'incompetent mother'

10 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Joshua Boyle, charged with sexual assault, tells court estranged wife Caitlan Coleman was unfit to parent the their four childrenThe Canadian man who spent five years held hostage in Afghanistan with his American wife has accused her of “incompetence” as a mother as his trial for sexual assault nears its conclusion. Related: Canadian man held hostage by Taliban denies assaulting wife after release Related: Taliban hostage couple face each other in Canada courtroom Continue reading...

Collapse of US-Taliban talks stokes fears of new round of pre-election violence

Collapse of US-Taliban talks stokes fears of new round of pre-election violence

09 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Taliban says Trump sabotaged ‘finalised’ Afghanistan dealExperts doubt Kabul attack was real reason for cancellationThe collapse of a tentative agreement between the US and the Taliban following a series of weekend tweets from Donald Trump, has triggered fears of a spike in violence in Afghanistan in the run-up to presidential elections due later this month.Trump announced on Sunday that he had cancelled secret Camp David meetings with the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, and Taliban leaders, following a car bomb attack in Kabul on Thursday. Related: Taliban warns of more US dead after Trump says he cancelled peace talks Continue reading...

Donald Trump's cancelled Taliban talks are typical of a president who blows hot and cold

Donald Trump's cancelled Taliban talks are typical of a president who blows hot and cold

08 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

President has added another slide to his snakes-and ladders approach to diplomacy Donald Trump’s boundless faith in his own magnetism and negotiating skills has taken a knock after the cancellation of his bizarre plans for talks with Taliban chiefs. Most Afghans, including the president, Ashraf Ghani, can live with that. Since they believe Trump was selling them out, they will be glad the talks bombed.The fact that Trump secretly planned a personal meeting with a murderous group proscribed by the US as terrorists days before the 18th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks that they assisted, is said to have raised eyebrows in Washington. That’s diplomat-speak for shock-horror. Related: Afghanistan’s long road to recovery | Letter Continue reading...

Republicans and Democrats denounce Trump's shock Taliban talks revelation

Republicans and Democrats denounce Trump's shock Taliban talks revelation

08 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Amy Klobuchar: ‘This isn’t a gameshow. These are terrorists’Liz Cheney says Taliban should never visit Camp DavidDonald Trump’s shock announcement that he had canceled secret peace talks with the Taliban this weekend has prompted criticism and confusion, including from his own Republican party.The Democratic presidential 2020 hopeful and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar ridiculed the president on Sunday morning, saying he approaches foreign policy like “some kind of gameshow”.Never should leaders of a terrorist organization that hasn’t renounced 9/11 and continues in evil be allowed in our great country. NEVER. Full stop. https://t.co/pagnRFuFtc Related: Trump under fire over revelation of cancelled US-Taliban peace talks Continue reading...

Trump under fire over revelation of cancelled US-Taliban peace talks

Trump under fire over revelation of cancelled US-Taliban peace talks

08 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

President says he scrapped Camp David talks after Kabul blastRepublican congressman attacks invitation to Afghan ‘terrorists’Donald Trump sprang a major surprise that drew criticism when he revealed there had been plans for secret peace talks on Afghanistan in the US beginning on Sunday and bringing him face to face with Taliban leaders at Camp David – but that he had cancelled the clandestine summit at the last minute.A Saturday night tweet from the US president said that “unbeknownst to almost everyone” major Taliban leaders were going to meet him at the presidential retreat in Maryland and, separately, so was the president of Afghanistan, but that Trump had “called off” the negotiations after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a blast in Kabul that killed 12 people including a US soldier on Thursday.Never should leaders of a terrorist organization that hasn’t renounced 9/11 and continues in evil be allowed in our great country. NEVER. Full stop. https://t.co/pagnRFuFtc....an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they........only made it worse! If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway. How many more decades are they willing to fight? Related: Donald Trump’s ‘peace agreement’ is a betrayal of Afghanistan and its people | Simon Tisdall Continue reading...

Donald Trump says he was due to host Taliban at Camp David

Donald Trump says he was due to host Taliban at Camp David

07 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

President says he cancelled secret peace talks with insurgents and the Afghan president after Kabul attack killed 12 including US soldierDonald Trump has revealed that he cancelled peace talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders, after the insurgent group said it was behind an attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 other people.The US president said on Twitter that Taliban leaders were due to meet for peace talks at Camp David on Sunday, but he had called them off after the Taliban claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack.Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday. They were coming to the United States tonight. Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to......an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they........only made it worse! If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway. How many more decades are they willing to fight? Continue reading...

Canadian man held hostage by Taliban denies assaulting wife after release

Canadian man held hostage by Taliban denies assaulting wife after release

05 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Trial testimony wraps up in case of Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman, who married in 2011 and were kidnapped in AfghanistanA Canadian man once held hostage with his American wife in Afghanistan denied assaulting her following their release, in trial testimony that wrapped up on Thursday.Joshua Boyle, 35, was arrested and charged with assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement at the end of 2017 just two months after he and his wife Caitlan Coleman, 33, returned to Canada after their five-year hostage ordeal. Related: Taliban hostage couple face each other in Canada courtroom Continue reading...

Taliban claims suicide bomb near US embassy despite peace talks

Taliban claims suicide bomb near US embassy despite peace talks

05 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Bomb attack in centre of Kabul close to Afghan government buildings A suicide bomber has blown himself up in the centre of Kabul, Afghan officials said, with the blast rattling windows and doors in an area near embassies and government buildings.The Taliban, who are in the midst of negotiating a pact with the United States, claimed responsibility. Continue reading...

Afghanistan: current US withdrawal plan risks 'total civil war', top envoys say

Afghanistan: current US withdrawal plan risks 'total civil war', top envoys say

03 Sep 2019 The Guardian The Guardian

Nine ambassadors condemn US approach to negotiationsLetter says full withdrawal must come ‘only after real peace’The majority of America’s ambassadors to Afghanistan since the removal of the Taliban government have condemned the US approach to negotiating a troop withdrawal, warning it risked a return to “total civil war”.Writing the day after a draft agreement was announced, the nine men, including a former deputy secretary of state, said they supported peace talks in Afghanistan. Related: US and Taliban close to deal to allow peace talks, Trump envoy says Related: Donald Trump’s ‘peace agreement’ is a betrayal of Afghanistan and its people | Simon Tisdall Continue reading...