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The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« on: September 01, 2008, 09:54:39 »
The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread
September 2008
             

News only - commentary elsewhere, please.
Thanks for helping this "news only" thread system work!


ARTICLES FOUND 1 SEPT 08

800 U.S. troops in Kandahar just the start, MacKay says
GLORIA GALLOWAY AND HEATHER SCOFFIELD, Globe and Mail, 1 Sept 08
Article link

The arrival of 800 U.S soldiers alongside Canadian forces in Kandahar is just the start of an increase in NATO's presence in the dangerous Afghan province, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said yesterday.  The top Canadian soldier in Afghanistan announced Saturday that the 800-strong U.S. battalion has officially joined his own forces, almost doubling the number of foot soldiers on the ground in the province that is under Canadian command.  "We're expecting, based on just anecdotal reporting, that there may in fact be more [U.S. troops] coming," Mr. MacKay said yesterday. "In the meantime, we're requesting that all NATO countries consider sending personnel, military equipment or civilian aid workers. So this is an open and ongoing invitation to other NATO-allied countries to provide support to Kandahar."  The addition of the U.S. troops in the region, with the possibility of more on the way, will free up some Canadian resources to enhance security in the area, train Afghan forces and shift some of their focus to redevelopment, Mr. MacKay said ....


Ongoing Operation in Afghan Province Kills 220 Enemy Fighters
American Forces Press Service, 31 Aug 08
Article link

Afghan and coalition forces have killed more than 220 militants during operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province since Aug. 25, military officials reported.  Attacked repeatedly by militants with small-arms and heavy-weapons fire during multiple engagements, the Afghan and coalition soldiers have responded with small-arms fire, heavy weapons and close-air support, eliminating the militant threats, officials said.  Operations in the area have led to the discovery and destruction of multiple weapons caches containing ammonium nitrate, 107 mm rockets, motorcycles, 60 mm mortar rounds, pipe bombs, machine guns, rifles and small-arms ammunition. Several fortified fighting positions also have been destroyed.  No Afghan or coalition forces servicemembers have been killed during the operations, officials said ....

Factory workers take up Taliban arms
Jobless workers join the insurgents in the troubled south, factory head says
Parwiz Shamal, quqnoos.com, 1 Sept 08
Article link

A LARGE number of jobless factory workers have joined the Taliban in the southern province of Kandahar, the head of the factory said.  More than 2,000 men were employed by the textile factory, but now only 30 workers remain to guard the disused building, which was forced to close because of the ongoing insurgency in the south.  Head of the factory, Muhammad Muhsin, said: "The factory workers were sacked. We know that most of the workers have now joined the Taliban or have turned into criminals."  Some of the former factory workers have blamed the government for failing to create job opportunities for the people.  One of the citizens in Kandahar said: "The government can rehabilitate the factory and can rescue the people from unemployment, if it wants."  Another citizen said: "The government gives no money to re-build the factory. About 5,000 people would have jobs if the factory started functioning."

Insurgents torment villagers in Helmand
ISAF news release #2008-448, 1 Sept 08
News release link

ISAF units in Helmand provided medical care to several civilians who came to ISAF installations for treatment of blast and fragmentation wounds August 31.  More than 20 wounded civilians arrived at two ISAF bases. ISAF immediately treated those with the most severe injuries, and those with minor injuries received money for taxis to local hospitals or to Lashkar Gah.  One treated civilian said his village, Sarevan Qal’eh, was attacked the evening of Aug. 30. Insurgents ransacked three compounds and killed three women and an unspecified number of children. He then reported that the insurgents had shot him in both kneecaps before fleeing. He believed that the insurgents attacked his village because some villagers had been seen talking with ISAF troops in the last week ....



Civilian worker has only praise for soldiers
Edmonton woman found it tough to leave Afghanistan, because troops still there fighting

Trish Audette, Edmonton Journal, 1 Sept 08
Article link

A white-robed man carrying a clutch of helium-filled balloons as he walked along a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, was a symbol of promise for Michelle Joljart.  In a corner of the world where she had come to expect and anticipate midnight rocket attacks and sand in her teeth, the Edmonton woman knew to keep a keen eye out for the unusual, for the potentially dangerous.  "It's like a fairy tale," the Edmonton woman says of the Afghan capital.  "It's alive, the whole city's alive. The stalls are out, there's children playing ball. There's women walking to the market."  Kabul is what Kandahar City can be one day, but she expects its transformation will take years.  For 71/2 months this year, the 38-year-old civilian was employed by the government as support staff for troops in Afghanistan .....



ISAF soldiers help injured Afghans in Sangin
ISAF news release #2008-446, 31 Aug 08
News release link

At approximately 8:00 a.m. today a number of injured civilians presented themselves to ISAF Forces in the Sangin district of Helmand province.  ISAF soldiers provided medical treatment to them and assisted with their evacuation to medical facilities around Helmand and Kandahar. The cause of their injuries is unknown at this time. Further details will be released in due course.  ISAF works to bring security and stability to Afghanistan and will provide medical assistance to its people whenever possible.

Insurgents plan to make false claim of civilian deaths
ISAF news release #2008-447, 31 Aug 08
News release link

SAF can confirm that following an earlier report of its forces having given medical assistance to injured civilians in the Sangin district of Helmand province yesterday it has received information, from a reliable source, that insurgents are planning to make a propaganda claim that international military forces have killed up to 70 civilians in the same area.  ISAF has had no reports that would substantiate a claim such as this.  There have been no reports other than of those injured, the cause of which remains unknown at this time.  ISAF and Coalition forces take all claims of civilian casualties and deaths extremely seriously and are currently establishing the facts relating to the injured civilians.....

‘500 civilians killed, injured in Afghanistan’
Pak Tribune, 1 Sept 08
Article link

At least 500 civilians were killed or wounded during the five-day US-led troops` ground and air operation in the Sangin district of Helmand province, a member of Afghanistan`s parliament said on Sunday.  "Foreign forces have been conducting operation in Sarwan Qala area of Sangin district for the last five days in which artillery and aircraft are being used," Dad Muhammad Khan, member of Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament), told Afghan Islamic Press ....



Estonia Helps Helmand Province Central Hospital in Afghanistan with Close to 3 Million
Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs news release, 1 Sept 08
News release link

The Foreign Ministry is supporting Bost Hospital, the central hospital of Helmand province in Afghanistan, in the acquisition of medical supplies with 2,943,213 kroons (188,000 EUR, CAN $293,000). The sum was allocated from the Foreign Ministry’s budget for development and humanitarian aid ....  Within the framework of the non-profit organisation Mondo’s project, a medical oxygen delivery system will be obtained for the hospital, along with transportable medical oxygen tubing and medical supplies such as an autoclave, gurneys, wheelchairs, aspirators, throat masks, sterilisers, splints, crutches, and an ultrasound machine ....



Afghan commission says U.S. troops fired on first
Associated Press, 1 Sept 08
Article link

An Afghan army commander said that U.S. and Afghan troops were fired on first from a village where a government investigative commission says scores of civilians were killed, according to a report released Sunday.  The chief of staff for the army's Herat corps told the head of the government's investigative commission that shots were fired early Aug. 22 from Azizabad at U.S. and Afghan troops. The troops had gone to the village on a raid.  But the report, released by the office of President Hamid Karzai, did not specify who fired the shots.  "When the ANA (Afghan army) and coalition troops got close to the village, firing started after the ANA unit stopped, and the coalition forces conducted the operation in the village," the report said ....

AMBUSHED FRENCH TROOPS FACED LARGE REBEL FORCE: OFFICERS
Tocqueville Connection, 1 Sept 08
Article link

French soldiers ambushed in Afghanistan last month were confronted by about 170 heavily-armed rebels who were better organised than usual, officers involved in the firefight told AFP.  Ten Frenchmen, most of them from an elite paratroop unit, were killed and 21 others wounded in the August 18 clash on a rocky mountaintop overlooking the Uzbeen valley, 65 kilometres (40 miles) east of Kabul.  The ambush, the deadliest ground battle for foreign forces since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 and the worst French military loss in 25 years, prompted a public outcry in France, with some calling for an immediate troop withdrawal.  The attack "took us by surprise," said Sebastien, a 37-year-old troop commander whose full name cannot be used for security reasons.  "Until then, rebels mostly attacked with groups of 30 to 50 men, with only 20 of them actually taking part in the fighting," he said.  "But this time, they had regrouped and coordinated forces," he added, putting the total enemy forces at 170, broken up into different groups ....



Pakistan stops its offensives for Ramadan
Zarar Khan, Associated Press via The Guardian (UK), 1 Sept 08
Article link

Pakistan said yesterday it was suspending a military operation against insurgents in the tribal region for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.  A Taliban spokesman welcomed the decision to halt the strikes in the Bajur tribal region, a rumoured hide-out of Osama bin Laden, but government and military officials warned that any provocation by insurgents in the area would prompt immediate retaliation.  Despite not committing to a formal end to the operation against insurgents, interior minister Rehman Malik said people displaced from Bajur could return to the region "without any fear". He said the suspension would take effect today, but army spokesman Major Murad Khan said the military had already halted its activities ....

Pakistani Taliban vow to strike during Ramadan
Reuters, 31 Aug 08
Article link

Pakistani Taliban will continue attacks during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, rejecting a government announcement it would halt military actions in the northwest, a Taliban spokesman said on Sunday.  Violence has surged in Pakistan in recent weeks with the military battling al Qaeda- and Taliban-linked fighters in three different parts of the northwest.  The militants have responded with suicide and remotely detonated bomb attacks on the security forces and civilian targets ....

Taliban divided over ceasefire
Daily Times (PAK), 1 Sept 08
Article link

The Taliban were divided on Sunday in their response to the government’s decision to suspend the military operation against them during Ramazan.  “It’s a joke. It isn’t a matter of holy or unholy. All months are holy. If they want to end fighting, it should be permanent,” Muslim Khan, Taliban spokesman in Swat, told Reuters. In an apparent act of defiance, the Taliban bombed the abandoned house of PML-Q leader Haroonur Rashid.  But TTP spokesman Maulvi Omar welcomed the government’s offer and said his group would release six soldiers. A complete ceasefire was observed in Dara Adam Khel on Sunday.



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« Last Edit: September 01, 2008, 14:38:32 by milnews.ca »
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2008, 10:10:02 »
Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South)
011851EDT Sept 08

.pdf version attached at bottom of message

NOTE:  The following material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban or Taliban spokespersons.  Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content - it is shared for information only.  When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original (indicated by "GoogEng") - this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.

"Insurgents plan to make false claim of civilian deaths"
Quote
Follow up to ISAF News Release 446 dated 31 August 2008.  ISAF can confirm that following an earlier report of its forces having given medical assistance to injured civilians in the Sangin district of Helmand province yesterday (31 Aug 08) it has received information, from a reliable source, that insurgents are planning to make a propaganda claim that international military forces have killed up to 70 civilians in the same area.  ISAF has had no reports that would substantiate a claim such as this.  There have been no reports other than of those injured, the cause of which remains unknown at this time.  ISAF and Coalition forces take all claims of civilian casualties and deaths extremely seriously and are currently establishing the facts relating to the injured civilians.  ISAF condemns the use of the plight of innocent civilians for propaganda gain by insurgents.   This will not deter ISAF from carrying out its mission of helping the Afghan people to build self-sustaining peace, security and democracy.

"ISAF soldiers help injured Afghans in Sangin"
Quote
At approximately 8:00 a.m. today (31 Aug 08) a number of injured civilians presented themselves to ISAF Forces in the Sangin district of Helmand province.  ISAF soldiers provided medical treatment to them and assisted with their evacuation to medical facilities around Helmand and Kandahar. The cause of their injuries is unknown at this time. Further details will be released in due course.  ISAF works to bring security and stability to Afghanistan and will provide medical assistance to its people whenever possible.

" ‘500 civilians killed, injured in Afghanistan’ "
Quote
At least 500 civilians were killed or wounded during the five-day US-led troops` ground and air operation in the Sangin district of Helmand province, a member of Afghanistan`s parliament said on Sunday.  "Foreign forces have been conducting operation in Sarwan Qala area of Sangin district for the last five days in which artillery and aircraft are being used," Dad Muhammad Khan, member of Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament), told Afghan Islamic Press.  "The dead and injured were lying in the area and there is no one to shift the injured. Yesterday, I raised the issue in the parliament but the government has done nothing so far," he said ....

"Attacked on base of  Canadian occupation in Kandahra"
Quote
Mondai afternoon 01-09-2008 at approximately 02-15pm,Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with heavy weapons attacked American occupation base in Mushan area of Panjwai district of Kandahar  province. In attack which was lasted for half hour in which the base was damaged and a vehicle was torched but the casualties of enemy was not reported.  Also Sunday afternoon in same area mujahideen of Islamic Emirate ambushed a tank of same invaders in which the tank was destroyed and 9 invaders soldiers on it were killed or wounded.Reported by Zabihuallah Mujahid

"1 tanks of American invaders destroyed in Zabul"
Quote
Sunday noon 01-09-2008 at approximately 02:15pm local, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan blew up  1 tank of a  convoy  of American occupation in Shamolzo district  of Zabul province.  In attack 1 tank of invaders  army was completely destroyed and 4 invaders in its were killed. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf

"1 checkpoint of puppet army demolished in Helmand"
Quote
Sunday afternoon 31-08-2008 at approximately 6:10 pm local, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with heavy and light weapons attacked puppet police checkpoints in Spin Masjid area of Grishk district of Helmand province. In attack the checkpoint was demolished 7 puppet police were killed 2 vehicles and the arms of killed soldiers were mujahideen booty.   Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf



- edited to add extra items -
« Last Edit: September 01, 2008, 18:54:10 by milnews.ca »
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The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2008, 10:39:27 »
Articles found September 2, 2008

Britain delivers turbine in Afghan rebel stronghold
Tue Sep 2, 2008 By Luke Baker
 Article Link

KAJAKI DAM, Afghanistan (Reuters) - British troops backed by special forces completed one of the largest logistical operations of the 7-year Afghan conflict on Tuesday, delivering a 200-tonne turbine to a remote Taliban-dominated region.

The huge turbine, which promises to deliver power across south Afghanistan once running, was carried by a 100-vehicle convoy that inched its way across Taliban territory for five days to reach a hydroelectric dam on the Kajaki reservoir.

It faced frequent attacks during the journey, soldiers accompanying it said, with an estimated 250 Taliban killed along the way as the sensitive load, flanked by helicopters and heavy armour, snaked 160 km (100 miles) north from Kandahar.

Engineers who carved a route through dry rivers and mountain passes said it was the largest clearance operation undertaken by British forces since World War Two. To keep it secret, media were barred from reporting on the mission until it was complete.

"It was a huge achievement," said Lieutenant-Colonel Dave Wilson, the commanding officer of the 23 Engineer Regiment. "It was carried out through some of the most heavily mined areas of Afghanistan."

U.S. and British special forces teams were dropped ahead of the convoy to sweep through villages along the treacherous Helmand river valley, "sanitising" Taliban strongholds to allow the convoy safe passage, military sources said.

While medics had prepared for casualties, commanders said there was only one wounded among the British, American, Canadian and Australian troops who took part in the operation -- a British soldier was crushed when a trailer collapsed on him.

On Tuesday, British opposition leader David Cameron arrived in the Helmand region on a private visit to meet troops of the 2 Para, military sources said. The 2 Paras have suffered heavy casualties in recent months
More on link

Suicide bomber hits troop convoy in Afghanistan
Indo-Asian News Service Saturday, August 30, 2008
 Article Link

A convoy of the international troops was hit by a suicide car bomber Saturday morning in Paghman district near the Afghan capital in Kabul, said a police official, adding that there was no immediate report of casualties.

The blast occurred at around 11 a.m. in the Kabul-Kandahar highway where the suicide bomber drove a jeep laden with explosives into the patrol convoy of international troops and blew up the vehicle, Ayub Salangi, police chief of Kabul province, said.

"The explosion killed nobody but the suicide bomber himself," Salangi said.

Meanwhile, purported Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed claimed his group was responsible for the suicide bombing, saying at least 10 international and Afghan soldiers were killed.
More on link

Ceasefire in Pakistan's tribal region may let militants regroup
By SAEED SHAH McClatchy Newspapers
 Article Link

The Pakistani government has called off a military assault on Islamic extremists based in its tribal border area with Afghanistan, an offensive which had appeared to bolster relations with Washington.

The operation was "suspended" at midnight Sunday local time to mark Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims. However, some detected political motives for ending the attack on Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in Bajaur, part of the tribal territory. The fighting was not popular and led to a humanitarian crisis as some 300,000 locals fled.

"The militant network was in danger but this (ceasefire) will give them time to regroup," said Khadim Hussain, coordinator of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy, an independent think-tank based in Peshawar. "I think this has got to do with the presidential election and getting support for (Asif) Zardari."

Zardari, head of the Pakistan People's Party, which heads the coalition government, is seeking the presidency, a post which will be filled by the vote of the members of Parliament on Sept. 6.

Islamist political parties have been highly critical of the Bajaur operation, seeing it as an American-influenced policy. The presidential election was triggered by the resignation of former Washington favorite Pervez Musharraf last month.

Fazlur Rehman, leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, a hard-line religious party, called Sunday for foreign troops to pull out of Afghanistan and for Pakistani soldiers to leave the tribal territory. Rehman Malik, the Interior Ministry chief went Sunday to see Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the leader of another religious party, Jamaat-e-Islami party, where he seemed to get a frosty reception.
More on link

Canadian troops dish back-to-school gear to eager children in Kandahar
 Article Link

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — In just about every village in Kandahar, from the impoverished mud huts that rise right out of Zhari's desert and the lush farming communities of the Arghandab, to the urban oases of Kandahar City and the marijuana and poppy plantations deep in the heart of Taliban country, you will find swarms of children with outstretched arms engaged in some sort of game of charades.

They are pretending to write on the palms of their hands, although many are illiterate and have never even stepped inside a classroom. Still, it is a sign to foreigners that they are quite eager to learn and want nothing more than a note pad or pen to be tossed their way.

While children across Canada casually fill their parents' shopping carts with the latest back-to-school gear, Afghan children consider these small tokens precious treasures.

Seeing education as a sign of hope for the country, battle-weary Canadian soldiers are willing to oblige. Just last week, a Canadian soldier returning from a three-day operation began lobbing notepads across an irrigation ditch from his moving armoured vehicle.
More on link

Canadian-designed makeshift tourniquet aimed at saving Afghan lives
Monday, September 01, 2008
 Article Link

The Canadian Press: Canadian-designed makeshift tourniquet aimed at saving Afghan lives: "KANDAHAR"Afghanistan — Canadian Forces medical mentors are hoping a simple contraption they've created will help save the lives of seriously injured Afghan soldiers and police officers who are dying in large numbers compared to coalition troops, often because they haven't got the tools needed to handle a medical emergency.

It all started in February, just weeks after the latest batch of Canadian troops arrived in Kandahar. An Afghan soldier accidentally set off a rocket-propelled grenade inside a bunker at a base in Zhari district while cleaning his weapon following a patrol.

Three of the four soldiers who died that day bled out because they didn't have tourniquets, a simple device used to cut off circulation to an injured limb, effectively stopping the bleeding.

While tourniquets are controversial, even in western countries, as they can lead to loss of limb if kept on too long, they're considered essential on the battlefield.

"I was pretty pissed off about it," said Capt. Mike McBride, a member of Canada's Operational Mentor and Liaison Team who is helping to train Afghan medics as well as infantrymen in tactical first aid.

"Most of us are carrying two, three, four (tourniquets) with us in our kit. These poor guys didn't have any. They had a rifle and there was no way for them to make an expedient tourniquet. It just wasn't in their training."

By the time Canadian soldiers arrived on scene there was little they could do.

"Massive injuries like that, it doesn't take long for someone to bleed out," McBride said.

Following the incident, McBride's medical team looked into the cost of acquiring Canadian army-issued tourniquets, enough for the brigade of 3,900 plus training stock, but at $33 apiece, they had to come up with a less expensive alternative.

"Nobody was going to come up with (the money). We decided to design our own and see if we could get them manufactured in Kandahar City," he said.
More on link

Australian government defends troops who kept Taliban suspects in dog pen
 Article Link

SYDNEY, Australia — Australia's defence minister has rejected criticism of his country's special forces troops for briefly detaining suspected Taliban captives in a dog pen.

Dogs are considered impure by observant Muslims and the report has outraged the head of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. Australian Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon confirmed Tuesday that four suspected insurgents arrested by special forces soldiers last April had been held for 24 hours in a compound occasionally used to house dogs.

But Fitzgibbon defended the soldiers' actions, saying the soldiers were far from their base and that detainees were held in the most secure place available.

He also said it was misleading to characterize the holding facility as a dog pen.

He says he has been told that it was a walled compound that has been used for a variety of purposes, including to hold dogs from time to time.

The revelation about the dog pen follows complaints by an Afghan soldier about mistreatment of the detainees, who were held in southern Uruzgan province following a battle with Taliban fighters.
More on link
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2008, 16:34:50 »
Pakistan links Taliban to al-Qaeda, vows to get tough
Recent suicide bombings 'rude awakening' for Islamabad, intelligence official says

Globe and Mail, Sept. 2
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080902.wpakistan02/BNStory/Afghanistan/home

Quote
Pakistan's top security official declared yesterday that the country's Taliban militants are the "new face of al-Qaeda," in a move that linked the country's struggle against extremism directly to Washington's "war on terror."

In the past, Pakistan has been heavily criticized for rejecting evidence that al-Qaeda was largely based in the country and denying that the tribal territory was used as a haven for Afghan insurgents.

Rehman Malik, the Interior Ministry chief, vowed that Pakistan had the determination to use force against the extremists based across its tribal borderland with Afghanistan, where the most powerful fighters are in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella group.

"There's no doubt in my mind that the Tehreek-e-Taliban and al-Qaeda are the same thing," Mr. Malik told reporters. "They have not only connections, I would say Tehreek-e-Taliban is an extension of al-Qaeda. ... The mouthpiece is now Tehreek-e-Taliban."

In the past, Pakistani authorities sought to draw a sharp distinction between home-grown militants and al-Qaeda, which is led by Arabs. Mr. Malik also conceded that the fighters "operate on both sides" of the border...

...Mr. Malik's remarks came amid signs that Washington is more comfortable with Islamabad's role in the terrorism fight, after years of accusing Pakistan of not doing enough and being too ready to enter into peace negotiations with the militants.

U.S. military chief, Admiral Mike Mullen, after a meeting last week with Pakistani counterpart General Ashfaq Kayani, sounded a much more positive tone. "I'm encouraged that he's [Gen. Kayani's] taken action and I also think it's going to take some time," Adm. Mullen told a Pentagon press conference.

"We either hand over Pakistan to these Taliban or we fight back," Mr. Malik said yesterday. "I can assure you that they [the militants] are on the run, either they can surrender or die."

It's not just rhetoric, analysts said. In recent weeks, Pakistan has launched military offensives in two parts of the tribal territory, Khyber and Bajaur, and a neighbouring area of Swat. Over the weekend, Mr. Malik announced a ceasefire in Bajaur, to mark Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims. Yesterday, responding to criticism that this would give the extremists breathing space, he stressed that the truce would last only a month and the security forces would crack down on any militant activity during that period...

Mr. Malik, a politician who was put in charge of the Interior Ministry after his Pakistan Peoples Party emerged as the largest group in a coalition government that formed after elections in February, revealed that top al-Qaeda leadership moved freely in and out of the country.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy head of the terror group, was tracked in Mohmand, part of the tribal area, as was his wife, though he was mainly in Afghanistan's Kunar and Paktia provinces, he said.

"We certainly had traced him [Dr. al-Zawahiri] at one place, but we missed the chance. So he's moving in Mohmand and, of course, sometimes in Kunar, mostly in Kunar and Paktia."

In another break from Pakistan's recent approach, the Interior Ministry chief said that Islamabad plans to use the tribes in its border area to fight the extremists, indicating that a 15,000-strong militia of volunteers would be assembled.

Selling the Taliban
Wall St. Journal, Sept. 2
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122029043393787615.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

Quote
In the West, assumptions about Afghanistan too often seem premised on the idea that the Taliban are "men in caves," raising questions about why thousands of international troops cannot quickly defeat them.

However, an insurgency is at its heart a battle of wills and staying power, not of military might. Insurgents in Afghanistan appreciate this and have created a sophisticated propaganda operation that both targets what is seen as weakening support back in foreign capitals and seeks to mold perceptions among the Afghan population.

This is no small-scale operation. The efforts include a Web site, Al Emarah, which is updated several times a day in five languages. The English may often be laughable -- with reference to gourds (guards), a "poppet" (puppet) government and "spatial fours" (special forces) -- but it does the job. The Web site mocks government weakness and highlights every perceived foreign misstep to tap a deep vein of nationalism in Afghanistan -- and to raise questions back in foreign capitals about the role of their forces.

For the local audience there are also magazines in Arabic and Pashto, DVDs showing gruesome beheadings and Taliban attacks, and audio cassettes of nationalist chants -- also available as ringtones. Much of this material apparently is produced across the border in Pakistan in the name of the former regime, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, or by supporters and sympathizers. All of it seeks to tap historic patriotism and fuel often legitimate grievances in Afghanistan. Journalists can reach Taliban spokesmen for a fiery quote day and night, in stark contrast to their government and international counterparts.

All in all, the Taliban are successfully driving the news agenda and creating a perception of a movement far stronger and more omnipresent than it really is. Taliban atrocities often go unreported in areas they have made off-limits to independent verification. And their methods to control the message go beyond those of your typical press office: Community leaders and journalists who might speak up are cowed with threats or worse.

While the Taliban use their media operation to highlight civilian casualties caused by foreign forces, they also deliberately target civilians -- as with the recent murder of three Western women aid workers and their Afghan colleague just an hour from Kabul. Much less reported internationally are the Afghans who work for international NGOs or the government in rural areas and who often face roadblocks where they are checked for any sign of working with foreigners...

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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2008, 19:55:44 »
British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
A major secret British operation to boost the economy in Afghanistan's Helmand province has been completed after a force of 5,000 troops fought for a week to drive a huge dam turbine through Taliban lines.

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 2
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2668595/British-soldiers-kill-200-Taliban-in-Afghan-dam-operation.html

Quote
British commanders estimate that more than 200 Taliban were killed as they tried to prevent the convoy of 100 vehicles from getting the machinery to Kajaki hydroelectric dam where it will provide a significant increase in energy for up to two million Afghans.

The operation has been described as the biggest of its kind since the Second World War.

For the last five days the force has fought through the heart of Taliban territory to push through the 220 tonne turbine and other equipment that included a 90 tonne crane to lift it into place.

With a third turbine fixed at Kajaki it will mean that the extra electricity could double the irrigation output allowing farmers to plant two crops of wheat a year. With a dramatic rise in world wheat prices this could crucially mean that it becomes more profitable than producing opium which would deprive the Taliban of a major source of revenue.

Escorted by attack helicopters, armoured vehicles and men of the Parachute Regiment, the trucks trundled into Kajaki.

For the first 50 miles of its journey from the southern city of Kandahar the convoy was protected by American and Canadian troops [emphasis added]. But for the second 50 mile leg through Taliban strongholds more than 3,000 British troops were needed to fight off the insurgents.

Lt Col Dave Wilson, of 23 Engineer Regiment, said the operation was the most significant "route clearance" operation since the Second World War with the sappers freeing the route of mines and improvised bombs.

"It was a huge achievement," said Lt Col Wilson. "It was carried out through some of the most heavily mined areas of Afghanistan."

While medics had prepared for casualties, commanders said there was only one wounded among the British, American, Canadian and Australian troops who took part in the operation - a British soldier was crushed when a trailer collapsed on him.

"As a template for the rest of this country, it's shown that when we want to, at a time and a place of our choosing, we can overmatch the Taliban, no question," said Lt Col James Learmont of 7 Para Royal Horse Artillery.

In order to win over villagers in some areas, British forces held meetings with locals to negotiate the convoy's passage, and paid $25,000 in compensation to one community for disruption.
The Taliban had agreed to maintain a ceasefire in some areas but violated the deal, British commanders said.

The Chinese-made turbine will be installed as part of a project funded by the American development agency USAID to increase the output of the Kajaki power plant.

Chinese engineers already on the ground will install the equipment [emphasis added], which will boost the capacity of the plant, built in 1975, to three turbines with an output of 51 MegaWatts. Around 1.8 million Afghans are expected to benefit from the project.

"The opposition said it would never happen but it did," said Lt Col Rufus MacNeil. "If you want a mark in the sand for Afghan reconstruction, then this is it."

The scale and complexity of the operation has given those serving under the 75,000-strong, NATO-led force in Afghanistan an opportunity to boast about cooperation at a time when critics say the coalition lacks strength and coherence.

The turbine, split into seven sections each weighing between 22 and 30 tonnes, was flown on Russian transport aircraft into Kandahar, once a Taliban stronghold in the south and now the headquarters for Canadian operations.

It was then put on giant trucks and began its voyage last Wednesday, travelling at barely 3 km an hour.

Mark
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2008, 20:27:36 »
Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South)
022026EDT Sept 08

.pdf version attached at bottom of message

NOTE:  The following material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban.  Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content - it is shared for information only.  When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original (indicated by "GoogEng") - this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.



"2 vehicle of  puppet army  blew up in (Kandahar)"
Quote
Tuesday noon 02-09-2008 at approximately 10:30 am local, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmines blew up 2 vehicles of puppet army in Yaro Kariz area of Boldak district  of Kandahar province. The landmines completely destroyed the vehicles and  7 puppet terrorists in it were killed few wounded. Reported by Qari Yousuf Ahmadi

"3 British terrorists killed 2 wounded in Helmand"
Quote
Tuesday morning 02-09-08 at 9:15 am local time, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, ambushed a foot patrolling units of British occupation  army and their puppets in Mermanddab area of Grishk district of Helmand province. In the the attack 3 British terrorists were killed and 2 were wounded and their arms were booty Mujahideen . Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf



"Nato Murders an Afghan Family of Four"
Quote
Hundreds of protesters blocked a road in Kabul on Monday accusing U.S.-led troops of killing three members of a family, including two children, in a raid in the city, residents and witnesses said.  NATO and U.S. military officials could not be reached for comment on the allegation, the latest in a string of incidents that have angered Afghans and caused a split between the Afghan government and foreign troops.  Residents said U.S.-led troops carried out a pre-dawn raid in Hud Kheil area in the eastern quarter of Kabul, killing Noorullah and two of his sons, one of whom was eight months old ....

"ISAF not involved in Kabul incident September 1"
Quote
After an extensive investigation, ISAF reports that neither it nor the U.S.-led coalition’s forces were conducting any offensive operations in Kabul the evening of August 31.  A protest September 1 in Kabul followed claims that international forces attacked a family during the evening killing a man and two children.  ISAF offers its condolences to the families and the community affected by these deaths.  After thoroughly checking with all ISAF and U.S.-led coalition forces, none were involved in such an operation.



"ISAF, coalition reject claims of 500 civilians killed"
Quote
ISAF and the U.S.-led coalition reject claims that its forces have killed 500 civilians in the Sarwan Qala area of Sangin district, Helmand, in the past week.  The claims were reported in some media outlets September 1.  ISAF can account fully for its units and aircraft, none of which were used against civilians in the Sarwan Qala area. Therefore, ISAF refutes any such claim of mass civilian casualties.  ISAF is aware that U.S.-led coalition forces have issued a recent news release indicating that Afghan and coalition forces have killed more than 220 insurgents in ongoing operations in the Sangin Valley area of Helmand. It is possible that the claim of civilian casualties is being confused with known insurgent fatalities from the ongoing operations.

"US troops are committing war crimes"
Quote
AN AFGHAN human rights organisation has accused the United States army of committing war crimes in Afghanistan.  The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said on Tuesday that, according to their own investigations, civilians are killed in most operations conducted by US forces.  AIHRC expressed strong concern about the death of innocent Afghans during military operations and urged those responsible for the killings to face trial.  "According to our investigations, 98% of civilian casualties caused by the coalition forces in Afghanistan are intentional," the head of the AIHRC, Lal Gul, said.  "The actions of the coalition forces, especially the American forces, are not only against the human rights laws, but are considered war crimes. Therefore, these forces have committed war crimes in Afghanistan," he said ....

"Selling the Taliban"
Quote
In the West, assumptions about Afghanistan too often seem premised on the idea that the Taliban are "men in caves," raising questions about why thousands of international troops cannot quickly defeat them.  However, an insurgency is at its heart a battle of wills and staying power, not of military might. Insurgents in Afghanistan appreciate this and have created a sophisticated propaganda operation that both targets what is seen as weakening support back in foreign capitals and seeks to mold perceptions among the Afghan population .... (more on link)


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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2008, 22:45:52 »
Taking 'baby steps' in the PR race to win the confidence of Kandahar
GLORIA GALLOWAY September 2, 2008
 Article Link

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN -- The kid on the bike just would not stop.

A foot patrol of Canadian troops arrived at a dusty crossroad in one of the many small villages that make up Kandahar city. The soldiers in the lead raised their hands, palms outward, to warn approaching Afghans to stay put.

Most complied. The wizened old men in their turbans, the wide-eyed children, the teenage boys who were helping to reconstruct a nearby home - they all held their distance.

But the kid on the bike in a billowing green shalwar kameez just didn't get it. The closer he got to the convoy, the louder the soldiers shouted. Finally, in exasperation, one of the Canadians lifted his gun from his shoulder.

An explosion of a single shot pierced the quiet morning and a puff of camel coloured dirt plumed in the narrowing ground between the military men and the bicycle.

The message was received. The boy stopped his bike. Everybody stood silent for a moment. And then, as if there had been no gun fire at all, they returned to what they had been doing.

The faces of the villagers registered no anger that the troops had resorted to force. None appeared afraid. In what seemed like seconds, the smiles returned to the children's faces.

And the boy sheepishly submitted to a body search.

Gunfire and pat-downs are routine for the citizens of Kandahar.

"We always explain why things like this happen," said Sergeant John Dawson of Winnipeg, one of two members of the Civil Military Co-operation team who were travelling with the patrol to do public relations work on behalf of the local Afghan government.

But the Kandaharis know that almost anyone in their city can pose a threat. Men with wheelbarrows, old men on scooters, young boys in flowing robes - all have been used by the Taliban as suicide bombers. And they know the Canadian soldiers are targets.

"We explain that the insurgents are cowards," Sgt. Dawson said. They use innocents to carry out their attacks. The people of Kandahar "understand they have to keep away from us."

Which makes the PR work of soldiers like Sgt. Dawson and team leader, Captain Tylere Couture of Campbell River, B.C., all that much more difficult.

But, several times a week, Canadian patrols move cautiously along the dirt roads of this city, side-stepping the open sewers, keeping a careful eye on dark doorways and high earthen walls that provide opportunity for an ambush.

Most times they are accompanied by members of the Afghan National Police who are learning that public security forces are meant to uphold the law rather than provide money-making opportunities for uniformed criminals.

But on this patrol early one Sunday morning, the ANP did not show up.

There are many things that could have accounted for their absence, explained one of the Canadian police mentors who is helping train them. The force could have been stretched too thin, or they might not have had gas for their vehicle.

But, even without their Afghan colleagues, the military foot patrols go on because it is important to reinforce the notion that the government and its allies, the Canadians, are not afraid to walk the streets of this city. And it's important to spread the word that the local elected officials, as imperfect as they may be, are better friends of the Kandaharis than the Taliban.

"There is no one thing that we do here that is going to magically change the situation overnight," Sgt. Dawson said. Everything is "baby steps." Still, he said, he has observed a big difference in the Afghan attitude toward the Canadian patrols over the past three months.

Which apparently makes the risk worthwhile. Twice in three hours the soldiers are stopped by the sounds of nearby gunfire. Once they are halted by an explosion.

Then they move on.

At the village of Gachkhanay, a Kandahar suburb, Sgt. Dawson approaches an old man keeping watch over his tiny, mud-walled store. The man invites Sgt. Dawson to sit down and have a cup of tea.
More on link
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2008, 07:53:10 »
Soldier off to Afghanistan -again

Link to Article

The Kingston Whig Standard

Soldier off to Afghanistan -again
Master Cpl. Paul O'Brien believes in the mission as he readies for his fourth tour
Posted By JORDAN PRESS WHIG-STANDARD STAFF WRITER


Master Cpl. Paul O'Brien's voice is level as he talks about his coming tour of duty in Afghanistan.

"There's still a sense of anticipation, but you kind of get into thinking ahead," said O'Brien, who has been there three times already.

"In a sense, in my head, I'm already there."

O'Brien departs tomorrow for the grueling 18-hour trek from Canada to Kandahar. When he arrives in Afghanistan, he'll represent a changing aspect in the Canadian Forces.

As more soldiers return for tours in Afghanistan, they no longer become students of the issues in the area, but teachers to those arriving for the first time.

It was something O'Brien didn't have when he was with the first Canadian battle group to enter the Afghan capital of Kabul.

He'll serve this tour at the group headquarters at Kandahar Airfield, headquarters for Canada's force in Afghanistan.

"Instead of being out on the ground, I'll be ... receiving information and providing advice and direction to the guys out there," O'Brien said.

There are about 2,500 Canadians serving in Afghanistan, according to the Department of National Defence, with some having served five tours in the war zone.

One of those five-tour soldiers was Sgt. Shawn Eades, a 33-year-old who was killed Aug. 20 by a roadside bomb and became the 93rd Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan.

O'Brien says that he watches the news, hears the headlines about the violence and Canadian fatalities. His wife, Beth, tries to avoid hearing or watching news about the Afghan mission.

"My own opinion is the level of violence has increased, not because they're getting stronger," he says, referring to the Taliban, "but because they're getting desperate."

It's a message he'll try to convey to the other five men in his group that is heading overseas this week, all of them on their first tour in Afghanistan.

Like other soldiers that are heading to Afghanistan, there are the little things O'Brien must take care of before leaving, including paperwork such as wills and powers of attorney. And then there are the big things, like explaining to his 10-year-old daughter why daddy has to go away again.

His answer to her questions? Daddy has to go help and he needs to go to Afghanistan to do it. "It takes away some of the sting," he says.

When he last went to Afghanistan in 2006, O'Brien wrote about his experiences for the Whig-Standard and explained why he was willing to go again.

"There are different reasons, of course, but I suppose the true reason ... is that I truly believe that what Canada as a country is doing to help in Afghanistan is working.

"I'm not going to debate the merits of that statement; that's for others who get paid a lot more than me to figure out. It's just what I believe."

O'Brien hopes his fourth tour will be his last, but his opinion hasn't changed.

"It's still a good mission," O'Brien says. "If we're not doing it, who's going to do it?"

Article ID# 1182623
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2008, 16:05:53 »
U.S. Rejects Claims of Afghan Deaths
Military Probe Discounts U.N. Finding of 90 Civilians Killed, Says Only 5 Died

Washington Post, Sept. 3
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/02/AR2008090201411.html

Quote
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Sept. 2 -- U.S. military officials on Tuesday flatly rejected claims by the United Nations and the Afghan government that a U.S. airstrike in western Afghanistan two weeks ago killed at least 90 Afghan civilians, saying that a complete investigation into the incident found that only five civilians were killed.

A review of video footage and photos, and an analysis of burial sites after the strike in Azizabad village in Herat province in the early morning of Aug. 22, found that 30 to 35 Taliban insurgents and five civilian relatives of a Taliban commander died in the attack, according to a summary of the findings released Tuesday. Two other civilians were injured, it said.

Interviews with 30 American and Afghan participants in the military operation further reinforced the conclusion that the incident's toll was considerably lower than those suggested by eyewitnesses, the summary said...

Pakistan rulers in the cross-hairs
BBC, Sept. 3
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7596554.stm

Quote
The failed attempt on the life of Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani highlights one fact more than anything.

It shows again how close Pakistan's leadership live to the consequences of their decisions, especially when it comes to the "war on terror".

At the moment no one has claimed responsibility for the attack and an investigation has only just begun.

But pro-Taleban militants and their al-Qaeda associates are likely to top the list of suspects.

The Pakistan army has just pulled back after a blistering five-week operation in the tribal areas.

According to the army, this has led to the killing and capture of hundreds of militants.
   
Anarchy and terror remain the militants best bet, and what better way to achieve this?
Security analyst

The militants have fought back with a series of suicide attacks, including one on a military factory which left 69 people dead.

The army campaign has left the militants hard pressed and many were sighing with relief when the government announced a month-long ceasefire for Ramadan.

But not all militants were quite so welcoming of the ceasefire - a few groups said they would continue fighting...

Taliban claims responsibility for firing at PM motorcade in Pakistan
Xinhua, Sept. 3
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-09/04/content_9765959.htm

Quote
Pakistan's Taliban Wednesday claimed responsibility for firing at the motorcade of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

Local TV channels reported that Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan claimed responsibility for the attack on the Prime Minister's motorcade. Khan was quoted as saying that suck attacks would be carried out on government leaders in future.

Unknown assailants attacked the motorcade of Gillani on the Islamabad Highway Wednesday afternoon, a statement released by the Prime Minister's House said.

"Of the multiple sniper shots fired on the Prime Minister's vehicle, two hit the window on the driver side. However, because of the robust and comprehensive security measures, the Prime Minister and all the members of his motorcade remained unharmed," said the statement.

Police said the vehicle was attacked while coming to the airport to collect Gillani who returned to Islamabad from Lahore, capital city of eastern Punjab province...

TV changes Afghan reality
Fledgling businesses, including at least two run by women, show viewers the entrepreneurial spirit hasn't been dimmed by three decades of war, writes Jonathon Burch in Kabul.

Reuters, Sept, 3 (in Ottawa Citizen Business section)
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/bustech/story.html?id=b875f68c-66cd-40fb-a6d6-15bfa9f5bcaf

Quote
A reality TV show broadcast in Afghanistan has encouraged Afghans to start their own enterprises, stirring entrepreneurial spirit in a country that has been ravaged by three decades of war.

The program, Fikr wa Talash, (Dream and Achieve), is loosely based on the popular Dragons Den series, in which contestants pitch their business ideas to a panel of tycoons in return for cash for their companies.

The program, the latest in a series of popular reality shows that have taken Afghanistan by storm, is more than just entertainment. Its supporters hope that by encouraging small businesses, the program will help Afghanistan's economy become more self-reliant.

"Small and medium-sized businesses, which are by far the largest employer, be it small self-employed farmers selling a surplus or a shopkeeper, trader ... are the key to achieving such self reliance," said David Elliot, a development consultant for the program's makers.

"Yet business skills and thinking, such as financial planning, marketing, competitive strategy, are all relatively new concepts that are needed to create a stronger, more resilient and healthy private sector, capable of being the 'engine of growth' for the economy," added Mr. Elliot.

Decades of war have devastated the Afghan economy and infrastructure and Afghanistan is still one of the world's poorest countries despite receiving billions of dollars in international aid since 2001.

The Afghan government relies on aid for about 90 per cent of its total expenditure.

Unemployment stands at 40 per cent with 80 per cent of Afghanistan's labour force employed in agriculture. GDP per capita was just $1.000 in 2007.

The show's sponsors, including U.S. government aid agency USAID, saw the program as an opportunity to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among ordinary Afghans.

The first series ended last month with the final contestant winning $20,000 towards his plastic recycling business.

It was broadcast on Tolo TV, Afghanistan's most popular channel which also aired the hugely popular Afghan Star, a homegrown version of the singing contests American Idol and Canadian Idol.

Reality TV shows have engrossed Afghans who, in the past, suffered a ban on television under the Taliban government of the late 1990s...

Mark
Ottawa
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 16:20:35 by MarkOttawa »
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2008, 20:21:38 »
Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South)
032020EDT Sept 08

.pdf version attached at bottom of message

NOTE:  The following material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban.  Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content - it is shared for information only.  When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original (indicated by "GoogEng") - this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.


"12 Canadian invaders soldiers Killed in Kandahar"
Quote
Wednesday morning   03-09-2008 at approximately 9 am local, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmines blew up a patrolling unit of Canadian invaders army in Ashegho area of Zhari district of Kandahar province. In explosion 12 soldiers terrorists were killed and 5 wounded.. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf

"1 tank of Canadian destroyed in Kandahar"
Quote
Wednesday morning 03-09-2008 at approximately 7:10 am local time, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,with remote controlled landmine blew up a military tank of Canadian occupation army when it was travelling in bazaar of Mewad district of Kandahar province. In the  explosion the tank was completely destroyed and 4 occupation terrorists were killed. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf

"3 tanks of Enemy destroyed 12 American killed in Helmand"
Quote
Wednesday morning  03-09-2008 ,in Zargho Kala area of Nadali district of Helmand province, an attack of NATO  occupation army and its puppet army was defeated as the enemies made efforts  in trying to enter a area which is controlled by the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate. In the attack a firefight started which lasted still 11 am, during which 3 tanks were destroyed 12 invaders were killed few wounded and the  enemies were defeated.Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf

"Heavy firefight continued in Helmand"
Quote
Wednesday morning  03-09-2008 ,in Zargho Kala area of Nadali district of Helmand province, an attack of NATO  occupation army and its puppet army was defeated as the enemies made efforts  in trying to enter a area which is controlled by the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate. In the attack a firefight started which lasted still this time, during which 2 tanks were destroyed 9 invaders were killed few wounded and the  enemies were defeated.Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf

"11 Australian special forces troops killed in Uruzgan"
Quote
Tuesday night 02-09-2008, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,  ambushed a  convoy of Australian special forces in center of Khas Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province . In attack 3 tanks were  destroyed, 11 Australian terrorists in its were killed, few were wounded and their arms were  Mujahideen booty.Reported by Zabihullah Mujahid

"PAKISTAN:  Outlawed Taliban Have Free Run of Media"
Quote
Taliban factions in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and tribal areas have been outlawed and their accounts frozen by the Pakistan government. But that has not in the least bit altered their presence in the media.... (more on link)

« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 20:24:31 by milnews.ca »
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« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 12:07:03 by milnews.ca »
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2008, 12:51:41 »
Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South)
041246EDT Sept 08

.pdf version attached at bottom of message - .pdf of interview text available on request via PM

NOTE:  The following material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban.  Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content - it is shared for information only.  When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original (indicated by "GoogEng") - this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.


"An interview to the spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan  Qari Yusuf Ahmadi"
Quote
Mr. Qari Yusuf Ahmadi! Our native homeland and troubled Muslim nation has been faced to different troubles of war within past three tens, unfortunately, it continuous till now, Taliban have been launched armed resistance since 2001, you are as official spokesman of Taliban. Without doubt that the people have large number of questions regarding you, I am as a Muslim and an Afghan having questions about Taliban, please let me to hear you answers of some questions, I am asking as an independent Afghan for the information of readers of an independent news agency about your activities, have you great patience and endurance, starting the first question....

Selected Highlights:

Trying to drive wedge between coalition partners?
Quote
...if we look to the background of enemy how often they deceived during fighting, they repeatedly bombarded their coalition forces, a few years a go a dozen of Canadian forces were killed by the air force of Americans also crush down their helicopters because of the matter of weather or weak direction.  If it all means supporting with Taliban, Americans kill dozen of Canadians, holding of funerals of coalition forces by helicopters, if it is supporting with us, then there is no need for the martyrdom attacks or martyring of dozens of Taliban ....

We'll try to be more careful about killing civilians
Quote
...."For example, a Mujahid target a specified enemy before to reach the enemy the explosion take place", while he pray in the mosque because of a technical reason, it never be means that he mentions of an attack in mosque. But it seldom carries out, now mostly thought to keep the way of these kinds of attacks. In the future, it will not be happened, the possibility of innocent killing will end....

It's only really a SUICIDE bombing if they're depressed
Quote
....Who is not under the covered missionary of western, virtual Ulama (religious scholars) will never call it prohibited, actually it is martyrdom attacks. Yes, there are different opinions about using and the places. Great and independent Ulama of Islamic world never refract it nor regard it a suicide attack.  Who blow up himself because of mental trouble or sadness, aims it as a suicide, like always happen in Europe and America it calls Haram (prohibited) Muslims never do it and worth sadness in the life of this world....

We've never TOLD anyone to burn down schools...
Quote
....The enemy struggle to accuse Taliban by every kinds of propaganda, if it was right as the enemy claim so, there will not be any schools in out of cities, if anyone took act of his own emotion it should not be related to Taliban- they should get investigation about it.  No one of our spokesman and commander has response this
kind of events till now; we are related which we openly get responsible of that.  Neither our central policy mentioned this kind of acts nor our leadership has admitted to anyone, if any education process fill down it will be the naturally effects of the war not our target and strategy.  And we are not silent about that, but the current media
always interpret our reports on the contrary, interpret our positive reports to the negative words and did not give us the right of defense. Yes, we have some observations about the syllabus of education but we do not solve on this way....

Where the NGO's should be doing more of what we want
Quote
....If they actually have sympathy to our poor people so, NGO's of a province should contribute its a year salaries on the poor people of this province, the poor will be finished in this province, if they try this experience in a year they will know about the basic of the aids, the situation will better. But they never do that because they do not want to give aids as directly poor people, therefore, it is not the objection of local people. Other important problem is- the general acts of NGO's are not independent, majority of the foreign organizations act as the not independent, majority of the foreign organizations act as the B team of the foreign occupations, most of the NGO's directly supported
by some occupation countries or connected to their embassies, work for them as intelligence.( For example, an ignorant person perhaps considers P.R.T as a general NGO's) but actually that NGO's works with American forces- like this some organizations which were worked in Iraq many years ago, now work in Afghanistan....

Osama's fine - thanks for asking
Quote
...All praise be to Allah, the Leader of Islamic Emirate Ameerul Muameneen is fine, he leads the current resistance right now, as you sometimes hear his messages in media. Shaikh Usama issues videos in his own sound almost every month, as both we are watch it....


« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 13:36:55 by milnews.ca »
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2008, 15:44:44 »
Articles found September 4, 2008

France shocked by images of war 
By Emma Jane Kirby BBC News, Paris 
 Article Link

Staring out from a glossy eight-page spread in the latest edition of the magazine Paris Match, several Taleban fighters show off their trophies of war.
 
The loss of the 10 soldiers in Afghanistan shocked France

Guns, walkie-talkies and even a wrist-watch are photographed - all spoils taken from the 10 French soldiers they killed in an ambush last month.

Accompanying the pictures is a long interview with the Taleban leader who calls himself Commander Farouki.

He claims they were tipped off about the French mission in their area and were able to prepare an ambush with 140 highly trained insurgents.

"If night hadn't fallen we'd have killed every one of the soldiers," he boasts.

He denies reports that other French paratroopers were captured and tortured but warns that every single French soldier found on Afghan soil will be killed.

Propaganda

On French radio today, Defence Minister Herve Morin criticised Paris Match for peddling Taleban propaganda.

"Should we really be doing the Taleban's propaganda for them?" he asked.

"The Taleban have understood perfectly that Western public opinion is probably the Achilles' heel of the international community present in Afghanistan."

A diplomat from the foreign ministry said it was the responsibility of the media to decide what they covered and how they did it, but added: "The reactions of the families of the servicemen speak for themselves".

"We can only imagine the pain that they felt when they saw these pictures, as well as that of the comrades of these men who are still in Afghanistan."
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Development through combat
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
 Article Link

Quite a story; what might M. Dion think (even the Chinese seem to have been onside--and see especially the last several links)?

British commanders estimate that more than 200 Taliban were killed as they tried to prevent the convoy of 100 vehicles from getting the machinery to Kajaki hydroelectric dam where it will provide a significant increase in energy for up to two million Afghans.

The operation has been described as the biggest of its kind since the Second World War.

For the last five days the force has fought through the heart of Taliban territory to push through the 220 tonne turbine and other equipment that included a 90 tonne crane to lift it into place.

With a third turbine fixed at Kajaki it will mean that the extra electricity could double the irrigation output allowing farmers to plant two crops of wheat a year. With a dramatic rise in world wheat prices this could crucially mean that it becomes more profitable than producing opium which would deprive the Taliban of a major source of revenue.
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Wounded Australian soldier in Afghanistan 'improving'
Updated September 4, 2008 11:07:21
 Article Link

Australia's defence minister, Joel Fitzgibbon, says the condition of an Australian solider critically wounded in Afghanistan is improving.

Nine Australian Special Forces soldiers were wounded after being ambushed by Taliban fighters in Oruzgan Province.

Mr Fitzgibbon says the soldier with life threatening wounds is stable enough to be transported to Germany for further medical treatment.

"Things are on the improve but we do remain concerned about the most critically injured and our thoughts and prayers, of course, remain with him," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
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Sarkozy warns that Pakistan also at stake in Afghan campaign
 Article Link

DAMASCUS (AFP) — France's President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday that pulling out of Afghanistan, where 10 French troops were killed by the Taliban last month, would amount to abandoning nuclear-armed Pakistan.

"If we abandon Afghanistan we will be abandoning Pakistan, which doesn't need that. I want to remind you of one thing: that Pakistan has the nuclear bomb," he told reporters before winding up a visit to the Syrian capital.

"I want to say to the French that my conviction has not changed," he said.

A Taliban ambush followed by intense fighting in the Sarobi district near the Afghan capital Kabul on August 18 and 19 left 10 French soldiers dead and 21 wounded.

The attack prompted a public outcry in France, with some calling for the immediate withdrawal of the 3,000 French troops serving in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

"If almost all democracies are down there, if (US presidential candidate) Barack Obama has made the presence in Afghanistan the centrepiece of his election campaign... he must have a good reason," Sarkozy said.

"Our soldiers, by fighting terrorists down there, are protecting us here. We must understand that terrorism is a global movement
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2008, 15:55:16 »
Taliban inflicts worst toll on Diggers since Vietnam
The Australian, Sept. 4
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24290891-2702,00.html

Quote
AN Australian special forces soldier is fighting for his life after a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan in which eight others were wounded - the highest number of injuries suffered by Diggers in a single battle since the Vietnam War.

An unknown number of Taliban fighters was also killed in the clash in Oruzgan province.

Defence spokesman Brian Dawson yesterday said the attack on Tuesday night left one member of the Special Operations Task Group with critical injuries, five of his comrades seriously wounded and another three with slight wounds.

The ambush follows recent military success by Australian special forces in targeting Taliban leaders.

Last month, special forces' soldiers successfully co-ordinated an airstrike that killed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohamed, a senior insurgent commander in Oruzgan province.

Another operation in August resulted in the capture by Australian special forces of Mullah Bari Ghul, a key figure in providing equipment, arms, money and foreign fighters to the conflict in Oruzgan.

In Tuesday's attack, Taliban fighters fired on the Diggers with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades as they were travelling in a vehicle convoy with other international soldiers.

All the wounded were members of the 300-strong special forces group [emphasis added] based in Oruzgan in southern Afghanistan.

Not since the battles of Balmoral and Coral in 1968 - during the Vietnam conflict - have so many Australian solders been wounded in one incident.

The attack takes to 52 the number of Australian soldiers wounded in action in Afghanistan since the start of combat operations in 2002.

Six Diggers have been killed...

Mass Attack on French Paratroopers Heralds New Taliban Tactics
The Jamestown Foundation, Sept. 2
http://www.jamestown.org/news_details.php?news_id=346

Quote
Conflicting accounts of a Taliban ambush of an elite French military unit in the Surubi district of Kabul Province on August 18 have raised new concerns about the future of France’s politically unpopular deployment in Afghanistan. Ten soldiers were killed and 21 wounded in one of the largest Taliban operations since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The French troops were part of a fresh group of 700 soldiers committed by French president Nicolas Sarkozy to join over 2,000 French troops under International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) command. When the new French troops arrived they relieved two American battalions in the Kapisa region, a strategically important district near Kabul (France 24, July 25). A French officer described the French troops involved in the ambush as “experienced” and “combat-capable” (Le Figaro, August 20). Nevertheless, the Taliban made a political statement by targeting the new additions to the French ISAF contingent. The proximity of a major Taliban operation to Kabul has alarmed many within the capital, who point out that previous attacks within Kabul’s security belt have heralded the eventual fall of the city to insurgent forces (Cheragh [Kabul], August 21).

On August 18, 30 soldiers of the 8ème Régiment Parachutiste d’Infanterie de Marine (8th RPIMa – Airborne Infantry) and another 30 from the Régiment de Marche du Tchad (RMT) were tasked with reconnoitering the Uzbeen valley route between the Tagab district of Kapisa and the Surubi district of Kabul provinces. They were joined by two sections of Afghan troops and a unit of American Special Forces. Most of the French were carried in Armored Vanguard Vehicles (Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé – VAB), armored personnel carriers built by GIAT Industries.

Formed in 1951 for service in Indochina, the 8th RPIMa was dissolved after being virtually annihilated in the 1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu, only to be revived in 1956 for service in the Algerian conflict. Since its relocation from Algeria to the French garrison town of Castres in 1963, the 8th RPIMa has been deployed in at least fifteen countries on various missions, including recent deployments in the first Gulf War, Cambodia, Kurdish northern Iraq, the Congo, Macedonia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. 500 paratroopers of the RPIMa were sent to Afghanistan in June and July.

“Marine” units like the 8th RPIMa are not comparable to the U.S. or British Marines; the name refers rather to the 19th century Ministère de la Marine which was responsible for French armed forces overseas, as opposed to the Metropolitan army, which came under the Ministry of War. The troupes de marine became troupes coloniales as part of the French Colonial Army in 1900 with a consequent change in the titles of the units involved, but the term “marine” was revived after the postwar collapse of the French empire to signify volunteer units designated for overseas service. The all-volunteer troupes de marine include infantry, light cavalry, artillery, and airborne infantry units.

The Régiment de Marche du Tchad is a mechanized unit of the troupes de marine. Now based in France, the RMT was formed in 1943 from metropolitan soldiers serving in the Régiment des Tirailleurs Sénégalais du Tchad after rallying to the Free French cause during General Philippe Leclerc’s campaign in Chad. 450 members of the RMT were sent to Afghanistan in May; another 150 serve as peacekeepers in Lebanon (Le Parisien, October 20). The French force also included a small number of men from the 35ème Régiment d'Artillerie Parachutiste (35e RAP - Airborne Artillery Regiment).

The multinational force struggled through difficult terrain and extreme heat along a difficult and winding mountainous road in an area known for Taliban activity. Army chief of staff General Jean-Louis Georgelin described the ambush as “a well organized trap” on “terrain that was extremely favorable to the enemy” (Le Monde, August 21). The ambush was launched at 3:30 PM after the paratroopers left their APCs to reconnoiter a pass on foot. As one survivor pointed out, the pass was nearly three hours out from the column’s starting point; “enough time for the Taliban to be warned by their accomplices of our arrival" (Le Monde, August 21). French General Michel Stollsteiner, ISAF commander in the Kabul region, stated; “In the past two weeks we had largely secured the zone but you have to be frank, we were guilty of overconfidence” (Reuters, August 25).

French press interviews with survivors of the ambush describe a rapid breakdown in command and communications, with Taliban marksmen taking down French soldiers at will. Among the first to be killed were the deputy section leader and the radioman of the advance unit. The warrant officer in command was shot in the shoulder. Soon afterwards the paratroopers’ radio communication with the RMT broke down. Heavily outnumbered, the French remained pinned down and under fire from small arms, machine guns and rocket launchers for four hours without reinforcements. Ammunition for all weapons other than their assault rifles ran out as the soldiers were unable to reach supplies still in their vehicles, although a VAB with a section from the 35e Régiment d'Artillerie Parachutiste in the rear of the column was able to deploy the vehicle’s machine gun and four 120mm mortars in support (La Depeche, August 21).

Some of the wounded alleged that their unit was hit by fire from their Afghan allies and NATO aircraft (Le Monde, August 21; AFP, August 21). Fire from A-10 Thunderbolts was directed by the American Special Forces while a pair of F-15 fighters passed through without using their weapons because the French and Taliban were too closely intertwined. An initial attempt by American helicopters to evacuate the wounded failed due to heavy fire. French EC725 Caracal helicopters arrived to provide fire support - one helicopter brought in a doctor and ten French commandos from the rapid reaction force in Kabul. A group leader from the rapid reaction force who arrived after a 90 minute drive through difficult terrain described the situation on his arrival; "We couldn't see the enemy and we didn't know how many of them there were. We started climbing, but after 20 minutes we started coming under fire from the rear. We were surrounded” (AFP, September 1). 81mm mortars also arrived with the reinforcements but helicopters were unable to evacuate the wounded until 8PM. Six hours after the ambush began, Taliban fighters began to break off, though many remained in the area, launching a last attack at 9AM the next day (La Depeche, August 24; Quotidien, August 21; AFP, August 21).

Despite official assurances that nearly all the casualties occurred in the first minutes of the ambush, other accounts suggested that four soldiers were captured before being killed by Taliban fighters (Telegraph, August 19; Independent, August 20). An investigative report by French weekly Le Canard enchainé claimed that the column’s interpreter disappeared only hours before the operation began, suggesting the French troops were betrayed either by the interpreter or by Afghan troops attached to the column. The report repeated the claim four French soldiers were captured and executed by the Taliban shortly after the ambush began (Le Canard enchainé; August 27).

During the rescue of the wounded, an armored car of the RMT overturned when the road collapsed and the vehicle fell into a ravine, killing a Kanak trooper from New Caledonia and injuring four others (Oceania Flash, August 20). A medic from the 2ème Régiment Etranger Parachutiste (Foreign Legion) was also killed after making several forays to bring in wounded comrades from the 8th RPIMa.

Unlike the first-hand accounts carried by the press, French Defense Minister Hervé Morin insisted that reinforcements were sent within 20 minutes and there were no indications of friendly fire (RTL, August 21). Pentagon and NATO spokesmen also denied having any evidence of such incidents. The Afghan Ministry of Defense stated that 13 Taliban fighters, including one Pakistani, were killed in the battle (Cheragh [Kabul], August 21). Some French officers claimed 40 to 70 militants were killed, but acknowledged finding only one body (AFP, September 1). Claude Guéant, general secretary of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, maintained “the majority of the assailants were not Afghans” (Reuters, August 23).

A Taliban statement entitled "New and Interesting Information on the Killing and Wounding of the French Soldiers in Surubi” claimed that hundreds of Taliban fighters using heavy and light weapons had overwhelmed a French infantry battalion of 100 men and 18 tanks (APCs?) and other military vehicles. The statement describes the infliction of “hundreds” of French casualties and the destruction of five tanks and eight other military vehicles before locals descended to loot abandoned French weapons (Sawt al-Jihad, August 22). The region in which the attack took place is considered a stronghold of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-i Islami movement, which also issued a claim of responsibility for the attack (Afghan Islamic Press, August 19).

In the aftermath of the attack, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner declared, “Nobody is thinking of leaving Afghanistan,” but added a few days later, "We need what is called 'Afghanization', that's to say to pass responsibilities, all responsibilities, as quickly as possible to the Afghans" (AFP, August 21; Reuters, August 25).

The ambush and recent suicide attacks on American outposts reveal an escalation in the violence and effectiveness of Taliban attacks on Western forces in Afghanistan. Added to the steady attrition of NATO, ISAF and U.S. personnel, these new attacks are intended to remind the West that despite seven years of campaigning, the Taliban are as strong as ever. Since the ambush, the French deployment in Afghanistan has come under sharp criticism from the public, the press, and opposition politicians. The French public has never had a taste for involvement in Afghanistan, reflected in a recent Le Parisien opinion poll that showed 55% of respondents believe France should withdraw from Afghanistan. With Prime Minister François Fillon calling for a September vote in parliament on the future of the French military commitment to Afghanistan, President Sarkozy’s efforts to expand France’s role in that country may come at a considerable political cost.

Mark
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« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 15:58:10 by MarkOttawa »
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2008, 09:32:31 »
Articles found September 5, 2008

Inside the Taliban's deadly ambush
Using heaviest weapons in their arsenal, a specially recruited squad lay in wait for Canadians near site of fearsome 2006 battle
GRAEME SMITH From Friday's Globe and Mail September 5, 2008 at 3:00 AM EDT
 Article Link

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — The ambush that killed three Canadians this week was a carefully planned trap, using an elite team of Taliban fighters and the insurgents' most powerful weapon to strike in a symbolic location near the scene of Canada's bloodiest battles of the mission.

This detailed account of the attack, from a well-informed Afghan government official in Kandahar with strong Taliban contacts, suggests the insurgents were frighteningly organized for the Sept. 3 ambush.

While some parts of his story were confirmed by military sources, other information could not be checked.

The official said the attack was planned by Mullah Mohibullah, an insurgent leader who also serves as chief judge for the parallel Taliban legal system in a cluster of villages known as Nalgham, about 35 kilometres west of Kandahar city.

It is not known whether any senior insurgents ordered Mr. Mohibullah to organize the attack, but he is a long-time friend of Mullah Obaidullah, the former defence minister for the Taliban regime, who has been repeatedly arrested by Pakistan but who is now believed to be living freely in the borderlands and is one of the Taliban's leading figures in the southern insurgency.

Instead of relying on his own men for the attack, Mr. Mohibullah apparently circulated a request among Taliban groups in the region, asking each of them to donate two or three of their best fighters and equip them for a dangerous mission.
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Outraged parliament wants border raids repulsed
By Raja Asghar
 Article Link

ISLAMABAD, Sept 4: Outraged by the deadly first known ground assault into Pakistan’s tribal belt by US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, both houses of parliament on Thursday unanimously asked the government to take measures to “repel such attacks in the future with full force”.

After fiery debates over Wednesday’s pre-dawn helicopter-borne raid that reportedly killed at least 20 people in a village in South Waziristan agency, the demand was made in a resolution passed unanimously by the National Assembly and the Senate separately that also wanted the government to tell the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan that such violations were “bound to force fundamental changes of foreign policy” by a key ally in the so-called war on terrorism.

This was the strongest-worded joint stance to date by both treasury and opposition benches in Pakistan’s parliament over any of the numerous alleged violations of the Pakistani territory by the coalition forces hunting Al Qaeda and Taliban militants and came at a sensitive time two days before the presidential election.

“The house calls upon the government of Pakistan to take all necessary measures to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and repel such attacks in the future with full force,” the resolution said about what Pakistan says was the coalition forces’ first ground assault into the area after three helicopters brought troops to a village near the well-known militant stronghold of Angoor Adda to target some houses.

Both Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the National Assembly and leader of house Raza Rabbani in the Senate said in their prepared remarks before tabling the resolution in their respective chambers that the attacks “constitutes a serious escalation in the series of actions by the Isaf/coalition forces on Pakistani territory”.
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Development work in Afghanistan cannot wait for complete security
The Kajaki hydroelectric project has the potential to transform the south of the country, says Des Brown MP
 The Guardian, Friday September 5 2008
 Article Link

leader (Power projection, September 4) was wrong to suggest that the Kajaki hydroelectric project is merely a symbol. If it were only that, we would never have sent our people on such a risky mission. The truth is that this plant has the potential to have enormous practical benefit for the local Afghans.

Not only will it, in your own words, once installed, "provide power and perhaps some prosperity to southern Afghanistan". It also has the potential to double the area that can be irrigated - and hence, in effect, the area of arable land - south of the dam.

You are right to acknowledge that "as a feat of logistics, this was incredible. As a symbol of western commitment to Afghanistan, it was indisputable." Despite that, you argue that it would be preferable for us to be pursuing smaller projects, like solar power. But this is a false choice. There is no reason why we cannot do both. That is why alongside a major endeavour like the Kajaki scheme, the UK-led provincial reconstruction team is already implementing small-scale stabilisation projects. These include improving electrical distribution in Gereshk, installing water towers and a distribution system in Musa Qala and rebuilding the Bazaar in Garmsir.

I have been to Kajaki, and I am fully aware of how much remains to be done, both to get the turbine up and running, and then to build and secure the power lines, before the people of Helmand and Kandahar start seeing the benefits. As your news report on the same issue (British forces thwart Taliban to deliver turbine. But will it be worth the effort?, September 4) said, "it will be at least two years before the electricity it generates reaches the 1.8 million intended beneficiaries". But in my view that only strengthens the case for starting now, building on the achievements of our forces in establishing a degree of security in the area. Indeed this is what the British government has been doing for over two years, military and civilians working together to provide the secure environment necessary for stabilisation, reconstruction and development to take place.

We cannot afford to wait for complete security to be established before development begins. The need to combine the two is one of the challenges of Afghanistan, which both we and NGOs are grappling with to support the Afghan government. If any of your readers are in Manchester for the Labour party conference, I invite them to come along to the event where I, representatives from Oxfam and others will be discussing this, and join the debate.

Finally, you are too cynical about American motives. USAid is currently pouring hundreds of millions of pounds of aid into southern Afghanistan each year, on a wide range of projects including not just the Kajaki dam but also, for example, the agricultural park in Lashkar Gah, which could help restart Afghanistan's agricultural export industry. Helping this desperately poor country recover from decades of war and conflict will demand a great deal of money and effort from the whole international community, and the generosity of the American people, Congress and government should not be so lightly dismissed.
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U.S. Troops in Iraq Staying Put; No New Forces for Afghanistan in '08]
By Noah Shachtman September 05, 2008
 Article Link

Violence in Iraq has dropped to its lowest levels since the start of the war; in Afghanistan, the killing and chaos is metastasizing. But, for now at least, U.S. troops levels will stay pretty much the same in both countries.

"Pentagon leaders have recommended to President Bush that the United States make no further troop reductions in Iraq this year," the Washington Post reports.

The plan, delivered this week, calls for delaying additional drawdowns until late January or early February -- after the Bush administration has left office. At that point, up to 7,500 of the approximately 146,000 troops in Iraq could be withdrawn, depending on conditions on the ground there.

The troop increases in Afghanistan would be similarly modest. "Under the proposal, an Army brigade and a Marine battalion would be sent to Afghanistan by early next year, adding about 4,500 troops to American forces there," the New York Times reports.  That contradicts a story we passed along a couple of weeks ago, from U.S. News, that the Pentagon was ready to send an extra 12,000 to 15,000 more soldiers and marines to Afghanistan.

Both papers portray the plan as a victory for General David Petraeus, who has advocated a go-slow approach in Iraq.

Petraeus cited several areas of ongoing concern, including the postponement of provincial elections initially scheduled for this month, the disputed status of the northern city of Kirkuk, lingering ethno-sectarian conflicts, and questions surrounding the future of a local security force known as the Sons of Iraq.
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2008, 11:53:39 »
Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South)
051150EDT Sept 08

.pdf version attached at bottom of message

NOTE:  The following material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban.  Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content - it is shared for information only.  When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original (indicated by "GoogEng") - this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.


"21 Canadian invaders soldiers Killed in Kandahar"
Quote
Thursday 04-09-2008, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmines blew up 6 tanks of Canadian invaders army convoy on Ghorak and Mewand road  in Karizo and Garmok areas Mewand district of Kandahar province. In explosion 6 tanks were destroyed 21 soldiers terrorists were killed and few wounded.. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf


"Destroying two vehicles of the enemy in Kandahar" (Google English) - Original in Arabic
Quote
Destroying two vehicles of the enemy in Kandahar
Dawn Mujahid Islamic Emirate in the nine o'clock this morning a truck and a car kind of hip to the enemy in the region of Shiga on the road to Kandahar, Herat rapid Directorate buttons mandate Kandahar by mines planted.  Arabs destroyed in the blast, which killed five soldiers interns.
Continental Yusuf Ahmadi


"Attak on military convoy, killed eight Australian soldiers in Tarin Kot"(Google English) - Original in Arabic
Quote
Australians killed eight soldiers in Arosjan
Suffered a military convoy of Australian troops attacked Mujahideen Islamic Emirate in one of noon today near the center of Trenkot mandate Arosjan.  The report, the attack which lasted for one hour Astraleyen killed seven soldiers and wounded several other Basabatz. Then the enemy air raids in the area, but thanks to God not affected by the Mujahideen.
Continental Yusuf Ahmadi


"Why are independent media and human rights silent over the massacre of civilians?"
Quote
....Islamic Emirate reminds all Afghans and all Muslims around the world, that they should never forget the historical abhorrence and enmity which the American arrogant crusaders military and its allies have unleashed on Afghanistan, under the disguise of building few km’s of roads and buildings....

“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2008, 18:11:46 »
Afghanistan, Russia & other returns of fall (media round-up)
Conference of Defence Associations, Sept. 5
http://www.cdaforumcad.ca/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1220640031/

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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2008, 13:25:50 »
ARTICLE FOUND SEPT. 6

U.S. needs more troops in Afghanistan, commander says
LA Times, Sept. 6
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-troops6-2008sep06,0,6269807.story

Quote
A top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan ["Army Gen. Jeffrey J. Schloesser, who took command of American-controlled eastern Afghanistan in April"] said Friday that he needed thousands of additional troops to combat violence along the border with Pakistan, a requirement that appears to be at odds with recommendations from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus on future troop levels in Iraq.

Because of strains on the military, plans to boost the number of troops in Afghanistan depend on reducing the force in Iraq. Petraeus' plan, which President Bush is expected to approve Tuesday in an appearance at the National Defense University, would slow the reduction of combat troops in Iraq, freeing up only one full Army combat brigade for redeployment to Afghanistan. That move would not happen until early next year.

In addition to the combat brigade of about 3,500 to 4,000 troops, U.S. officials also plan to withdraw about 2,000 non-combat support personnel from Iraq and transfer about 1,300 Marines from Iraq's Anbar province to western Afghanistan...

...under a compromise with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first brigade to redeploy from Iraq to Afghanistan -- the 3rd Brigade of the Army's 10th Mountain Division -- will deploy in February.

U.S. officials say that insurgents and extremist groups use Pakistan's tribal areas as a base from which to attack foreign forces across the border in eastern Afghanistan. The U.S. targets Islamic militants in the tribal areas with airstrikes by unmanned Predator drones, and this week U.S. commandos conducted a raid into Pakistan, angering the government...

The 1,300 Marines -- a battalion and helicopter unit -- would be the only combat troops to shift from Iraq this year. However, a senior military official said the Marines were likely to be sent to western Afghanistan in November, not the more turbulent east or south [emphasis added].

They would replace the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Marine Regiment, based in Twenty-Nine Palms. Officials are not planning to replace another Marine contingent in the country's most troubled area, Helmand province in southern Afghanistan [emphasis added]...

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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2008, 14:21:04 »
Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South)
071420EDT Sept 08

.pdf version attached at bottom of message

NOTE:  The following material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban.  Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content - it is shared for information only.  When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original (indicated by "GoogEng") - this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.


Taliban's Version of Double Suicide Bomber Attack on Kandahar Police Station
Quote
Martyrdom Operations destroyed 27 puppet police officers killed in Kandahar
Sunday afternoon 07-09-2008, 2 courageous Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Qari Muhammad wali and Abdul mateen of same province side "Allahu Akbar" and rammed themselves inside the police headquarter of Kandahar city, in which 6 rangers vehicles were completely destroyed and 27 puppet police officers were killed 43 wounded. the headquarter was damaged. We ask Allah to accept our brother among martyrs in Eelleyeen (high rank in the paradise). All praise and gratitude are due to Allah. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf


"2 vehicle of puppet army blew up in Kandahar"
Quote
Sunday noon 07-09-2008 at approximately 11:30 am local, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmines blew up a vehicles of puppet army in Loi Kariz area of Boldak district of Kandahar province. The landmines completely destroyed the vehicles and 6 puppet terrorists in it were killed .
Also in Khaki Chopan area of Mewand district of Kandahar province Mujahideen with a remote controlled landmine blew up a vehicle of puppet army in which the vehicle was completely destroyed and 5 puppet soldiers in it were killed. Reported by Qari Yousuf Ahmadi


"9 puppet police were killed in Helmand"
Quote
Saturday evening 07-09-2008 at approximately 6 pm local, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, ambushed a vehicle of puppet police in Chahai Injer area of Lashker Gah city capital of Helmand province. In attack the vehicle was completely destroyed and 9 puppet terrorists in it were killed and their arms were mujahideen booty . Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf


"A tank of Australian invaders blew up in Uruzgan"
Quote

Sunday afternoon 07-09-2008,at approximately 3:15 pm local, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmine blew up a tank of American occupation army in Darwishan Nawa area near Taren Kot capital of Uruzgan province. In the explosion the tank was completely destroyed and 5 the invader terrorists in it were killed. Reported by Zabihullah Mujahid


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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2008, 17:53:23 »
Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South)
071750EDT Sept 08


NOTICE:  Links in previous versions of Taliban Propaganda Watch (TPW) may not work because the web site hosting English translation of Taliban statements no longer works.  TPW postings will resume shortly when an alternate English language site is located.  Thanks for your patience.
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2008, 21:02:18 »
Suicide bombers strike Kandahar police HQ
Updated Sun. Sep. 7 2008 7:31 AM ET The Associated Press
 Article Link

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Officials say two suicide attackers detonated their bombs inside the police headquarters in Afghanistan's second-largest city Sunday, killing at least two police and wounding 37 people.

The two bombers targeted Gen. Abdul Raziq, a border police commander, two police officers at the scene in Kandahar said. The blasts went off within a minute of each other, one on a ground floor and one on an upper floor, officials said.

The governor's spokesman, Najib Pervaiz, said two police were killed and 29 police and eight civilians were wounded. He said 16 of the wounded were in critical condition.

Karim Agha, a police officer wounded in the attack, said the bomber wanted to get close to Gen. Raziq, but his guards stopped him. After that, Agha said, he didn't know what happened because he went unconscious.

One high-ranking officer, who asked not to be identified because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media, said six police were killed and 13 wounded, including Raziq. It wasn't immediately possible to reconcile the different figures.

Canadian troops and Afghan soldiers surrounded the police headquarters shortly after the explosions.
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Deaths in Afghanistan could hurt Tory campaign
Updated Sun. Sep. 7 2008 2:21 PM ET The Canadian Press OTTAWA -- The enemy has a vote.
 Article Link

It was a favourite phrase of now retired Gen. Rick Hillier, one of Canada's most quotable military commanders.

His well-worn expression was meant to illustrate the violent unpredictability of the Taliban and how insurgent attacks could disrupt the best-laid military and development plans.

But it could take on a more significant meaning as the country embarks on the first federal election campaign since 1945 with Canadian troops at war.

Hillier, arguably the Conservative government's most articulate spokesman for the Kandahar mission, always followed his warning with reassurance that the military does everything possible to "make sure that vote can't be exercised very often."

But preventing the Taliban from influencing Canadian voters this fall may be easier said than done, a military historian warns.

Desmond Morton, a professor at McGill University, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper is wrong if he thinks Afghanistan has been neutralized as political issue.

"The Conservatives want a quiet month -- or two -- to have their campaign, but I don't think anyone will say that out loud to you," said Morton, who informally advised former Tory prime minister Brian Mulroney on military matters.
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2008, 07:13:11 »
Afghans unearth 19-metre Buddha statue, relics
SAYED SALAHUDDIN Reuters September 8, 2008 at 5:08 AM EDT
 Article Link

KABUL — Archaeologists have discovered a 19-metre Buddha statue along with scores of other historical relics in central Afghanistan near the ruins of giant statues destroyed by the Taliban seven years ago.

The team was searching for a giant sleeping Buddha believed to have been seen by a Chinese pilgrim centuries ago when it came upon the relics in the central province of Bamiyan, an official said on Monday.

“In total, 89 relics such as coins, ceramics and a 19 metres statue have been unearthed,” Mohammad Zia Afshar, adviser in the information and culture ministry, told Reuters.

He said the idol, in sleeping posture, was badly damaged. The other relics dated back to the Bacterian era and from Islamic and Buddhist civilizations.

Lying on the old Silk Road and linking West with the East, Bamiyan was once a thriving Buddhist centre where monks lived in caves. In 2001 the Taliban blew up two giant standing Buddha statues carved into a cliff face saying they were offensive to Islam, despite appeals worldwide.

Later that year U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban government, and work has begun to restore the biggest of the two destroyed statues, once the tallest standing Buddha in the world. The mammoth task is expected to take a decade.

The latest discovery has raised hopes of finding a 300-metre-long Buddha statue that according to an ancient Chinese pilgrim is lying in Bamiyan, Mr. Afshar said.

Afghanistan has suffered decades of foreign interventions and civil war, and many of its historical relics, belonging to various civilizations, have been destroyed or looted.

Scientists said in April that they had found conclusive evidence the world's first ever oil paintings were in caves near the two destroyed giant statues of Buddha in Bamiyan, hundreds of years before oil paint was used in Europe.

Samples from paintings dated to the 7th century AD, they said. Paintings found in 12 of the 50 caves were created using oil paints, possibly from walnut or poppy, according to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF).

It was not until the 13th century that oil was added to paints in Europe and oil paint was not widely used in Europe till the early 15th century.
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2008, 08:50:46 »
More Diggers wanted for Afghanistan
The Australian, Sept. 8
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24309831-2702,00.html

Quote
General David McKiernan has asked Washington to boost US troop numbers with the addition of an extra brigade-size combat force, beyond an already flagged 10,000 increase in the US military presence.

He also wants a commensurate commitment from America's NATO allies and coalition partners, including Australia.

In a candid interview with The Australian in Kabul, General McKiernan said he needed "upwards of four manoeuvre brigade combat teams" - about 15,000 extra troops - to manage the counter-insurgency fight now focused in eastern and southern Afghanistan.

Asked whether he would like to see a greater military contribution from Australia, General McKiernan replied emphatically: "Yes. I think whatever contributions Australia might decide to contribute - whether it's combat arms, combat support logistics or aviation - any of that I would welcome."

Senior ISAF sources in Kabul said US military leaders had made it clear they would like Australia to lift its military contribution to Afghanistan.

But the Rudd Government is insisting on sticking to a strict cap of approximately 1080 personnel.

General McKiernan said the speed at which the US troop build-up in Afghanistan would occur would depend on how quickly troops could be diverted from Iraq.

"My predecessor asked for a minimum of three brigade combat teams (about 10,000 soldiers). I have said that was a valid requirement. But since I got here I have asked for some additional forces in the east.

"I can say that I have asked - and that in Washington, there is an understanding - for a requirement for upwards of four manoeuvre brigade combat teams [emphasis added] with enablers such as intelligence, aviation, logistics that go with that.".. 

General McKiernan is shortly expected to take on a two-hatted role as both commander of ISAF forces as well as American troops fighting in Afghanistan under Operation Enduring Freedom, which will give him operational control of the US war effort in Afghanistan.

Pakistan reopens supply lines to Western forces
Reuters, Sept. 8
http://in.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idINISL6605120080908

Quote
Pakistan has reopened supply lines to Western forces in Afghanistan, after the road through the Khyber Pass was blocked on Saturday, days after a raid by U.S. commandos on a Pakistani village, a minister said on Monday.

Rehman Malik, the top Interior Ministry official, said the road was unblocked after a few hours, and traffic had only been halted for security reasons, although the country's defence minister had earlier said the action was taken in response to violations of Pakistani territory by Western forces.

"There was a suspension for a few hours due to security reasons but later, supplies to Afghanistan were resumed after clearing the road," Malik told Reuters.

Militants have been attacking trucks in the Khyber Pass, on the way to Torkham, the main crossing point on the Pakistani-Afghan border near Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province...

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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2008, 10:36:48 »
Articles found September 8, 2008

Afghanistan toll will mount unless new strategy is found
By SCOTT TAYLOR On Target Mon. Sep 8 - 5:40 AM
 Article Link

THE TALIBAN attack in Kandahar last Wednesday that killed three Canadian soldiers and wounded another five is a shocking example of how brazen the insurgents have become in southern Afghanistan.

This attack was not just another roadside bomb but rather a bold ambush by as many as 40 Taliban fighters. It is also believed that the insurgents used a powerful anti-tank weapon, possibly an 82-millimetre recoilless rifle, to penetrate the Canadian light armoured vehicle.

Since the fall of 2006, after the Taliban suffered enormous casualties during NATO’s Operation Medusa, the insurgents have been capable of mounting only pinprick attacks using suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices. Although such tactics continue to kill our soldiers, NATO commanders insisted that the Taliban’s fighting capability had been greatly diminished.

The latest fatalities, including the death of an infantryman in Panjwaii district on Sunday, bring the Canadian death toll in Afghanistan to 97 soldiers and one diplomat, with at least 750 injured.

As we approach the seventh anniversary of the U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan, even the most wilfully blind can no longer deny that the security situation is spiralling out of control.

Large-scale terrorist attacks have rocked Kabul several times this year, and 10 French soldiers were killed in an ambush just outside the Afghan capital last month. In July, a battalion-sized force of insurgents practically overran an American outpost in southern Afghanistan. That bloody battle left nine U.S. soldiers dead and 15 wounded.
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A big, red show of support for Canadian troops in Afghanistan
September 08, 2008 Greg Mercer RECORD STAFF NEW HAMBURG
 Article Link

This time next week, Private Brad Dickin will be leaving for a place very different than this green soccer field.

So he considered it a send-off, of sorts, as he stood in his crisp beige uniform among a sea of people in red.

Dickin, 23, was one of two soldiers who joined a crowd of hundreds of civilians yesterday hoping to send a message of support to Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

As a helicopter flew overhead, the crowd formed the shape of a giant ribbon and unfurled a banner. They sang the national anthem and waved as a photographer hundreds of metres above snapped away, documenting their gathering for the soldiers overseas.

"I feel bad being here, doing this, when I've got friends over there," said Dickin, who is leaving Monday for a six-month-tour of duty in Afghanistan with 2,500 soldiers from CFB Petawawa.

"But this means a lot to me . . . the worse it gets over there, it's great to see people still support us."

Dickin spoke on a day the military confirmed the death of the 97th Canadian soldier since the Afghan mission began in 2002 -- Sgt. Scott Shipway, who was killed when his armoured vehicle struck a roadside bomb outside Kandahar.
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U.S. Strikes Taliban Stronghold in Pakistan
By Shaiq Hussain Special to The Washington Post Monday, September 8, 2008; 9:53 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Sept. 8 -- At least 20 people were killed and 25 others injured Monday after several missiles fired by unmanned U.S. Predator drones hit a religious school and the house of a powerful Taliban commander in northwest Pakistan, near the border of Afghanistan, according to witnesses and a Pakistani security official.

The missile strike occurred around 10:30 a.m. in the small village of Dande Darpa Khel in the tribal area of North Waziristan. Bashirullah, a resident of the village who like many ethnic Pashtuns only uses one name, said two Predator drones fired six missiles at a religious seminary school run by top Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani. The intense, rapid-fire bombing raid also destroyed Haqqani's nearby home and several other houses, Bashirullah said.

A Pakistani security official in North Waziristan confirmed local villagers' accounts of the attack, saying that the Taliban commander's supporters immediately cordoned off the area around the bombsite and barred anyone from entering. He said that Haqqani and his son, Sirajuddin -- a leading Taliban fighter -- were not in any of the targeted buildings when the missiles struck.
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Would-be suicide bomber arrested in Pakistan
 Article Link

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — A 16-year-old boy wearing a suicide bomber jacket and carrying a hand grenade was arrested Monday in an army cantonment area in Pakistan's troubled northwest, police said.

Senior police officer Akhtar Ali Shah said the youth was taken into custody Monday morning about 30 miles east of Peshawar, site of a suicide bombing Saturday that killed 35 people.

"Swift action by the police yielded the arrest of the boy, who was brought into the cantonment area by accomplices who are being traced," Shah said.

He said the boy was being interrogated by a joint team of senior investigators from the police and security agencies. He would not speculate on the possible target but said the army's supply corps is located in the area.

In recent weeks, the Pakistani Taliban have said they were to blame for a string of suicide bombings in revenge for military offensives in the northwest region that borders Afghanistan. One attack killed nearly 70 people at a major weapons factory.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for Saturday's suicide attack on a police checkpoint on the edge of Peshawar, killing seven police officers and 28 other people. He speculated the driver of the explosives-packed pickup truck feared being discovered at the checkpoint and decided to detonate.
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Infantry could help SAS in Afghanistan
Samantha Maiden, Online political editor | September 08, 2008
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DEFENCE Minister Joel Fitzgibbon will consider sending Australian infantry into combat roles in Afghanistan to ease the burden on the elite SAS unit.

In the wake of a warning in The Australian today from NATO's new top commander in Afghanistan that the international coalition is "struggling to win" and about 15,000 more troops are needed, Mr Fitzgibbon said he would not be increasing troop numbers in the region.

However, he would not rule out using infantry in combat roles, for the first time since the Vietnam War.

"It is true that our Special Operations Task group - that is, our special forces people - have had to sustain rotations for a long, long time now," he told ABC Radio today.

"We'll constantly look at how we can take the pressure off our special forces by constantly reviewing and potentially reconfiguring our commitment."

Mr Fitzgibbon said the unrest on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border continued to be a problem.

"We've got to deal with those north-west border regions which are becoming a breeding ground for al-Qa'ida and other insurgent groups, who can too easily make their way across the border into Afghanistan to do their bad work," he said.

"So there are a number of variables and how we deal with each of those variables will determine how long we're there."

General David McKiernan told The Australian's Patrick Walters that he believes the Taliban-led insurgency will never win, with the vast majority of Afghans not wanting a return to a government led by extremists

"That said, however, we are struggling to win,” he said.
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Conservative MP Laurie Hawn thinks Taliban may target Canadian soldiers to impact election
By KEVIN CRUSH, SUN MEDIA
  Article Link
 
Canadian soldiers could be targeted by the Taliban as a political ploy, Conservative MP Laurie Hawn said, as news broke that the 97th soldier has been killed in Afghanistan.

“The Taliban know we’re having an election and they’re not just targeting Canadian soldiers, they’re targeting the Canadian public opinion. That’s just the way they operate,” said Hawn, a former fighter pilot and MP for Edmonton-Centre.

Just hours after Prime Minister Stephen Harper pulled the plug on parliament and called an election, news filtered out of Afghanistan that Sgt. Prescott Shipway, a soldier based out of Shilo, Man., had been killed when his armoured vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the Panjwaii district.

The timing could have been coincidental but Hawn believes the Taliban know the election has been called and they could step up attacks.

“The Taliban are very sensitive politically. They know what’s going on and they think they can disrupt things by being more active.”

Looking at polls, the war has been an issue with Canadians but it hasn’t been considered one of the voting public’s top issues.
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Berlin pays $20,000 for Afghan deaths
Published Date: September 07, 2008
 Article Link

BERLIN: Germany paid 20,000 dollars in compensation to relatives of a woman and two children shot dead last week at a checkpoint manned by its soldiers in northern Afghanistan, a report said yesterday. The weekly Der Spiegel, in the report to appear in its next edition out Monday, said two payments had been made by German army officers, initially of 5,000 dollars, with the remainder being handed over on Friday.

A tribal chief in Kundu who received the cash remarked that "the problem with the Germans" was now settled, Der Spiegel added. A German military spokesman in Potsdam, near Berlin contacted by AFP refused to comment yesterday. On Wednesday defense ministry spokesman Christian Dienst said the payment of compensation and an apology for the previous Thursday's incident had prevented the family launching a "vendetta" against German soldiers in revenge.

The measures led to a significant calming of the situation among the Pashtun clan concerned and leads to an improvement in security for German soldiers on the ground," he said. He refused to say how much money had been paid. Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung also made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday to pay his respects to the relatives.

German and NATO forces said that the three were killed after both German and Afghan troops opened fire on a vehicle that had failed to stop at a checkpoint even after warning shots had been fired. It was one of a recent string of incidents that analysts say are damaging the reputation of the almost 70,000 international troops as well as the Afghan government, which need the backing of the local population if they want to beat a Taleban-led insurgency.
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'Beggar' suicide blast, other attacks kill 21 in Afghanistan
 Article Link

HERAT, Afghanistan (AFP) — A Taliban suicide bomber dressed as a beggar blew up an Afghan government building Saturday, killing six people, as two NATO soldiers and a dozen other people died in more unrest, officials said.

The disguised bomber gunned down a security guard and then detonated explosives at the government offices, with two state prosecutors among his victims, Nimroz provincial governor Ghulam Dastgir Azad said.

The blast brought down the single-storey building in the town of Zaranj on the southwestern border with Iran, the governor told AFP.

"We have recovered so far six bodies," he said. The dead were provincial attorney Anwar Shah Khan, his 20-year-old son, his deputy and three civilians, Azad said.

"The whole building has collapsed. There might be more casualties," he added.

A spokesman for the rebel Taliban movement said the bomber was a member of the militia, which has dramatically stepped up attacks this year.

There has been a wave of suicide blasts in Afghanistan in the past three years, most of them claimed by Taliban extremists who are waging an insurgency against the US-backed government in Kabul.
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Re: The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread September 2008
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2008, 11:43:08 »
Taliban Propaganda Watch (RC South)
081140EDT Sept 08

.pdf version attached at bottom of message

NOTE:  The following material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban, or analysis thereof.  Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content - it is shared for information only.  When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original (indicated by "GoogEng") - this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.


"9 Canadian invaders soldiers Killed in Kandahar"
Quote
Monday morning   08-09-2008 at approximately 8:10 am local, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmines blew up a patrolling unit of Canadian invaders army in Lako Khil area of Zhari district of Kandahar province. In explosion 9 soldiers terrorists were killed and few wounded.. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf


"2 vehicle of puppet army blew up in Kandahar"
Quote
Sunday noon 07-09-2008 at approximately 11:30 am local, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmines blew up a vehicles of puppet army in Loi Kariz area of Boldak district of Kandahar province.  The landmines completely destroyed the vehicles and 6 puppet terrorists in it were killed.  Also in Khaki Chopan area of Mewand district of Kandahar province Mujahideen with a remote controlled landmine blew up a vehicle of puppet army in which the vehicle was completely destroyed and 5 puppet soldiers in it were killed. Reported by Qari Yousuf Ahmadi


"In Martyrdom Operations 10 intelligence officers killed in Zabul"
Quote
Sunday evening 07-09-2008, A courageous Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,Muhammad Hashema side   "Allahu Akbar" and open fire on Puppet intelligence officers  inside the intelligence office in Qalat city  capital of Zabul province,  in which 10 puppet officers were killed few wounded.. We ask Allah to accept our brother among martyrs in Eelleyeen (high rank in the paradise). All praise and gratitude are due to Allah.  Reported by  Qari Muhammad Yousuf


"4 vehicle of  puppet army in Zabul"
Quote
Monday morning 08-09-2008 at approximately 9:30 am local, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmines blew up 2 ehicles of puppet army  on Kabul Kandahr highway in Ghashi area of Shari Sapa district  of Kandahar province. The landmines completely destroyed the vehicles and  6 puppet terrorists in it were killed , Also in same time mujahideen attacked on same convoy and 2 more vehicles were damaged in which 10 more soldiers were killed.   Reported by Qari Yousuf Ahmadi


"Outspun by the Taliban"
Quote
The Afghan air is thick with dangerous munitions. Compared with Iraq, more than twice as many combat sorties are flown. But as the Afghanistan conflict becomes more a war of information and propaganda, the words, graphs and data produced on both sides can be as lethal as the rockets and missiles dropped on the Taliban.

Inevitably, the information business is hazy. The US with its allies and the Taliban both seek to influence public opinion, either across the steppes of Central Asia or in the sitting rooms of the 40 nations that comprise the US and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.

But analysts dissecting their media efforts find the battle for hearts and minds is poised precariously. On the ground in Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan, the Taliban and their allies are winning analysts' plaudits for the efficiency and effectiveness of a propaganda machine that increasingly keeps locals sitting on the fence in conflict-prone areas of the country .... (more on link)

“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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