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Posts Tagged ‘airstrikes’

By IRIN

KABUL, 1 March 2010 (IRIN) – The number of civilian deaths caused by the conflict in Afghanistan in the first two months of 2010 was slightly lower than in the same period in 2009, according to two Afghan human rights groups.

Some 163 civilians died and 187 were wounded in violent incidents in different parts of the country in January and February 2010, compared to 201 deaths in the same period of 2009, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said.

“Ninety-two civilian deaths have been attributed to the armed opposition and 71 to pro-government Afghan and foreign forces,” Fareed Hamidi, a commissioner of the AIHRC, told IRIN. (more…)

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AP

By HEIDI VOGT

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan — Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Henson goes out on patrol with a computer on his back and a joystick in his holster. He also carries a rifle, but the military is hoping he’ll soon have less need for it.

A wired generation of U.S. soldiers is about to battle-test a high-tech weapon calculated to reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

A key component is the “Dragon Egg,” a softball-sized robotic camera that can be thrown over a hill or into a building without endangering troops. It rights itself like a Weeble Wobble toy and delivers a 360-degree view through its four tiny cameras. If any innocents are in the area, the soldier can mark the spot using his backpack computer to ward off an air strike. (more…)

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BY Colin Freeze

Kandahar From Saturday’s Globe and Mail Last updated on Monday,

Aug. 03, 2009 03:39AM EDT

Abdullah Shah weeps as he tells the story of Oct. 24, 2006. “Allah saved me,” he says. “But I wish I was killed that night too, with my family.” (more…)

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — Controversial unmanned aircraft strikes against targets in Pakistan’s restive tribal region are not working, the country’s prime minister has told the Obama administration’s point man for the region.

“Continued drone attacks in FATA have proved counterproductive and have seriously impeded Pakistan’s efforts towards rooting out militancy and terrorism from that area,” Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani told Ambassador Richard Holbrooke on Wednesday, according to a press release from Gilani’s office about their meeting.

FATA is the semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Delegations for Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Gilani met at the prime minister’s house in Islamabad on Wednesday morning.

Pakistani military forces have been conducting an offensive against the Taliban in North West Frontier Province and have targeted insurgents in the adjacent tribal region.

U.S.-led forces fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan are thought to have conducted drone strikes against those targets over the border in Pakistan’s tribal region.

The strikes have been unpopular among many in the region because of the threat to civilians. Pakistan has said such attacks have claimed hundreds of civilian lives.

The U.S. military routinely offers no comment on reported drone attacks. However, the United States is the only country operating in the region known to have the ability to launch missiles from drones, which are controlled remotely.

The news release said Gilani told Holbrooke that United States “should share real time, credible and actionable intelligence,” and provide “unarmed vehicle technology,” and “immediate supply of much-needed equipment and ammunition to Pakistan’s armed forces” to ensure a “successful completion of its operation against militants.”

The pair also discussed the dislocation and widespread damage in the war-torn North West Frontier Province.

Gilani called for the United States and other countries to help Pakistan rebuild and urged the Obama administration to speed up the passage of proposed legislation that would help the country.

Any comment from Holbrooke on the issue was not mentioned in the press release. But Holbrooke is cited as praising Pakistan’s fight against the militants and is working on getting the key legislation adopted.

He said the United States would provide funds for reconstruction and help for dislocated residents. He said the United States would help other countries to contribute.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/07/22/pakistan.taliban.unrest/

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by Daniel L. Bynum

July 14, 2009 —

Killing terrorist leaders is difficult, is often ineffective, and can easily backfire. Yet it is one of the United States’ few options for managing the threat posed by al Qaeda from its base in tribal Pakistan. By some accounts, U.S. drone activity in Pakistan has killed dozens of lower-ranking and at least 10 mid- and high-ranking leaders from al Qaeda and the Taliban. (more…)

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By ERIC SCHMITT

Published: July 13, 2009

ABOARD U.S.S. RONALD REAGAN, in the Gulf of Oman — After taking repeated fire from Taliban fighters holed up in a building last week, a group of American Marines in southern Afghanistan called in airstrikes to wipe out the threat. (more…)

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By MARK MAZZETTI and SCOTT SHANE Published: July 13, 2009

WASHINGTON — Since 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency has developed plans to dispatch small teams overseas to kill senior Qaeda terrorists, according to current and former government officials. (more…)

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