US special forces warned by Karzai to leave Afghan province over torture allegations

Sunday 24 February 2013 16.41
Hamid Karzai says US special forces must leave over allegations
Hamid Karzai says US special forces must leave over allegations

Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai has warned that all US special forces must leave eastern Wardak province within two weeks because of allegations that Afghans working with them are torturing and abusing other Afghans.

Presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said the decision was taken during a meeting of the National Security Council because of the alleged actions of Afghans who are linked to the US special forces.

He said the government wants the individuals, whom he did not identify, to be handed over to the government.

Wardak is a restive province next to Kabul and has been the focus of counterinsurgency efforts.

Meanwhile suicide bombers targeted Afghanistan's intelligence agency and other security forces in four coordinated attacks in the heart of Kabul and outlying areas.

The assaults, which occurred within a three-hour timespan, were the latest to strike Afghan forces as US and other foreign troops gradually shift responsibility for security to the government.

The deadliest attack occurred just after sunrise as a suicide car bombing at the gate of the National Directorate of Security compound in Jalalabad.

Guards shot and killed the driver but he managed to detonate the explosives-packed vehicle, killing two intelligence agents and wounding three others.

Provincial government spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai confirmed the casualty toll and said the building was damaged in the attack.

A guard also shot and killed a man in an SUV filled with dynamite that was targeting an NDS building on a busy street in Kabul, not far from NATO headquarters.

The explosives in the back of the vehicle were defused.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the Jalalabad attack and two others in the eastern province of Logar in an email to reporters. He did not address the attempted assault in Kabul.

Shortly before the Jalalabad attack, a suicide attacker detonated a minivan full of explosives at a police checkpoint in Puli Alam, on the main highway between Kabul and Logar province.

One policeman was killed and two others were wounded, along with a bystander, according to the NDS.

Also in Logar province, which is due south of Kabul, a man wearing a suicide vest was stopped by police as he tried to force his way into the police headquarters for the Baraki Barak district, said Din Mohammad Darwesh, the provincial government spokesman.

The attacker detonated his vest while being searched, killing himself and wounding one policeman, according to Darwesh and the NDS.

More than 1,200 Afghan soldiers were killed in 2012 compared to more than 550 the previous year, according to data compiled by the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

US troop deaths, meanwhile, declined overall from 404 in 2011 to 295 in 2012.

Keywords: hamid karzai

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