Chronology: Afghanistan

The Middle East Journal, Autumn 2012 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Afghanistan


See also Pakistan

Apr. 17: Taliban forces launched an 18-hour coordinated attack on Kabul, the largest assault on the city since the beginning of the NATO invasion in 2001. Thought to be the start of the Taliban's spring offensive, 36 insurgents, 11 Afghan security forces, and four civilians were killed in the violence, much of which took place in areas of the city thought to be largely under the control of NATO and Afghan security forces. [AJE, 4/17]

Apr. 17: Approximately 140 female students and teachers were admitted to a hospital in the Takhar Province after drinking poisoned water. Officials thought that elements of the Taliban opposed to female education poisoned the school's water tank. [CNN, 4/17]

Apr. 18: The Los Angeles Times published two photos taken in 2010 in Zabul Province which displayed smiling American soldiers posing next to the remains of Afghan suicide bombers. Afghan president Hamid Karzai called the photos "disgusting" and demanded a faster security transition to Afghan forces to prevent similar incidents in the future. Pentagon officials, who previously asked the LA Times to withhold the photos, also condemned the pictures and investigated the incident. [Reuters, 4/19]

Apr. 21: Afghanistan's national intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security, apprehended three Pakistani and two Afghan men who were transporting 11 tons of explosive material from Pakistan to Kabul for use in high-population areas. All five men admitted to receiving training by two local leaders, Noor Afzal and Muhammad Omar, whom an intelligence service spokesman identified as key commanders of the Pakistani Taliban and Pakistani intelligence services. [NYT, 4/21]

Apr. 22: Afghan and US negotiators agreed to a draftof a Special Partnership Agreement that laid out the terms of cooperation between the two countries after the withdrawal of NATO troops in 2014. The agreement did not specify whether US troops would remain in the country after 2014 to train Afghan security forces, but it did pledge $3.5 billion a year in combined aid to the Afghan army from western countries. Karzai hoped the United States would pledge an additional $2 billion per year in aid, but US negotiators did not comment on any such development. [Reuters, 4/22]

Apr. 28: Tooryalai Wesa, the governor of Kandahar Province, barely escaped an assassination attempt by two militants. The two militants managed to smuggle two pistols hidden inside their shoes past an American-operated full-body scanner, the likes of which were installed in airports across America. The militants entered the compound and killed two of the governor's guards; Wesa fled through a back door to another part of the compound, and the militants were later killed on the threshold of his inner office. [NYT, 4/28]

Apr. 30: Three children were killed and three more wounded when Taliban insurgents opened fire on a group of American soldiers in the Shajoe District of Afghanistan's Zabul Province. The American soldiers were holding a meeting with village elders when a group of Taliban attacked the soldiers. Both Afghan and American officials insisted that the children were killed by insurgents' bullets; nevertheless, scores of Afghans launched an anti-American demonstration to protest the killing of the children, which they blamed on American forces. [NYT, 4/30]

May 2: A team of suicide attackers dressed in burqas stormed a residential compound hours after President Obama departed Afghanistan after signing a strategic agreement with Hamid Karzai. Seven Afghans and a Nepalese guard were killed and 17 wounded when militants detonated a car bomb next to the compound and then stormed inside, detonating more explosives. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which they billed as a "message" to Obama. [NYT, 5/2]

May 4: An American airstrike, called in after an insurgent attack in the Helmand Province, mistakenly killed a mother and five of her children. …

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