Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology: Afghanistan

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology: Afghanistan

Article excerpt


Jan. 16: Interim leader Harold Karzai issued a decree banning the cultivation of opium poppies, reviving a great effort previously waged by the Taliban against such means of making income among struggling Afghan farmers. [NYT, 1/17]

Jan. 21: Two Marines were killed and five injured when their helicopter, taking off on a supply mission, crashed in a mountainous region in northern Afghanistan. [NYT, 1/ 21]

Jan. 29: President Bush vowed to build "a lasting partnership" with war-torn Afghanistan. He made the announcement with interim leader Hamid Karzai at his side. [NYT, 1/29]

Feb. 2: Top officials in Britain and at the State Department endorsed the idea of expanding the international security force in Afghanistan. [NYT, 2/3]

Feb. 11: Afghan Interior Minister, Yunus Qanuni, announced that authorities had found evidence linking two detained suspects to the shooting deaths of two reporters. [NYT, 2/12]

Mar. 8: Seven American soldiers were killed in some of the fiercest fighting of the five-- month war in Afghanistan. [NYT, 3/8]

Mar. 19: The largest, single, organized return of displaced Afghans to their villages was under way in northern Afghanistan. Over 2,500 families were going back to their homes in the Alborz Mountains, with more to return a day later. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which was coordinating the return, announced the total number of families moved would be around 3,000. [BBC, 3/19]

Major General Frank Hackenback denied that large numbers of Taliban and al-Qa`ida forces escaped the latest offensive in eastern Afghanistan. He also rejected allegations that the US tally of enemy killed during the 17-day Operation Anaconda was inflated. [BBC, 3/19]

Mar. 20: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov offered the visiting commander of United States military operations in Afghanistan, Moscow's continuing unconditional support. Ivanov and General Tommy Franks renewed their pledge to work together in the fight against terrorism. [BBC, 3/20]

Mar. 21: Afghanistan's interim leader Hamid Karzai led tens of thousands of his countrymen in the first official celebrations of the Persian New Year since the fall of the Taliban. [BBC, 3/21]

US soldiers in Afghanistan said they found 10 bodies after American planes responded to an attack near an airfield in the east of the country. A military spokesman said they had also detained one person after the attack, near the town of Khost. [BBC, 3/ 21]

The interim authorities in Afghanistan have re-opened a consulate in the Pakistani city of Peshawar near the Afghan border. The consulate is in the same building that housed the former Taliban regime's mission until it was closed down in November of the previous year. [BBC, 3/21]

Mar. 23: The new United States ambassador to Afghanistan, Robert Finn, began official duties at the American embassy in Kabul. [BBC, 3/23]

Some 250 Taliban prisoners were released from jail in northern Afghanistan. The release followed the declaration of an amnesty by the country's interim leader, Hamid Karzai, marking the traditional New Year holiday of Nowruz. The Governor of the Shevargan prison said all those freed were Afghans. [BBC, 3/23]

Thousands of primary and secondary schools re-opened in Afghanistan for the start of the school year - the first since the fall of the Taliban. Almost two million children were back in school - of more significance, many of these students were girls who were banned from the classroom during the years of Taliban rule. [BBC, 3/23]

Mar. 24: Afghanistan's former King, Muhammad Zahir Shah, postponed his return to his homeland less than 72 hours before his scheduled arrival in Kabul. A senior Italian Foreign Ministry official confirmed that Rome had postponed the return of the former King for fears over his safety. [NYT, 3/24; BBC, 3/27]

Gunmen in eastern Afghanistan ambushed the vehicle of a local security chief, killing two people and wounding four others. …

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