Chronology: Afghanistan/Algeria/Bahrain/Egypt/Iran/Iraq/Israel/Jordan/Kuwait/Lebanon/Libya/Mauritania/Morocco/Oman/Pakistan/Qatar/Saudi Arabia/Sudan/Syria/Tunisia/Turkey/United Arab Emirates/Yemen

The Middle East Journal, Spring 2008 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Afghanistan/Algeria/Bahrain/Egypt/Iran/Iraq/Israel/Jordan/Kuwait/Lebanon/Libya/Mauritania/Morocco/Oman/Pakistan/Qatar/Saudi Arabia/Sudan/Syria/Tunisia/Turkey/United Arab Emirates/Yemen


Afghanistan

Oct. 27: US-led forces killed about 80 Taliban insurgents in the Helmand province outside of the city of Musa Qala, which had been controlled by Taliban forces since February. This was the fifth major battle in the area in two months, with about 250 Taliban fighters killed in total. According to an Associated Press count, over 5,200 people had died since January of 2007. [WP, AP, 10/27]

Nov. 6: A suicide bomber killed at least 52 people, including opposition spokesman Mostafa Kazemi and five other Afghan Members of Parliament in an attack on a parliamentary delegation in the northern town of Baghlan in the Mazar-i-Sharif province. Many of those killed were children welcoming the delegation. The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack, which was the worst suicide bombing in Afghanistan since the US invasion in 2001. [Reuters, 11/6, 11/7]

Nov. 19: New Zealand voted to extend its mission in Afghanistan by two years, until September 2009. Its main contribution was a 120-member "provincial reconstruction team" in the province of Bamiyan. The announcement came at a time when a number of countries participating in the coalition forces were considering withdrawal. [Reuters, 11/19]

Dec. 2: The four principal child actors in the film The Kite Runner, based on the 2003 novel of the same title by Afghan author Khaled Hosseini, were flown out of Afghanistan to the United Arab Emirates out of fear for their safety. The film's release had already been delayed by six weeks due to safety concerns, as one critical scene depicted the rape of one of the boys and filmmakers worried that a public outcry could make the children targets of attack. [BBC, 12/7]

Dec. 12: Afghan troops regained control of the city of Musa Qala from the Taliban after a five day battle. The Afghan army carried out most of the fighting, with support from US and British troops, in one of its biggest operations to date. The Taliban had seized control of Musa Qala in February, after the British had signed a local truce and pulled out of the city in October. [Reuters, 12/12]

Dec. 27: A United Nations representative and a European Union diplomat, Briton Michael Semple and Irishman Mervin Patterson, left Afghanistan after being expelled by the Kabul government. Accused of meeting with insurgents in the southern Helmand province, they were declared persona non grata for involving the Taliban in disarmament talks. [RFE-RL, 12/27]

Jan. 9: Afghanistan's government reported that former Taliban commander Mullah 'Abd al-Salaam was named the new district chief of Musa Qala. The appointment was aimed at reconciling relations between moderate Taliban members and the government. President Hamid Karzai hoped to encourage defected Taliban to become members of his government. [RFE-RL, 1/9]

Algeria

Oct. 28: Algerian forces killed 15 suspected al-Qa'ida in the Maghreb militants in a raid in the eastern province of Tebessa, near the Tunisian border. The government also announced that its forces destroyed large stockpiles of ammunition and hideouts that belonged to the militants. One Algerian army officer was killed in the raid, which was executed by a joint force of the army, police, and municipal guards. [GN, 10/28]

Dec. 11: At least 67 people were killed when two car bombs exploded in two neighborhoods in Algiers. The bombs targeted Algeria's UNHCR compound and the country's Constitutional Court. Al-Qa'ida in the Maghreb claimed responsibility for the attacks. [FT, 12/11]

Jan. 4: A suicide bomber drove a bomb-laden car into a police station in Naciria killing four officers and wounding more than 20. No specific group claimed responsibility for the bombing. Officials were concerned about an upward trend of violence in Algeria, particularly since over 40 people were killed by suicide bomb attacks in Algiers in December. [BBC, 1/4]

Jan. 9: An Algerian military convoy, operating in the northeastern region of Kabylie, was bombed, killing five soldiers. …

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Chronology: Afghanistan/Algeria/Bahrain/Egypt/Iran/Iraq/Israel/Jordan/Kuwait/Lebanon/Libya/Mauritania/Morocco/Oman/Pakistan/Qatar/Saudi Arabia/Sudan/Syria/Tunisia/Turkey/United Arab Emirates/Yemen
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