8 coalition troops killed in Afghanistan attacks
KABUL, Afghanistan — Seven U.S. soldiers and a member of the NATO-led coalition were killed on Saturday as the Taliban continued attacks as part of their spring offensive.
The U.S.-led coalition reported that five international troops were killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, and coalition spokesman Capt. Luca Carniel confirmed that all were American.
The coalition did not disclose the location of the roadside bombing. However, Javeed Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province, said the coalition patrol hit the bomb in the Maiwand district of the province, the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban.
Later, the coalition reported that a soldier with the Afghan National Army turned his weapon on coalition troops in the west, killing two in the most recent of so-called insider attacks. Such attacks by members of the Afghan security forces against their fellow colleagues or international troops have eroded confidence in the Afghan forces as they work to take over from foreign forces.
Both killed were American, according to two U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity before an official announcement.
Another coalition service member was killed in an insurgent attack in northern Afghanistan, the NATO-led force said. It did not provide any further details of that incident.
It was the fourth time since last summer that seven Americans have been killed on a single day in the war.
On March 12, a Black Hawk helicopter crashed outside Kandahar, killing five U.S. troops. Two more U.S. troops were killed that day by an insider attack.
On April 6, Afghan militants killed six Americans, including a young female diplomat, and an Afghan doctor in a pair of attacks in southern Afghanistan. The three U.S. service members, two U.S. civilians and the doctor were killed in a bombing while traveling to donate books to a school. A seventh American, a civilian, was killed in an insurgent attack in the east.
On Aug. 16, seven American service members were killed in two attacks in Kandahar province. Six were killed when their helicopter was shot down by insurgents and one soldier died in a roadside bomb explosion.
Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged during a news conference that regular payments his government has received from the CIA for more than a decade would continue. Karzai noted that talks on a U.S.-Afghan bilateral security agreement to govern future American military presence in the country had been delayed because of conditions the Afghans were placing on the deal.
Karzai said he had met earlier in the day with the Kabul station chief of the CIA and was reassured that the agency's payments to the Afghan government would continue. The New York Times had reported that for more than a decade, the CIA had given the Afghan National Security Council tens of millions of dollars in monthly payments delivered in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags.
Karzai said he told the station chief: “'Because of all these rumors in the media, please do not cut all this money because we really need it. We want to continue this sort of assistance.' And he promised that they are not going to cut this money.”
Karzai described the payments as a form of “government-to-government” assistance, and while he wouldn't say how much the CIA gave to the National Directorate of Security, which is the Afghan intelligence service, he said the financial help was very useful. He claimed that much of the money was used to care for wounded employees of the NDS, Afghanistan's intelligence service, and operational expenses.
The CIA declined to comment on Saturday.
Karzai said ongoing negotiations on a U.S.-Afghan bilateral security agreement had been delayed because of certain conditions that Afghanistan was insisting be included in the pact, which will govern a U.S. military presence after 2014 when nearly all foreign combat troops are to have finished their withdrawal from Afghanistan. The talks, which started in late 2012, are set to last as long as a year.
President Obama has not said how many troops will remain, although there have been estimates ranging from 8,000 to 12,000. It is unlikely such an announcement will be made until the security agreement is signed. Those troops would help train Afghan forces and also carry out operations against al-Qaida and other militant groups.
Karzai said Afghanistan was ready to sign a deal as long as the American government, in exchange for being able to stay on bases in the country, agrees to terms of Afghan security, funding assistance and help with training and equipping Afghan security forces.
It is believed that the contentious issue of providing U.S. troops immunity from Afghan law is a low priority for the Afghan government in the negotiations.
The Afghan government has not said how much rent it would want for three or four U.S. bases, but it is believed to be in the billions. Afghanistan is thought to be seeking security guarantees to protect its porous borders, including the frontier with Pakistan that is the main infiltration route for insurgents who retain sanctuary in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas.
It was unclear how Karzai expected the United States or any of its allies to guarantee Afghanistan's borders against attack.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Russia hits Turkey with sanctions amid frayed relations
- Testing of Tut’s tomb hints at hidden chamber
- Kenyans accused of spying for Iran
- Pope to preach peace in fractured Central African Republic
- Top Kurdish lawyer shot dead in Turkey
- French President Hollande, activists gear up for climate talks
- China to reorganize military under joint command
- ISIS claims hotel attack in Egypt
- Watchdog counts $1 billion wasted in Afghanistan
- Mexico seizes El Chapo’s planes, cars, houses
- Russia vows to punish Turks financially