- Timeline of Afghanistan (February 2003)
__NOTOC__This is a
timeline of the history of Afghanistanin February 2003. The list is not complete and you are welcome to expand it.
February 1, 2003"
Afghan Presidential Protective Servicebegan assisting U.S. agents to protect Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The U.S. base in
Gardez, Afghanistanwas designated as the location of a coordination center for reconstruction projects in the region.
Eight people were arrested in connection with an explosion that destroyed a minibus in southern Afghanistan on
January 31, killing 15.
February 2, 2003"
As part of a global
U.N.campaign to cut deaths among mothers and new-born children, UNICEFbegan a week long project to vaccinate 740,000 women in four major Afghan cities.
February 3, 2003"
A private memo was sent from Canadian deputy chief, Vice-Admiral Greg Maddison to the chief of the Canadian defense staff, Gen. Ray Henault, saying that command of the United Nations forces in
Afghanistanwas "not viable with Canada as the lead nation" without multinational support. Canadawas scheduled to take over command in August, 2003. Nabil Okal, an Israeli military court sentenced a Palestinianman to 27 years in prison for training in Afghanistanwith al-Qaeda. Okal said he was innocent.
U.N.Office on Drugs and Crime reported that Afghanistanremained the world's largest producer of opiumpoppy despite efforts to stop trade and cultivation.
U.S. troops with the 82nd Airborne Division completed clearing more than 75 caves in the Adi Ghar mountain of
February 4, 2003"
Afghan government forces clashed with suspected
Talibanand al-Qaedafighters in the mountainous area of Shawali Kotnorth of the city of Kandahar. Two Dutch F-16aircraft bombed the cave complex as part of a follow-up to the attack.
Twenty female teachers from
Afghanistanbegan a one-month training course at five women's universities in Japan. The program was sponsored by the Foreign Ministry-affiliated Japan International Cooperation Agency.
February 5, 2003" Helge Boes, a CIAcounterterrorism officer, was killed and two wounded in a grenade accident during a live fire exercise in eastern Afghanistan.
February 6, 2003"
Within 500-700 yards of the perimeter of
Bagram air base, factional fighting flared up between rival Afghan groups. The fighting involved mortar or rocket-propelled grenade fire as well as small arms.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbersand the head of the U.S. Permanent Mission, Ambassador Kevin Moley, signed agreements for U.S. contributions for humanitarian needs of $15 million for Afghanistanand $12.1 million for Iraq.
February 7, 2003" United Statestroops were fired upon while they were searching a compound southwest of Gardez, Afghanistanin an early morning operation following an intelligence report. There were no casualties on either side.
Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a security post in Chotu village,
Helmand Province, Afghanistan, killing five Afghan soldiers and kidnapping two others. Kabulresidents reported a man on a bicycle dispersed leaflets from a previously unknown Islamic group (called Pious Mujahideen (holy warriors) of Islam) demanding the immediate departure of U.S.-led forces from Afghanistanand a return to a strict Islamic dress code for women.
A report by the Post-Conflict Assessment Unit of the
United Nations Environment Programmerevealed that 99% of the Sistan wetlandsin Afghanistanand Iranwere dried out.
Rebels attacked an Afghan army post on the Ayub Mama post in
Helmand Province, Afghanistannear the Pakistani border, killing five soldiers and wounding four others. Two Afghan soldiers were also abducted.
Twenty-five men arrived at
Camp X-Rayat Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, pushing the number of terror suspects at the naval base to about 650. The arrivals came a day after The Pentagonreported a recent rise in suicideattempts among detainees at the base.
February 8, 2003"
German Defense Minister
Peter Strucksaid that US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeldhad assured Struck that he would support the German proposal for NATOto take over.
A bomb exploded in a medical plaza a half-mile from a provincial governor's mansion in
Jalalabad, Afghanistan. One person was hurt.
February 9, 2003"
On the orders of Afghan President
Hamid Karzai, 138 people, including 72 members of the Taliban, were freed from Afghan jails in a goodwill gesture before the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. Freed were prisoners who were critically ill, older than 60, serving minor offences or women who had finished half their sentence. Afghanistanlaunched a campaign to recruit more women for training at the national police academy in Kabul. Priority was to be given to women who were denied education opportunities under Afghanistan's former Taleban rulers. To date, There were 29 women among the nearly 1,500 students undergoing training.
February 10, 2003" Afghanistanbecame the 89th nation to join the International Criminal Court. The ratification will take effect May 1, 2003. The court will prosecute those accused of genocide, crimes against humanityand war crimes. It will intervene only when a country is unable or lacks the political will to carry out the trail.
In the Baghran mountains of
Afghanistan, U.S. soldiers looking for weapons were attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns; they sustained no casualties. Air support was requested, and coalition F-16s dropped five 500 pound bombs. Eyewitnesses said 13 people had been killed in the bombing. The US claims that the only civilian confirmed injured was an eight-year-old son of a suspected Talibanfighter. The boy was taken to the US military base at Kandahar (on February 14, 2003) for treatment of shrapnel wounds to the face and leg and was in stable condition. Germanyand the Netherlandstook over joint command of the international peace-keeping force in Afghanistan. The command was handed over by Turkey?s Maj-Gen Hilmi Akin Zorluduring a ceremony at a secondary school in the Kabul. Dignitaries present included Afghan President Hamid Karzai, German Defense Minster Peter Struck, and the Dutch Defense Minister Benk Korthals. As Lt-Gen Norbert Van Heystvowed to maintain law and order, a rocket landed a hundred meters from a German base in Kabul. Struck was taken to shelter during the visit to Kabul when two rockets landed in his vicinity. To date, The German contingent in the peacekeeping force numbered about 2,500. The Turkish contingent numbered about 1,400, but was likely to be reduced to 160 men.
Khost Province, Afghanistan, a U.S. base came under rocket fire. Three rockets struck less than a kilometer from the base, but there was no damage.
A 22-year-old Afghan man was airlifted to the U.S. airbase in
Bagramafter suffering gunshot wounds. There were no details of how the man was shot, but he was said to be in a serious condition.
February 11, 2003" United Statesbombers fired laser-guided bombs at 25 armed Talibansuspects near the village of Lejay in the Baghran valley. Afghan authorities said that the raids had killed 17 civilians.
February 12, 2003" Canadasaid it would send up to 2,000 troops (consisting of a battle group and a brigade headquarters) to Afghanistanlater in the year to bolster the United Nationspeacekeeping mission. To date, Canada had two warships, two maritime patrol aircraft, three transport plans, and about 850 military personnel in the region searching for al Qaedaor Talibanoperatives from Afghanistan.
Hamid Karzaiurged he international community not to abandon Afghanistan in the event of a United States-led war on Iraq. Such a move, he told the BBC, would lead to instability not just in Afghanistan, but within the region.
Key members of the U.S. Senate criticized the Bush administration for glossing over difficulties it still faces in
Afghanistan. Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar said the administration appeared to be losing interest in Afghanistan.
The British announced that they had granted political asylum to three former
Talibanfighters. None of the fighters had engaged in direct combat with British or U.S. troops.
February 13, 2003"
Operation Eagle Fury, coalition warplanes dropped four 500 pound bombs and fired several hundred rounds of ammunition at the caves. Special forces patrols had collected abandoned ammunition casings and rocket-launchers. 15 fighters were captured by more than 100 US troops, while an estimated 30 rebels were believed to have suffered heavy injuries.
United States Congressstepped in to find $295M in humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistanafter the Bush administration failed to request any money in the latest budget. In its budget proposal for 2003, the White Housedid not ask for any money to aid humanitarian and reconstruction costs in Afghanistan. The chairman of the committee that distributes foreign aid, Jim Kolbe, said that when he asked administration officials why they had not requested any funds, he was given no satisfactory explanation. The $295M was not even close to the $825M promised in a bill signed by Bush in December 2002.
Another detainee attempted suicide at
Camp X-Rayat Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It was the 16th attempted suicide there since detentions began.
February 14, 2003"
Kabul, Afghanistan, four armed robbers stormed into the office of a French charity (Solidarity, working to help farmers), tied up two Afghan employees and stole cash. Police chief General Basir Falangisaid authorities were investigating and vowed to find the robbers.
Talibanremnants fired two rockets into the southern Afghan town of Spin Boldak, but there were no casualties. A third rocket landed near a Pakistani border post.
February 15, 2003" United StatesDefense Secretary Donald Rumsfeldsaid that the Bush administration continued to hold the belief that Afghanistanstill belonged to the Afghans. He said US forces were in the Afghanistan to promote the goal of long-term stability and independence through the development of local institutions. In response to concerns over the United States shifting its focus onto Iraq, he said that whatever else happens in the world, the US would not abandon Afghanistan.
U.S. Lt. Gen.
Dan McNeillmet separately with Afghan president Hamid Karzaiand village elders Helmand Provinceto discuss a coalition assault a week earlier that allegedly left several civilians dead. Karzai expressed concerns for the safety of civilians in operations carried out by US-led military coalition hunting for Islamic militants. Local officials and villagers in Helmand Provincehave said that at least 17 civilians, mostly women and children, had been killed in coalition bombing raids in the mountainous region that week. The U.S. military said that only an eight-year-old boy was wounded in the operation, and added that coalition forces had the right to self-defense.
February 16, 2003"
Balochistan, Pakistan, strong winds and heavy rains caused a wall to collapse in a Latifabad refugeecamp, killing a nine-year-old girl and injuring three of her family members. Some 50 Afghan families in a Mohammad Kheil camp also lost their homes and tents in the storms. Later in the week, UNHCRwill distribute tents, food, coal and blankets to the affected refugees, along with 150 tents and 900 quilts to storm-hit refugees in Chaghi refugee village in Baluchistan’s Dalbandin area. United Nationsofficials in Kabul said that rains brought signs of recovery in southern Afghanistan, where reservoirs are filling up in drought ravaged Kandahar and Helmand provinces. Afghanistanand UNICEFannounced a program to re-train thousands of teachers, particularly women forced out of work during the Talibanregime. About 70,000 teachers across 29 of the country's 32 provinces will begin to receive the on-the-job training in the coming weeks. Teachers will be instructed on new ways to teach Dariand Pashtu. They will also be trained to teach awareness of the dangers of landmines.
United Nationssaid that authorities were looking for new housing for 100 impoverished families who recently moved into cliff-side caves that surround the famed Buddha statues destroyed by the Talibanin central Afghanistan.
Rebel attackers fired two rockets near the U.S. base in
Shkhin, Afghanistan. No casualties or damage was reported.
United Nations World Food Programbegan to distribute to the Afghan people 10,000 mt of fortified high-energy biscuits recently donated by the Indian government. Afghan President Hamid Karzaiinaugurated the program by distributing biscuits to schoolchildren of the Amani High Schoolin Kabul.
Three children drowned when they were swept away by flood waters near
February 17, 2003"
Afghan officials, workers, and citizens gathered at the
Kabulmuseum for the opening of two newly renovated rooms. The purpose of the rooms was to begin repairing the collection of thousands of statues that were smashed in the Spring of 2001. The British Government, with the advice of the British Museum, paid for the renovation, and British soldiers partook in the work. Japanpromised photographic equipment, Greecewas to rebuild one wing, the Asian Foundationwas to develop an inventory, and the U.S. pledged more money for a restoration department. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizationwas to work on the windows and water supply.
Kunduz Province, Afghanistanordered the closure of video shops. The order was in response to Western and Indian films that contained violence and nudity.
A statement sent to
Pakistani newspapers urged Afghans to wage a holy war against U.S. forces and the U.S.-backed Afghan government. The statement was attributed to fugitive Talibanchief Mullah Mohammed Omar.
An avalanche triggered by heavy rains killed two people and injured four others in
Kunar Province Afghanistan. Avalanches and heavy snow blocked the Salang Tunnelin northern Afghanistan.
The international airport in
Kabul, Afghanistanreopened after being shut down the day before because of heavy snow.
U.S. special forces troops came under fire near
Asadabad, Afghanistan, were no one was hurt.
February 18, 2003"
A fire swept through an observation post outside the
United Statesheadquarters outside the US military Bagram Air Base, forcing a quick evacuation. The cause of the fire was not known. No one was injured.
A lone gunman opened fire on
United StatesSpecial Forces in Urgun, Afghanistan. No one was hurt
United Nationsconfirmed reports of new Talibantraining camps in eastern Afghanistan.
An 81-year old man from
Ohio, Daniel Chick, armed with two pistols and dressed in military-style pants and sweater, was briefly detained in Haifa, Israel. He told police that he was on his way to Afghanistanin hopes of hunting down Osama bin Ladenand claiming a $25 million bounty. He was trying to board a boat for Cyprus. To avoid facing charges after appearing before a judge, Chick agreed to give up his weapons and leave Israel. Allegedly, after leaving the United States, Chick made stops in Germanyto visit his daughter and Italy, where he caught a flight to Israel. His attorney was Gideon Costa.
International Organization for Migrationoffice in Kunduz, Afghanistanwas bombed. No one was injured.
February 19, 2003" Operation Viperbegan as United States CH-47 Chinookhelicopters carrying US troops touched down in Helmand Provincein southern Afghanistan. Their mission was to hunt down Talibanleaders believed hiding there.
United Statesdesignated former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyaras a global terrorist after tying him to acts of terror committed by al-Qaidaand the Taliban. U.S. financial institutions were ordered to freeze all financial assets belonging to Mr. Hekmatyat.
United Statesagreed to provide US$60 million to Afghanistanto train a national police force and to wipe out drugs. The agreement for the projects was signed by Zalmay Rassouland U.S. ambassador to Kabul Robert Finn. Japanagreed to provide $35 million for a project to disarm militias in Afghanistan. To date, it was estimated that there were between 150,000 and 200,000 militiamen in Afghanistan. The aid was to be used to build facilities aimed at providing discharged soldiers with an education and employment training.
Gardez, Afghanistan, a U.S. soldier was injured when the military vehicle he was traveling in struck a landmine. The soldier's right foot was blown off by the explosion.
A lone gunman opened fire on U.S. Special Forces in
February 20, 2003"
Hamid Karzaileft Kabul, Afghanistanfor a four-nation tour ( Japan, Malaysia, the United States, and India). Karzai is accompanied by Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah and a high-level official delegation.
Washington, DC, NATOSecretary-General Lord George Robertson discussed a proposal that in the summer of 2003 NATO might assist Canadawhen it took over from the Netherlandsand Germanyin peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan. "We’ll be examining that over the next few weeks," he said "to see whether there is a consensus on it, whether it makes sense, how best the job can be done."
United Statessoldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 405th Parachute Infantry Regimentmarched to Engran, Afghanistan. After setting up sniper positions, soldiers entered the village. They told village elder Haji Abdul Hadthat they had come as part of the Afghan government’s disarmament efforts. In an orchard behind a compound, soldiers found two AK-47assault rifles beneath a wet burlap sack. The village elder said some families kept guns for their own security. The soldiers confiscated the arms. The soldiers searched four other villages, but found nothing else. Another platoon searching separate villages nearby seized 27 AK-47s.
Seeking more ethnic balance,
Afghanistan's Defense Minister Mohammed Fahimannounced that it replaced 15 ethnic Tajik generals and created a new, high-level post. The ousted generals were replaced by officers from the Pashtun, Uzbek and Hazara ethnic groups. The new position of a fourth deputy defense minister was given to Gen. Gul Zarak Zadran, a Pashtun. Abdul Rashid Dostumkept his post as one of the four deputy ministers. The ousted generals will be given other jobs within the ministry.
Kabul, Afghanistana new commission was formed to further evaluate the proposed laws and present its findings to the cabinet. The commission included Abdul Rahim Karimi, Enayatullah Nazari, Abdul Salam Azimi, Musa Ashari, and Musa Marufi.
Kabul, Afghanistana commission headed by Information and Culture Minister Sayyed Makhdum Rahinwas formed to oversee the March 21celebrations of Nawruz ( Norouz), the Afghan New Year.
February 21, 2003"
Hamid Karzaiarrived in Tokyo, Japanto attend a conference of nations involved in pledging donations to Afghanistan. In a press conference, Karzai expressed confidence that his government would succeed in creating a unified Afghan fighting force, and in stabilizing areas beyond Kabul. But he also acknowledged that fighting has continued between rival warlords and that terrorist pockets continue to plague areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border. He estimated that about 100,000 irregular troops still need to disarm. Japan is the second largest donor nation of Afghanistan after the United States. Canadaannounced it would not able to run peacekeeping operations in Afghanistanalone later this year, and asked for NATOhelp. Canada will send a battlegroup and a brigade-level headquarters to Afghanistan in August, 2003 to take over command of the 4,000 member United Nationsforce. Canada's commitment could involve as many as 2,800 troops on each of two six-month rotations. The general in charge of international security policy in the Canadian Department of Defense resigned over the decision. David Singh, the public information officer for the United NationsAssistance Mission in Afghanistan, warned staff to take precautions following anonymous threats warning of increased retaliation in the context of the possibility of war between the United Statesand Iraq.
In a press conference,
United StatesMilitary spokesman Colonel Roger Kingsaid that in the last 24-hours Operation Viperbrought about the detention of seven more suspected Talibanmembers, bringing the number during the mission up to about 25. King also said that there was no indication that a land minethis week that blew off the foot of a US soldier near Gardez, Afghanistanwas planted recently or was targeted at US patrol.
German Defense Minister
Peter Strucksaid Germanycould withdraw its 2,500 troops from the 4,700 strong International Security Assistance Force(ISAF) in Afghanistanif a war in Iraqbegan and escalated tensions in the region.
Pakistan donated arms and ammunition to the
Afghan National Army, signifying an attempt to strengthen Pakistan’s influence in the post-Taliban government in Afghanistan. The weapons include 5000 submachine guns, 180 mortars, 75 rocket-propelled grenade launchersand 10,000 mortar bombs. Pakistan will also help train Afghan army personnel.
The managing director of
Sui Southern Gas Companyreported that Pakistanneeded to finalize one natural gas import pipeline project by the end of 2003 to meet soaring gas demands in the years ahead. The three projects under discussion included an Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline, and a Qatar-Pakistan pipeline.
A 35-year-old U.S. Army master sergeant suffered a head injury when wind from a twin-rotor
CH-47 Chinookhelicopter swept up a wooden pallet that struck him at an airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was flown to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germanyfor emergency treatment. He survived.
U.S. forces apprehended seven suspected enemy fighters in
Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
February 22, 2003"
A one-day international donors' conference to help Afghan President
Hamid Karzaitighten control over Afghanistantook place in Tokyo, Japan. There were about 45 donor nations and international organizations in attendance. The meeting, called by Japan, sought to raise money for efforts to disarm warlords and extend President Karzai's authority outside Kabul, Afghanistan.
Islamabad, Pakistan, Afghan Minister for Petroleum and Mines Juma Mohammad Mohammadiand other administrators from Pakistanand Afghanistanagreed to invite Indiato take part in a potential $2.5 billion gas pipeline project to connect the states.
Fighting between supporters of Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and rival Gen.
Atta Mohammedbroke out near Maymana, the capital of Faryab Province. The two sides battled with machine guns, rocket launchers and artillery. Six civilians — including one man, two women and three children — were killed in the crossfire.
Tokyo, JapanAfghan President Hamid Karzaisecured $51 million in aid for Afghanistan from Japan($35M), the United States($10M), the United Kingdomand Canada($2.2M).
A massive fire swept through a food and fuel warehouse in the central bazaar in
Jalalabad. Six cars, plus large quantities of motor oil, flour, mayonnaise and other commodities were consumed by the fire.
Tawainese Department of Customs Administration of the Ministry of Finance announced that Afghanistan was included in a list of eleven countries being given ‘second-tier’ tariff rates in hopes of facilitating trade development.
February 23, 2003"
International Committee of the Red Crossproject started in Bamyanthat provided women with vegetable seeds and training to tend family plots more productively.
An Afghan soldier working with U.S. special forces was killed and another wounded in a firefight at a compound just east of
Tarin Kotin Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan. The clash also left one enemy fighter dead and another wounded.
In a new report entitled "Disaster Management Framework for Afghanistan," the
United Nationsurged Afghanistanto draw up plans to respond to natural disasters. Achieving that capacity would likely take at least 10 years, the report said.
About five alleged
Talibanfighters fired Afghan security forces about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northeast of Kandahar in Zabol Provincenear the Pakistani border. The ensuing fire exchange left one of the attackers dead. Security force commander Haji Wazir Mohammedwas seriously wounded.
A truck full of American military supplies including sandbags and a generator struck a landmine about 200 yards south of
Bagram Air Base. No casualties were reported.A U.S. military convoy in the vicinity of Wazir, Afghanistandrew small arms fire from two armed men at approximately noon while attempting to secure a compound.
United Nationscalled on donors to help fund the repatriation of an expected 1.2 million Afghan refugeesin the coming year. The repatriation will begin March 2and is expected to cost US$195 million, but, to date donors had only provided US$15.4 million.
Talibansuspects with a stock of arms and land mines were arrested at a house in Kandahar.
February 24, 2003"
Afghan Minister for Mines and Industries
Juma Mohammad Mohammadiand Pakistanforeign ministry official Mohammad Farhad Ahmedwere among eight people on board a Cessnaplane that crashed into the Arabian Seashortly after takeoff. The aircraft was headed for Balochistan, Pakistannear the Iranian border. Also on board the aircraft were three other Afghan officials, two crew members and Sun Changsheng, CEOof MCC Resource Development. They had been traveling to a copper and gold mining project being run by a Chinese firm in Balochistan. Weather officials say it was clear and sunny in Karachiat the time of the crash. The plane had crossed into a Pakistan military "no-fly zone" before it crashed into the sea. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the undersecretary-general in charge of United Nationspeacekeeping, called for immediate measures to improve security in Afghanistan, where international aid agencies have been threatened by kidnappings and violence. Guehenno referred to a series of recent incidents, including mine and grenade attacks in Kandaharand Kunduz, and kidnapping threats in Kabul, Jalalabad and Kunar provinces where security had been reinforced. He said contingency plans had been made for a withdrawal of U.N. agencies from certain areas of Afghanistan. He also added that human rights continued to be undermined by poor overall security, including reports of extra-judiciary executions, extortions and forced displacements.
Thomas Lobbering, a German spokesman, denied reports that Germanyplans to pull its peacekeepers out of Afghanistanif there is war in Iraq.
Asian Development Bankannounced plans to provide about US$200 million in financial assistance for the reconstruction of Afghanistanthis year. $150 million is earmarked for infrastructure rehabilitation; $50 million is earmarked for agriculture.
The road between
Gardezand Khostwas cut off by supporters of warlord Bacha Khan Zadranafter local officials seized a dozen of his militiamen's vehicles. Paktia Gov. Raz Mohammad Dalilisent a delegation of elders to try to resolve the problem.
Norwegian troops were sent to
Afghanistanfor a three-month tour. The soldiers included a mix of commandos from the Norway's army and navy with training in winter and mountain warfare, and mine-clearing personnel. The exact number of troops wasn't revealed. Norway also announced that it would pull out its six F-16fighters by the end of March, 2003.
An explosive device went off near the home of Education Minister
Dawood Barakin Kandahar, Afghanistan. Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzaiarrived Malaysiafor a Non-Aligned Movement summit. Telephone Systems Internationalpurchased (EUR)4 million worth of GSM switching equipment from Siemens Mobile Communications. The equipment, including a Siemens switch, would support TSI's subsidiary, the Afghan Wireless Communication Company. The switch would be installed in Kabul.
Talibansuspects were arrested by Afghan forces at a hotel in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan.
February 25, 2003" Habibullah Jan, a district administrator in Nimroz Provincein Dilaram, 135 miles northwest of Kandahar, Afghanistan, was assassinated. Jan's body guard was wounded in the attack.
According to the
United NationsOffice on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC), about 3,400 tons of opiumwere produced in Afghanistanin 2002, making it the largest opium producer in the world, followed by Myanmarand Laos. The report also stated that more than three quarters of the heroin sold in Europeoriginated in Afghanistan. The UNODC called on Afghan President Hamid Karzaito take a tougher stance on the production of the illegal crops.
Two US security posts northwest of
Bagram Air Basereported seeing and hearing approximately 14 mortar rounds being fired, as factional fighting broke out just before dawn.
The Afghan government found a giant cache of weapons including mortars, missiles and anti-tank land mines in an abandoned compound in the eastern Nangarhar region, near the border with
Pakistan. Mortars, AK-41 anti-tank land mines, BM-12 Chinese-made missiles and munition rounds were found when troops searched the compound in Bander district, 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Jalalabad.
Talibansuspects were arrested at a hotel in the town of Spin Boldaknear the Pakistanborder.
A British Secret Intelligence officer killed two Afghans with a Makarov pistol during a shootout at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. The shootout was sparked by the two Afghans pulling a gun in an attempt to abduct him. The British man, identified as Colin Berry, was also shot in the abdomen during the exchange of fire. Berry had been operating in Afghanistan for several months previously on covert operations in relation to Opium trafficking. He was also actively engaged in the tracing and recovery of Stinger (U.S), Blowpipe (U.K) and Soviet Surface to Air launchers and missiles .After the incident Berry was assisted by U.S Special Forces operatives that he had been working alongside. He was taken to the 'Italian War Victims' hospital for interim treatment whilst a helicopter was organised for a flight to neighbouring Pakistan. During the wait the U.S team was instructed to 'pull back'.As a concequence Berry was discovered and arrested by the Afghan Ministry of Interior - Secret Police. They immediately detained Berry at a secret location for questioning.
February 26, 2003"
Hamid Karzaivisited the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, DC. What was to be a private panel discussion instead turned into a hearing with television cameras and reporters present. The Bush administration later apologized to Karzai for the way he was treated by the senate. In the hearing, Karzai gave an optimistic view of the state of Afghanistan, to the dismay of some senators. Karzai disputed beliefs that 100,000 militiamen living in the provinces are beyond the influence of his government. He also turned down offers from senators that they lobby for an expansion of the international force, saying he would prefer to expand the new national Afghan army, which to date had about 3,000 trained troops. Canadaannounced that it would be unable to make any substantial deployment of ground troops to Iraqbecause of its commitment to peacekeeping in Afghanistan.
Two Afghan children injured by mines near the air base that serves as U.S. military headquarters in Bagram, Afghanistan. Both children had limbs amputated.
Afghan forces found a giant cache of weapons including mortars, missiles and anti-tank land mines in an abandoned compound in the Nangarhar region.
February 27, 2003"
During a meeting at the
White House, Afghan President Hamid Karzaiasked President George W. Bush"to do more for us in making the life of the Afghan people better, more stable, more peaceful." Bush said the United Stateshad "a desire for human life to improve" in Afghanistan, but offered no public assurances that a war with Iraqwould not hinder the Afghan recovery.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
Tommy G. Thompsonmet with Afghan President Hamid Karzaiand renewed the department's commitment to promote health in Afghanistan, including training, staffing and working with the U.S. Department of Defense to rebuild a women's hospital in Kabul.
Rival Afghan commanders squabbling over scrap metal traded mortar fire near the U.S. headquarters near
Bagram. United Nationsspokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silvasaid that the U.N. suspended operations in Gosfandi district of Sar-e Pol Provincedue to factional skirmishes.
Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhuttotold an audience at Maryville Universityin St. Louis, Missourithat Afghanistanstill needs the world's attention, which has been diverted to a possible U.S. war against Iraq.
February 28, 2003"
Eight armed men stepped into the road and opened fire on a two-vehicle
United Nations World Food Programconvoy at midday as they traveled from Wazahanvillage to Hiraqat, but no injuries were reported.
A lone gunman opened fire with an
AK-47on U.S. soldiers manning a guard post north of Bagram Air Basein Afghanistan, but no casualties were reported.
Using a pistol and then a sub-machinegun, an Afghan man killed two policemen guarding the U.S. consulate in
Karachi, Pakistan. Five other officers and a passerby were injured. United Statestroops discovered a "bomb-making facility" near Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The troops found the materials after searching five compounds in Shinwar district. Also recovered were three 82 mm mortars, one grenade launcher, five machine-guns, 1,000 mortar rounds, 300 rockets, mines and thousands of ammunition cases.
Two rockets found inside a bag exploded near government offices in
Kandahar, Afghanistan. A guard found four rockets hidden in a bag at around 7 a.m. He informed the intelligence department nearby, but two of the rockets exploded before the bomb disposal squad could reach the site, he said. The other two were defused. There were no casualties.
An explosive device went off near the home of Education Minister
Dawood Barakin Kandahar. Antonella Deledda, Central Asia representative for the United NationsOffice for Drugs and Crime, said from Tashkent, Uzbekistanthat the steady flow of opium and heroin from Afghanistanwas causing rising drug addiction and AIDSinfections across the region, especially in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstanand Uzbekistan. Ruud Lubbers, the United Nationshigh commissioner for refugees, traveled by road from Kabulto Mazari Sharifand met with warlords Abdul Rashid Dostum, Atta Mohammedand Ustad Sayeedi. Afghan Refugees Minister Inayatullah Nazerialso attended the talks. Lubbers complained about insecurity and ethnic tensions and urge the warlords to unite to help Afghans return to their homes. Afghanistan's Defense Minister Mohammed Fahimheaded to Washington, DCfor a six-day trip intended for talks with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Also traveling with Fahim was Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Hatiqullah Baryalai. Speaking to the press before his flight left Kabul, Fahim urged the United States to provide more cooperation and financial assistance to rebuild his Afghanistan's national army.
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