US endures deadliest year in Afghanistan
Military figures say 54 killed in half of year
By Bryan Bender The Boston Globe July 3, 2005
WASHINGTON -- This year has been the deadliest for US troops in Afghanistan since war began in late 2001, as more American soldiers have died than in each of the previous three years, according to military figures.
The statistics signal that well-armed Taliban and Al Qaeda militants holed up in caves, tribal villages, and craggy peaks along the border with Pakistan will remain a threat to the new Afghan government for years and require US troops, now numbering 18,000, to remain indefinitely, according to regional specialists.
In the first half of this year, at least 54 Americans lost their lives, compared with 52 in all of last year, according to official statistics reviewed by the Globe.
The number of overall casualties, which saw an upsurge with the shootdown of a US military helicopter and the potential loss of a reconnaissance team in eastern Afghanistan last week, have edged up every year since Operation Enduring Freedom began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the figures show.
Many of the recent US deaths have been caused by more deadly improvised explosive devices, the roadside bombs that also have been the weapon of choice for insurgents targeting American troops in Iraq, according to US commanders. Six Americans were killed by such bombs last month alone. Officials and specialists said all indications point to substantial support for the Afghan and foreign fighters from sympathetic tribes and government officials next door in lawless western Pakistan.
''The upsurge is disturbing," said James Dobbins, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the government-funded Rand Corp. and President Bush's former special envoy to Afghanistan. ''It is surprising. People thought the trends were more favorable. It suggests that the US is not going to be able to phase out any time soon or significantly reduce its troop presence."
Indeed, with national elections planned for September, senior Pentagon officials say they are considering a temporary increase in US forces to respond to recent attacks on the new Afghan government and a series of brazen assaults on US military forces. The US Central Command, responsible for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, has not yet asked for additional troops, the officials said last week.
But many officers and outside experts believe they will be needed to ensure the violence is kept in check while Afghanistan's political progress moves ahead.
On Tuesday, militants armed with a rocket-propelled grenade downed a US helicopter in the mountainous border region with Pakistan, killing all 16 Special Forces soldiers who were aboard, according to a preliminary investigation. The Navy SEALS and Army special operations commandos were on a mission to aid a small reconnaissance team that had been battling with Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters in the area and is now missing.
Taliban spokesmen have claimed credit for shooting down the helicopter and say they have captured a US soldier and killed seven American ''spies." The information could not be verified and an intensive search of the area by hundreds of US troops was underway for the second day yesterday.
Also, in a three-day assault that ended Friday, 25 people were killed when Taliban fighters attacked two police stations and a nearby village in southeastern Afghanistan, the spiritual heartland of the former ruling Taliban regime, including nine tribal elders, the provincial governor in Uruzgan province told the Associated Press.
Military officials and Afghan specialists say the rise in attacks is partly because of a more aggressive US and Afghan strategy to flush out remaining pockets of Taliban fighters and their Al Qaeda allies who used Afghanistan as a training base throughout the 1990s. In the first year of the US occupation, the United States maintained a military presence of only about 8,000 troops; it now has 18,000 troops and has expanded the number of patrols and community reconstruction teams to more remote areas where the Taliban is believed to operate.
Other contributing factors cited for the increase in attacks are the spring thaw in the Hindu Kush mountains, increased pressure by US forces and the Afghan government on the booming heroin trade, and unrest about the upcoming national elections
Still, military officers, aid workers, and Afghan officials agree that ''the fact is that there is more violence," said Robert M. Perito, a senior fellow at the US Institute of Peace, who returned from Afghanistan last week.
''The overriding story I heard is that the security is worse this spring than it was a year ago," Perito said. ''There are more attacks and they are better organized, more lethal, and widespread."
The use of more deadly methods of attack have US commanders worried. ''There is one that we see a little bit troubling," Lieutenant General James T. Conway, commander of the First Marine Expeditionary Unit, told reporters in Washington on Thursday. ''And that is the increased presence of IEDs. I think if you charted it over time, you would see more attacks tied into IEDs than perhaps we had over the last six to 10 months."
The tactics have taken their toll. In the past three months, 29 US troops have been killed, including the 16 in last week's helicopter attack, the deadliest since US forces invaded on Oct. 7, 2001. This year is already the deadliest for US troops. Before 52 troops died last year, 47 soldiers were killed in 2003 and 43 in 2002. From October to December 2001, 12 US military personnel were killed.
Before last week's attacks, 194 troops had died since the start of the war, 80 from hostile fire and 114 in military accidents. According to the Pentagon figures, 506 soldiers were wounded in action as of June 25.
US commanders and intelligence officials said they believe Taliban fighters are getting more support from havens inside Pakistan, where many tribal allegiances favor the militant brand of Islam espoused by the Taliban and Al Qaeda and where the Pakistani government -- which helped bring the Taliban to power in Afghanistan in 1994 -- has little control over a border area that to the native population is just an arbitrary marker on a map.
''The violence in Afghanistan tells us more about what is happening in Pakistan than Afghanistan," Dobbins said. ''This is an insurgency mounted from safe havens in Pakistan," where Taliban leader Mullah Muhammed Omar and Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden are believed to be hiding.
As the United States considers increasing troops, there are already plans to send additional NATO troops before the September elections and thousands more next year to help fight the insurgency in the eastern and southern parts of Afghanistan, where the violence is most pronounced. Britain, Canada, Norway, and others, which began policing the relatively stable northern and western parts of the Texas-sized country in May, will work alongside the Americans.
''I don't know if you could talk about a Taliban resurgence," Perito said. ''They never went away. We'll be doing counterinsurgency for the foreseeable future."
US and Afghan troops hunt for missing US soldiers in eastern mountains
KABUL (AFP) - US and Afghan soldiers searched the mountains of eastern Afghanistan for a team of special forces soldiers who have been missing since suspected Taliban rebels shot down a US helicopter during an attempt to extract the team five days ago.
"There's a search operation ongoing in Kunar for recovery of the missing team. And there's an operation ongoing to deny enemy influence up there," said US military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jerry O'Hara on Sunday.
An Afghan government official said civilians had been killed in the bombing of a suspected insurgent compound at Chical village in the eastern province of Kunar at dusk on Friday, but could give no figures.
"There are definitely some civilians among the dead. The operation is ongoing with Afghan and coalition forces on the ground," the official said on condition of anonymity.
US Colonel James Yonts told AFP Saturday that "all possible efforts are taken to prevent non-combatant injuries and deaths." But he did not exclude the possibility that civilians had been struck in the bombing.
The air strike came amid the search for the reconnaissance team which disappeared during the helicopter rescue attempt.
The MH-47 Chinook chopper was downed Tuesday by what is believed to be a rocket propelled grenade, killing 16 military personnel -- including eight elite US Navy SEALs -- in the biggest loss of US troops in a single attack since 2001.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack and said they have captured a US soldier -- a claim the US military has refused to confirm or deny.
Taliban spokesman Mullah Abdul Latif Hakimi said the militia would release a film showing the bodies of seven Afghans whom he claimed had been captured and killed for working for the Americans last week.
"We will release the film of the seven American spies we killed, either today or tomorrow. We will also release a film of the American soldier we've captured but that will take two or three days," he told AFP by phone from an undisclosed location.
US military officials say the search for the missing soldiers has been hampered by torrential rain and the rugged mountainous terrain as well as the presence of insurgents in Kunar, a stronghold of both the Taliban and the Hebz-e-Islami militant group.
The BBC quoted an unidentified Afghan official as saying fresh air raids took place on Sunday in Kunar's Nangalam Valley where Afghan ground forces were engaged in heavy fighting with insurgents.
Afghan defence ministry and provincial officials were unavailable for comment.
"The Americans continued bombing in Manogai district today but we have no casualties," Hakimi said.
Kunar, which borders Pakistan, is a known hub of rebels from the hardline Islamic Taliban, who have stepped up attacks on the US-led coalition and Afghan forces nearly four years after their regime was toppled.
Attacks have been gaining in ferocity in recent weeks as the country nears its September 18 parliamentary elections.
Over 500 people, mostly militants, have been killed in fighting this summer, almost 40 in the last two days.
More than 18,000 coalition forces, most of them American, are deployed in the country to hunt down Taliban militants and their allies.
Afghanistan may quickly become `a mirror of Iraq'
AP , KABUL Sunday, Jul 03, 2005,Page 4
Just three months ago, Afghanistan was proudly held up as a poster-child of US-led nation-building. But near-daily ambushes, execution-style killings, suicide bombings and this week's shooting down of a US special forces helicopter have quashed much of that optimism.
From US and UN officials down to Afghan villagers, there is growing fear that this country may be at a seminal moment with three years of state-building in danger of succumbing to the barrage of violence.
"After the presidential elections last year, everyone was optimistic that we were heading toward a stable, peaceful democracy. But it no longer seems that way," said Malalai Juya, a female candidate in September's elections from western Farah province. "Everyone is scared now. Security has been getting worse and worse by the day."
The resurgence of the Taliban insurgency could not have come at a worse time -- with just 10 weeks remaining before key legislative elections that are the next step toward democracy after a generation of war.
The downing of the chopper on Tuesday -- and a missing team of US soldiers -- reinforce concerns that while US casualties here are far fewer than in Iraq, the rebellion may be fast becoming a mirror of the insurgency there.
Stability has also been threatened by a rise in criminality, such as gangs kidnapping foreigners in the capital, Kabul, a booming trade in opium and heroin that threatens to turn Afghanistan into a "narco-state," and increasing resentment toward the presence of US forces, which erupted into deadly riots in May.
But it's not all bad news. The first democratically elected president, Hamid Karzai, took office after relatively peaceful elections last October. The economy, at least in cities, is doing well. Construction is booming in Kabul, cellphones are spreading and trade with neighbors Pakistan and Iran is lively.
One of the most significant developments is the emergence of the US-trained Afghan army, which now numbers 26,000 and regularly fights alongside troops from the 20,000-strong US-led coalition.
A separate NATO-led force of 8,000 soldiers is responsible for security in Kabul and the country's north and west. It plans to expand into the volatile south next year, freeing up American forces to go after Osama bin Laden, who is still thought to be hiding in the rugged mountains along the Afghan-Pakistan frontier.
The government has warned that bin Laden's al-Qaeda fighters and the Taliban rebels have launched a campaign of violence to subvert September's elections. It started with a suicide bombing inside a mosque in the southern city of Kandahar on June 1 that killed the Kabul police chief and 19 others, officials said.
A purported Taliban spokesman, Mullah Latif Hakimi, who claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter this week, vowed that rebel attacks will increase.
"This uprising will rage on until all foreign troops leave Afghanistan. We are going to break the back of these foreign troops," he said. "Our fighters are strong and our leader Mullah Omar is in charge."
Hakimi's exact tie to the Taliban leadership is not clear and his claims often prove exaggerated or untrue. The loss of the helicopter follows three months of unprecedented fighting that has killed about 477 suspected insurgents, 45 US troops, 47 Afghan police and soldiers and 134 civilians.
"We have no estimate on the strength of the Taliban," Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Marad said.
In April, the former top US military commander here, Lieutenant General David Barno, estimated there to be 2,000 insurgents. He also predicted the near-total collapse of the rebel group within a year.
US spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jerry O'Hara said the military now believes the violence is likely to continue. But he stressed that "no matter what the enemy throws at us, it is no match for the joint efforts of the Afghan security forces and the coalition." But the rebels have earned the respect of some US troops on the battlefield.
"The Taliban are good fighters. Much better than the rebels in Iraq," Captain Dirk Ringgenberg, from the 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, told reporters as he patrolled in central Afghanistan. "If you make the Taliban fight, they will fight until the end. But the Iraqis will shoot a few times and then run and hide."
NATO is bringing in 3,000 more troops ahead of the elections to protect the polls. President Hamid Karzai has said he thinks the violence will worsen and local security forces have been ordered to gear up for battle.
"The Taliban are ambushing vehicles, putting roadside bombs, executing people almost every day," said Jan Mohammed Khan, governor of Uruzgan province. "They just keep attacking. Many of them have had terrorist training, they have good weapons and plenty of money."
He made the comments after fighting in his province left 25 dead, including nine tribal elders who Taliban rebels kidnapped and then executed. Khan, like many top Afghan officials, pointed the finger of blame at Pakistan, claiming Islamabad is not doing enough to stop terrorism, or is complicit with it.
Defense Minister Rahim Wardak told reporters last month that rebels were receiving support from "regional powers" rattled by Afghanistan's request for a long-term US and NATO presence.
Officials say three Pakistanis' alleged involvement in a plot last month to assassinate the former US ambassador is evidence of Islamabad's wrongdoing.
Pakistan vehemently denies any involvement in terrorism, saying it has done more than any other country in the fight against al-Qaeda.
via Taipei Times (Taiwan)
Terror operatives forego camps, but training continues
July 3, 2005
PARIS (AFP) - While terror networks have given up training camps like those that existed in Afghanistan before October 2001, operatives are still learning attack techniques in small, remote hideouts, experts say.
"Are there still training camps? Of course there are," said Magnus Ranstorp, director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland.
"I don't think you can find full-fledged training camps in Pakistan or even Afghanistan on the same level as we had before," he noted.
"But there are many remote areas, many places where the lack of governance can provide excellent training ground. It can be done in underground shelters, abandoned houses. You don't need large facilities."
Ranstorp and other experts say international terror groups like the Al-Qaeda network have targeted the world's lawless regions and sprawling cities, where they recruit, indoctrinate and train jihadist volunteers without detection.
Last month, a father and son in California were charged with lying to US authorities about their connections to Al-Qaeda and knowledge of terror training camps in Pakistan.
Hamid Hayat, 22, allegedly told investigators that he received training at an Al-Qaeda facility in Pakistan where he was taught "how to kill Americans", authorities said.
Pakistan, which has earned US praise for its role in the global fight on terrorism, denied that any camps exist, but experts say the country's remote tribal regions near the Afghan border are possible training sites.
"We have seen that despite very effective and very efficient efforts from the Pakistani government, some jihad groups have been able to establish camps in Pakistan since October 2001," said Al-Qaeda expert Rohan Gunaratna.
"These are very small facilities -- you can give terrorist training inside a single house," explains the Sri Lankan researcher, who is the author of "Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror".
"It would be impossible to spot that with a satellite."
Experts do agree that the era of massive terror training camps in Afghanistan, where masked recruits were filmed scampering through tough obstacle courses and detonating explosives, is now over.
Such camps were too exposed and under constant US surveillance thanks to spy satellites. Nondescript houses, tiny apartments and caves are the new terror training sites of choice.
"There are still terrorist training camps in southeast Asia, in the Philippines, in Somalia. There were camps for a short period in Yemen, and in the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia," Gunaratna said.
"You don't have proper training camps in Iraq, but there is training going on inside houses," he added.
Jean-Luc Marret, researcher at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris, noted: "Training camps have always been depicted in a spectacular way. Often, they were nothing more than a few tents. Those can be put up anywhere."
"Don't forget that training sessions took place on ranches in the United States, in the Fontainebleau forest in France... All you need is an isolated farm, where a few shots can be fired. We've got plenty of those," Marret said.
The United States, concerned that certain parts of the Sahara could be transformed into safe havens for terrorists, just wrapped up three weeks of joint military exercises in five Sahara nations to help train African troops.
From 2007, the United States aims to pour 100 million dollars annually for five years into a new Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Initiative in a bid to boost the capacity of the region's armed forces.
Kabul seeks refrigerated containers for fruit exports
By Khalid Mustafa The Daily Times (Pakistan) July 3, 2005
ISLAMABAD: Kabul has sought permission from Islamabad to avail itself of the facility of refrigerated containers to for the export of fresh fruit to India, Bangladesh and the Persian Gulf, as under the current arrangement Afghanistan’s fruit loses its freshness and quality when it reaches it destinations in the above-mentioned countries through Pakistan. Kabul has made this request through the Foreign Office.
According to a government official, the export of goods from Afghanistan will be handled by the National Logistics Cell (NLC) and the Pakistan Railways under the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (ATAA). He said the government of Pakistan needed to introduce an amendment to the ATTA to extend the facility to Afghanistan.
“The request of Kabul is under consideration, but a decision on the request will be made after speaking to stakeholders.”
The official said the visit of Commerce Secretary Tasneem Norrani and CBR Chairman Mr Yousaf Abdullah to Kabul had been long overdue, but the visit could not be made because of the officials’ busy schedules.
During a meeting in Kabul, a trade package will be discussed with the Afghanistan government and the remaining 6 items in the negative list under the ATTA will also be discussed. The government of Afghanistan has been demanding removal of the remaining six items in the negative list, including cigarettes and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes, cooking oil, automobile parts, televisions, telephones and tyres and tubes.
During the visit, the new request of Kabul seeking the facility of refrigerated containers for the export of fruit to other countries will be discussed.
The official said Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was also planning to visit Afghanistan some time during the third week of July. During the prime minister’s visit, Pakistan may announce removal of the remaining six items and accede to the request made by Kabul.
During the first 10 months of the financial year 2004-05, Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan stood at $960 million while the value of imports from Afghanistan of fresh fruit, dry fruit, spices, timber, scrap and country drugs was $50 million.
Investigations into ‘fake’ POL exports to Kabul begin
By Imran Ayub The Daily Times (Pakistan) July 3, 2005
KARACHI: Federal authorities are investigating what appear to be fake exports of petroleum products by the state-run Pakistan State Oil to avoid taxes, causing huge losses to the exchequer.
A letter, dispatched to the managing director of PSO by the directorate general of intelligence and investigation of customs and excise a few months back, sought the company’s cooperation “in catching the real culprits”.
“Karachi office of DG Intelligence and Investigations (Customs, Excise and Sales Tax) intercepted a tanker lorry bound for Jalalabad, Afghanistan, while emptying its load of PMG at a petrol pump in Sadiqabad in March 2004,” said the letter.
“The PMG was being exported by M/S PSO through a third party to Afghanistan while getting adjustment of duty, taxes and surcharge leviable thereon. An FIR was lodged in the case and a probe was initiated.”
Later on, the letter said investigations revealed that massive irregularities were committed in dubious exports by the PSO of POL products to Afghanistan through third parties by claiming illegal and fraudulent adjustments of the government levies.
The letter disclosed that the initial probe by the customs Karachi office had confirmed 71 export consignments involving duty and taxes to the tune of Rs 24.77 million, which did not cross the border to Kabul.
“These were actually disposed of in Pakistan,” said the letter and added that when the company’s management was informed of these irregularities, the PSO deposited an amount of Rs 3.63 million as escaped revenue.
“However, later on, instead of cooperating in the investigations, a petition was filed by the M/S PSO in the Sindh High Court against directorate of intelligence agitating therein the demand of documents required in the probe,” said the letter. Petroleum is among 10 products exported to Afghanistan, which saw an increase of 245 percent during the first half (July-December) of the fiscal year 2004-05 over the same period last year.
The official figures show that during July and February 2004-05, Pakistan exported $75 million worth of crude oil of petroleum and bituminous minerals to Afghanistan out of total Rs 35.258 billion exports to the neighbouring country. However, the disclosure of fake exports appears to be challenging the official figures.
The letter to the PSO chief said the directorate general office at Karachi therefore made out contravention cases and the investigation into an FIR was underway.
“However, the management of M/S PSO has been found to be obstructing the investigations instead of cooperating and helping in nabbing the actual culprits,” it added.
US planes bomb 'Taleban' compound
BBC News / Saturday, 2 July, 2005
US fighter planes have bombed a suspected Taleban hideout in the same area of eastern Afghanistan where US servicemen are missing, officials say. A senior Afghan official told the BBC 25 people had been killed in two air raids on a house in Chechal village.
US military spokesman Lt Col Jerry O'Hara told AP news agency: "We conducted an air strike on a target we deemed we had to hit immediately."
At least 39 people have been killed in three other clashes in Afghanistan.
More than 500 people, most of them suspected militants, are now estimated to have lost their lives in bloodshed in the south and east in the past three months.
Lt Col O'Hara said the air strike in the east was carried out with precision-guided weapons on a target that was "intelligence driven".
He said the target was an "enemy compound" in Kunar province.
A high-ranking Afghan security official in the province, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the BBC there had been two separate bombing runs on Chechal village.
Villagers who went to help those killed and injured in the first raid were hit by the second strike, he said.
The official said security forces had been sent to the area to find out who had been in the houses that were hit.
US officials say they have "no information" to confirm or deny the reports that civilians were killed.
There is rising US concern over the whereabouts of a team of US special forces on a reconnaissance mission who have been missing since Tuesday.
A helicopter which was sent to pick them up was shot down, killing 16 servicemen on board.
US forces hunting the missing ground team say they are using all available means, including unmanned surveillance aircraft and numerous ground troops.
But their efforts have been severely hampered by bad weather.
Violence has been escalating in Afghanistan ahead of parliamentary elections due in September.
On Saturday, the governor of central Uruzgan province, Jan Mohammad Khan, said 25 Taleban rebels and six Afghan soldiers had died in two clashes on Friday.
Taleban spokesman, Mullah Abdul Latif Hakimi, said six insurgents had died and 14 policemen were killed.
In a second clash in Kandahar on Saturday, the US military said Afghan and US troops had killed two militants who had attacked them with small arms fire.
In the third incident, in eastern Paktika province, two Afghan soldiers and four policemen were reported killed after their convoy, which included UN staff, hit a landmine.
The provincial police chief was among those wounded, Paktika's governor, Gulab Mangal, said.
Battles near Kandahar kill 3 enemies
July 2, 2005 COMBINED FORCES COMMAND – AFGHANISTAN COALITION PRESS INFORMATION CENTER
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Afghan and U.S. troops patrolling northeast of Kandahar killed two enemies, wounded another and captured two after being attacked with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades today. Eleven other individuals were questioned in relation to the attack and were released. On June 30, U.S. forces were attacked with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades by approximately 10 enemies traveling in two vehicles and two motorcycles northwest of Kandahar . The ensuing firefight resulted in one enemy killed and four detained for questioning. All four were later released. “We stand ready, aside the Afghan armed forces, to defeat these terrorists at every turn,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jerry O’Hara, a spokesperson for Combined Joint Task Force-76. “Where these criminals want to oppress and terrorize the Afghan people, we hope this nation will one day enjoy the fruits of liberty and prosperity.”
Detainees released under PTS program
July 2, 2005 COMBINED FORCES COMMAND – AFGHANISTAN COALITION PRESS INFORMATION CENTER
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — The Government of Afghanistan has coordinated the reconciliation of 199 detainees from Coalition detention facilities as part of the Afghan Program Takhim-e-Solh (PTS) or “Strengthening Peace.” Fifty-seven participants were in the first group released today. They were given a medical examination, given their personal effects and transferred from Coalition custody to the Government of Afghanistan. They were transported to the PTS commission office in Kabul to be registered into the program and allowed to return home under the supervision of tribal elders.
Engineer Mohammad Daud, director of PTS for the Office of the National Security Council, and Mulavi Muhaidin Baluch, an adviser to the president, recently spoke with detained Afghans to describe PTS and offer them the option to join the program. Daud explained that this is a great opportunity to allow them to rejoin their communities and support the government. All detained Afghans who were offered the chance to participate in PTS accepted the opportunity. The rest of the PTS participants will be released in the near future. PTS is a Government of Afghanistan initiative to repatriate former combatants into Afghan society. Those who wish to participate in the program do not receive amnesty but agree to renounce violence and pledge their support to Afghanistan .
PTS was first introduced by President Karzai in an Arab News interview in February 2004. President Karzai, as part of the healing process, extended an olive branch to the rank-and-file combatants to return to their home of Afghanistan . President Karzai has since appointed an independent Peace and Reconciliation Commission, led by Professor Sibghatullah al-Mojaddedi , to support his call for Afghans who believe that they will be unsafe in Afghanistan to return and enjoy living in their homeland and take part in the reconstruction of Afghanistan . In order to facilitate the program, the country is divided into five zones, with four PTS field offices in Herat , Kandahar , Gardez, and Jalalabad, and one satellite office in Konduz. “Afghanistan is home to all Afghans regardless of ethnicity,” said Professor al-Mojaddedi. “Let us all live together as brothers in unity as our grandparents lived in the past; let us not allow our enemies to break us apart with divisive actions.”
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