Feb 24, 2013 Comments Off on Karzai Orders U.S. Special Forces Out Of Not One, But Two Provinces Pat Dollard
Excertped from Al Arabiya: The Afghan government demanded Sunday the withdrawal of U.S. special forces from Wardak and Logar within two weeks accusing them of fuelling “insecurity and instability” in the volatile provinces neighboring the capital Kabul.
Presidential spokesman said that the Afghan ministry of defense was asked to “kick out” U.S. troops from the two provinces mentioned.
“In today’s national security council meeting, Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered the ministry of defense to kick out the U.S. special forces from Wardak and Logar provinces within two weeks,” said presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi.
“The U.S. special forces and illegal armed groups created by them are causing insecurity, instability, and harass local people in these provinces,” he told a press conference.
Meanwhile , two Taliban suicide bombers killed three members of Afghan security forces, but a third attack in Kabul’s diplomatic enclave was foiled when police shot dead the would-be assailant, officials told AFP.
The attacker in Kabul was armed with a suicide vest and his SUV was full of explosives, but police opened fire when he tried to penetrate deeper into the capital’s diplomatic enclave of Wazir Akbar Khan, the officials said.
In the day’s first attack, a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a spy agency facility in the town of Jalalabad, 150 kilometers (90 miles) east of Kabul.
It was followed by a similar attack on a police base in Puli Alam, 70 kilometers south of the capital, officials said.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed claimed responsibility for the attacks in Puli Alam and Jalalabad, but denied that the militant group was involved in the foiled attack in Kabul.
Authorities had earlier said that two would-be suicide bombers were killed in Kabul. But city police chief Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said only one attacker was involved, dismissing local reports that a second bomber had managed to escape.
“We have intelligence about this. The bomber was shot dead and his car bomb is defused. It’s over now,” Salangi told AFP.
An AFP photographer at the scene saw a young man laying dead in a pool of blood next to his bullet-ridden car on the side of the road near a construction site. The man was shot in the head.
Excerpted from The BBC: he Afghan president has ordered US special forces to leave Wardak province within two weeks.
The decision was being taken due to allegations of disappearances and torture by Afghans considered to be part of US special forces, said a spokesman for Hamid Karzai.
The strategically significant, central province of Wardak has been the recent focus of counter-insurgency operations.
A US statement said it took all allegations of misconduct seriously.
But the US could not comment specifically on this latest development “until we have had a chance to speak with senior government officials”, the statement by a spokesman for US special forces said.
“This is an important issue that we must discuss with our Afghan counterparts,” the statement said.
The Afghan president’s office said the decision to order the expulsion of US special forces had been taken at a meeting of the National Security Council.
“After a thorough discussion, it became clear that armed individuals named as US special force[s] stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people,” it said.
“A recent example in the province is an incident in which nine people were disappeared in an operation by this suspicious force and in a separate incident a student was taken away at night from his home, whose tortured body with throat cut was found two days later under a bridge.
“However, Americans reject having conducted any such operation and any involvement of their special force.
“The meeting strongly noted that such actions have caused local public resentment and hatred.”
The presidential statement said Afghan forces were “duty bound” to put a stop to such behaviour, and urged local people to co-operate in bringing them to justice.
In a hastily convened news conference, a presidential spokesman suggested many of the allegations centred on Afghan citizens he alleged were working with US special forces.
“There are some individuals, some Afghans, who are working within these cells, within these [US] special forces groups” in Wardak province, said spokesman Aimal Faizi.
“But they are part of US special forces according to our sources and according to our local officials working in the province,” he said.
He said all special forces must leave Wardak within two weeks.
All operations by international special forces in the province have also been ordered to stop with immediate effect.
Wardak is seen as a gateway for the Taliban to target Kabul, says the BBC’s Karen Allen in the capital.