Jay Price

Truck bomb kills 7 in Kabul in latest ‘Taliban Tuesday’ attack

For the fourth consecutive week, suicide attackers picked Tuesday to strike in the Afghan capital, this time hitting a logistics company compound on the east side of Kabul with a truck bomb so big that it shattered windows a quarter of a mile away. Five security guards and two truck drivers who were waiting to enter the compound were killed. | 07/02/13 12:55:21 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

U.S. casualties hit 5-year low in Afghanistan as troops’ role turns to advising

The shift to Afghan security forces leading in combat and the ongoing reduction of U.S. troops here have driven American casualties during the first half of 2013 to the lowest level in five years. | 06/30/13 14:00:21 By - By Jay Price

Taliban attack CIA compound in latest Afghanistan violence

Insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the Kabul offices of the CIA early Tuesday in a coordinated attack in one of the capital’s most heavily fortified neighborhoods, which is also home to Afghanistan’s presidential place and the main headquarters for the U.S.-led international military coalition. | 06/25/13 15:23:45 By - By Rezwan Natiq and Jay Price

Gun battle near U.S. Embassy in Kabul after suspected Taliban found with fake NATO IDs

Afghan soldiers, presidential guards and members of a CIA security force fought a pitched battle with a small group of insurgents near the presidential palace, the U.S. Embassy and the main NATO headquarters Tuesday morning. | 06/25/13 01:44:21 By - By Rezwan Natiq and Jay Price

U.S. ambassador says fate of Afghan peace talks unclear

A week after U.S. officials announced the possibility of new peace negotiations with the Taliban, only to see progress collapse almost instantly into acrimony, it’s unclear what the next step might be, said the man who likely would be the top negotiator for the United States. | 06/25/13 15:26:18 By - By Jay Price

U.S. Afghanistan auditor tells of free-for-all as subcontractors demand money they’re owed

The U.S. government’s primary auditing agency for Afghanistan has found that subcontractors on U.S.-funded projects in that country frequently aren’t paid, resulting in a litany of problems that include delayed and unfinished jobs, death threats to company workers and allegations of corruption among Afghan police and judicial officials. | 06/20/13 16:42:06 By - By Jay Price

Kerry calls Karzai after Afghans bow out of talks with Taliban, U.S.

Less than a day after the Taliban opened a new political office in Qatar, the prospects for peace talks that it represented for war-weary Afghanistan faltered. | 06/19/13 17:45:30 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Afghan forces take over, doubts loom

Afghan security forces are now officially in charge of protecting their country from the insurgents whom the U.S.-led coalition of foreign troops has been fighting here for more than 11 years, President Hamid Karzai announced during a ceremony Tuesday, even as news broke that the Taliban were opening a long-discussed political office in Qatar, clearing a potential path to peace talks. | 06/18/13 15:52:54 By - By Jay Price

Inspired by prayer, Virginia politician starts errant bedsheet drive for troops in Afghanistan

This spring, a local political candidate in Roanoke, Va., started an appeal for bedsheets to help U.S. MASH units in Afghanistan, which had run short and been forced to put wounded troops on ripped, bloodstained linen, she said. | 06/17/13 16:20:38 By - By Jay Price

2nd Taliban attack in Kabul in 2 days kills 17 outside Afghanistan Supreme Court

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car outside a gate at the Afghan Supreme Court during the afternoon rush hour Tuesday, killing 17 people and wounding 38, all of them civilians, Afghan officials said. | 06/11/13 16:53:14 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

In quiet Kabul neighborhood, Taliban attack began with mugging at mosque

A suicide attack that paralyzed a key NATO headquarters at Kabul’s international airport early Monday began, as it turns out, with a mugging outside a mosque. | 06/10/13 15:26:09 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Taliban lay siege to NATO air base in Kabul in early morning assault

Taliban fighters firing from atop an unfinished mansion attacked the military side of Kabul’s international airport early Monday, triggering a gun battle with Afghan security forces that lasted more than four hours before the attackers were killed. | 06/10/13 00:19:15 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

In Afghanistan, women denied their inheritance now have a champion

A modest campaign sponsored by the U.S. government has begun tackling one of the most basic problems on the long list that women face here: being robbed of property that they have rightfully inherited. | 06/04/13 15:58:13 By - By Jay Price

Delay in mine project shadows hopes for Afghan economy

The giant copper mine that the Afghan government has made the centerpiece of its plans for building an economy nearly from scratch is at least five years behind schedule and the state-owned Chinese company that won the bidding has missed key deadlines in its still-secret contract with the Afghan government and is trying to renegotiate the deal, according to several officials and observers inside and outside the Mining Ministry. | 05/21/13 22:44:01 By - By Jay Price

Reputation remake: Tilt-rotor Osprey wins fans in Afghanistan

Almost four years after the MV-22 Osprey arrived in Afghanistan, trailing a reputation as dangerous and hard to maintain, the U.S. Marines Corps finally has had an opportunity to test the controversial hybrid aircraft in real war conditions. The reviews are startlingly positive. | 05/09/13 12:19:26 By - By Jay Price

Drone cargo helicopters prove worth in Afghanistan, leading way to civilian uses

In the fast-growing world of unmanned aircraft, the K-MAX’s success is a significant step toward what’s expected to be a host of new military and civilian roles for cargo drones. Over the past 16 months, two drone helicopters that were sent to Afghanistan as an experiment have delivered 3.2 millions of pounds of cargo across Helmand and flown more than 1,000 missions. | 05/06/13 00:00:00 By -

Afghan spy chief Asadullah Khalid back in U.S. for medical care

Khalid’s absence – and the scramble to succeed him, should he not be able to return – is likely to hamstring progress on a wide range of issues in which the Afghan intelligence agency and its chief play huge roles, from conflict with Pakistan over border security and Taliban havens in that country to the nascent peace process with the Taliban, which is considered crucial to U.S. plans to withdraw. | 05/02/13 17:09:17 By - By Jay Price and Jonathan S. Landay

Helmand has become almost dull for Marines, with Afghans now leading combat

For years, U.S. Marines have fought and died in Helmand, a hot, dusty province in Afghanistan’s south that’s earned a bloody place in corps lore, right beside the likes of Anbar province in Iraq. It’s been by far the deadliest province for the U.S-led coalition. But the days of heavy combat and casualties in Helmand are over, at least for conventional American troops. And soon that might be true across Afghanistan. | 05/01/13 16:19:20 By - By Jay Price

As combat role eases, aircraft crashes are biggest killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan

U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan remain at the lowest levels in recent years. The number so far this year, 33, is the lowest at this point since 2008. After air accidents, the next biggest cause of death was improvised bombs, which claimed at least eight service members. | 04/30/13 16:58:29 By - By Jay Price

‘Grandmother of Afghanistan’ Nancy Hatch Dupree says it may be time to move on

Dupree came to Afghanistan in 1962 with her first husband, a U.S. diplomat. She’ll leave, if she can finally make herself do it, as a revered figure. During her decades here, she’s been ejected by the Russians, turned down a request for help from Osama bin Laden, guided countless relief efforts, aided refugees, advised journalists, politicians and the United Nations, and written five travel guides and hundreds of articles on topics including Afghan history, archaeology, women issues and libraries. | 04/18/13 14:55:30 By - By Jay Price

Witness: Anne Smedinghoff, other Americans killed in Afghan bombing were on foot, lost

A promising young U.S. Foreign Service officer, three American soldiers and a civilian government contractor who were killed Saturday in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan probably wouldn’t have been close to the blast if they hadn’t gotten lost while walking to the school where they were to participate in a book-donation ceremony, according to an Afghan television reporter who was with them and was wounded in the attack. | 04/10/13 16:51:53 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

State Department’s Anne Smedinghoff had left Kabul for book donation event

The young U.S. State Department official who was killed Saturday in a suicide truck bombing in southern Afghanistan had been escorting Afghan journalists from Kabul who were planning to cover American officials donating books to a school, colleagues said in interviews Monday. | 04/08/13 17:50:54 By - By Jay Price

5 Americans killed in Taliban suicide blast; separate attack killed 6th, NATO says

Five Americans were killed when a bomb targeted a convoy in southern Afghanistan on Saturday in the deadliest single combat incident for U.S. citizens this year. | 04/06/13 17:17:54 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

In deadliest attack this year, Taliban storm Afghan courthouse, kill at least 44

Taliban fighters wearing Afghan army uniforms stormed a provincial courthouse in western Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing at least 44 people and wounding more than 90 in a complex attack that began with the explosion of a truck bomb followed by an assault in which the attackers took hostages and kicked off a gun battle with Afghan security forces that lasted until late afternoon. | 04/03/13 17:24:54 By - By Jay Price and Rezwan Natiq

Cyclical nature of Afghan fighting may mask deeper trends, experts warn

NATO troops have followed an annual rhythm in the Afghan War, referred to by Pentagon officials, the soldiers on the ground and journalists alike as the “fighting season.” Generally, they describe it as beginning and ending with the warmer months. The lull is ascribed to snowbound mountain passes. But that common wisdom isn’t exactly true, and may have distorted the real picture of how the war has evolved, one counterinsurgency expert says. He thinks the Taliban have begun hoarding their fighters over the warm months, biding their time until the Americans leave. | 03/18/13 15:32:21 By - By Jay Price

Afghanistan moves to salvage ancient Buddhist city – and its economy

It had the potential to be another Afghanistan Buddha disaster, recalling the Taliban’s destruction of two ancient statues that had stood for centuries in the country’s west: A buried Buddhist city lost to time was about to be obliterated by what promised to be one of the largest copper mines in the world. Now, however, thanks to delays in construction of the mine and a hefty influx of cash from the World Bank, the Mes Aynak complex is an archaeological triumph – though bittersweet. | 03/12/13 13:40:24 By - By Jay Price

As U.S. troops prepare to leave, they rush to teach Afghans to hunt for roadside bombs

Improvised bombs have killed more American troops in Afghanistan than anything else since the war here began 11 years ago, and they’ll remain a favored insurgent weapon against Afghan soldiers, police and civilians after U.S. forces end their combat mission next year. | 03/11/13 00:00:00 By - By Jay Price

U.S. consolidates Afghan bases with eye toward pulling out

At FOB Apache, U.S. military engineers are frantically finishing a second chow hall and a new, much bigger recreational building. Dozens of tents and rows of housing units are sprouting to prepare for an influx of troops who’ll raise the base’s population from several hundred to a few thousand. The building boom is a quirk of the planned pullout of more than half the U.S. and NATO forces this year. It’s one of the largest of the construction projects under way across Afghanistan, aimed at fine-tuning where troops and their equipment are based in preparation for their final departure next year. | 03/04/13 15:55:13 By - By Jay Price

U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan are at 5-year low

On the eve of the start of the final "fighting season" before the major pullout of American troops from Afghanistan begins, U.S. deaths have fallen to their lowest levels in five years. That decline is ever steeper for international forces: The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force suffered its fewest number of troops killed in December, January and February in seven years. | 03/01/13 15:20:54 By - By Jay Price

As Afghan army gets cash to buy its own supplies, some worry about corruption

The Afghan army is one of the least corrupt parts of a society where more than two-thirds of the citizens think it’s fine for bureaucrats to take bribes. Now that reputation is getting its biggest test: access to more money. Billions of dollars more. | 02/15/13 16:25:38 By - By Jay Price

Thriving Afghan zoo’s plans to expand worry its champions

Despite being no larger than a U.S. high school campus, the Kabul Zoo has become one of the most popular leisure attractions in Afghanistan. Now Kabul’s mayor wants to make the zoo much larger, with more animals, more space and more crowd-pleasing species from places such as Africa. Those who helped revive the zoo say that might be a big mistake. | 02/15/13 15:43:24 By - By Jay Price

Maybe a boar isn’t an elephant, but in Afghanistan, it’s a rarity

"Exotic species" are different in Afghanistan. For example, the Kabul Zoo is home to what’s thought to be the nation’s only captive pig, really a massive boar. Pork is haram, or forbidden, in Islam, hence the lack of domestic swine. | 02/15/13 15:41:21 By - By Jay Price

Change of commanders in Afghanistan starts clock on end of U.S. war there

Inside the heavily secured headquarters of the NATO-led forces here, the man who could be the last commander of America’s longest war will officially take charge Sunday of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. | 02/08/13 16:06:16 By - By Jay Price and Matt Schofield

U.S. soldier and an Eagle Scout team up to help hundreds in Afghanistan caves

All Army Maj. Kenton Barber wanted was to put shoes and maybe a coat on a couple of the barefoot street kids he’d seen standing outside NATO’s downtown Kabul base last winter in the snow. Instead, he and a Boy Scout in Maryland put together an international airlift that brought much-needed winter clothes to hundreds of cave dwellers in western Afghanistan. | 02/05/13 11:42:16 By - By Jay Price

Afghan charity sees rejuvenated Scouting program (it’s coed) as way to instill values

PARSA, the group that got the clothes collected by Maryland Boy Scout John Ferry to the cave dwellers of Bamiyan, has worked to revive Scouting in Afghanistan since 2009. | 02/05/13 11:41:57 By - By Jay Price

Afghan girl’s ambition is to teach English

In the cave-dweller’s community called Patokhlama, on a cliff face a few hundred yards east of the niche that once held the smaller of the two Bamiyan Buddhas, is a tiny school built partly into a cave, with a small dynamo of a teacher. | 02/05/13 11:41:36 By - By Jay Price

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