7 U.S. soldiers die in Afghan attacks
Bombs and bullets killed 10 NATO soldiers, including seven Americans, in a wave of violence in Afghanistan on Monday — the ...
Los Angeles Times
Related developmentsIraq attacks: Attackers targeted Iraqi police and anti-insurgent fighters Monday in an apparent campaign of intimidation that left at least 13 dead and multiple homes destroyed. Also among the dead were three civilians killed by a bomb-rigged car that exploded in a Baghdad shopping district. Drive-by shooters riddled a Christian man with 15 bullets in the disputed city of Kirkuk. The spate of violence appears aimed at undermining Iraqis' faith in security forces and exacerbating sectarian tensions at a time when political leaders jostle for control. A number of Monday's attacks targeted the anti-insurgent Sunni fighters known as the Sons of Iraq, or Sahwa.
Attack-video arrest: The Army has arrested a 22-year-old U.S. soldier in Baghdad for "allegedly releasing classified information" in connection with the leak of a military video that shows Apache helicopters gunning down unarmed men in Iraq, including two journalists. The classified video, taken from the cockpit during a 2007 firefight and posted this April on the website Wikileaks.org, was an unflattering portrait of the war that raised questions about the military's rules of engagement. Spc. Bradley Manning of Potomac, Md., who was being held in Kuwait, had been deployed with the 2nd Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division in Baghdad.
Seattle Times news services
KABUL, Afghanistan — Ten NATO troops, including seven U.S. soldiers, were killed in Afghanistan on Monday in the deadliest day for coalition forces this year.
In addition, two Australian soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan, acting Australian Defense Force Chief Lt. Gen. David Hurley said Tuesday.
Five of the U.S. service members were killed in a roadside bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan, according to U.S. military officials. Two other U.S. soldiers died in the country's volatile south, one in a bombing and the other by small-arms fire.
According to the icasualties.org website, which keeps track of U.S. and NATO troop deaths in Afghanistan, 245 international coalition troops have been killed in the country this year, 153 of them American.
Also on Monday, an American contractor was killed in a suicide-bomb attack on a police-training center in Kandahar, where U.S. troops are planning a major offensive this summer to uproot Taliban insurgents from their stronghold.
The NATO deaths were a grim reminder that insurgents can strike throughout the country — not simply in the south, which has become the main focus of the U.S. campaign.
It was the deadliest day for NATO since Oct. 26, when 11 U.S. troops were killed, including seven who died in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan. The crash was not believed a result of hostile fire.
U.S. commanders have warned of more casualties as the alliance gears up for a major operation to secure Kandahar, the former headquarters of the Taliban and the biggest city in the south with a half million people.
In December, President Obama ordered 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan to try to stem the rise of the Taliban, who have bounced back since they were ousted from power in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.
As fighting escalates, the Afghan government is reaching out to the insurgents in hopes of ending the nearly nine-year war.
Last week, President Hamid Karzai won endorsement from a national conference, or peace jirga, for his plan to offer economic and other incentives to the insurgents to lay down their arms and seek talks with the Taliban leadership. So far, the leadership has publicly shunned the offer, and the United States is skeptical whether peace can succeed until the Taliban are weakened on the battlefield.
The Taliban have branded Karzai a U.S. puppet and say there will be no talks while foreign troops are in Afghanistan.
Karzai's decision Sunday to replace two of the country's top security officials fueled speculation about divisions within the Afghan leadership over reaching out to the Taliban.
The government said the two officials were replaced because of an armed attack on the peace jirga, which caused no casualties among the delegates but proved embarrassing to the Karzai administration.
Both officials had a long background of opposition to the Taliban.
Intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh was a senior figure in the Northern Alliance, which helped the United States oust the Taliban regime in 2001.
Interior Minister Hanif Atmar served in Afghanistan's Communist-era intelligence agency and fought mujahedeen opposed to the Soviet occupation.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.