Photos: Latest Death Toll Soldiers Afghanistan Update

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WOOTTON BASSETT, ENGLAND, MARCH 11, 2010: Mourners react as the hearses carrying the bodies of five British soldiers killed in Afghanistan are driven along the High Street on March 11, 2010 in Wootton Bassett, England. Corporal Richard Green, Rifleman Jonathon Allott and Rifleman Liam Maughan, all from 3rd Battalion The Rifles (3 RIFLES) and Lance Corporal Tom Keogh, from 4th Battalion The Rifles, and Corporal Stephen Thompson, from 1st Battalion The Rifles, both serving as part of the 3 RIFLES Battle Group were flown into nearby RAF Lyneham this morning. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images).

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KHAN NESHIN, AFGHANISTAN – MARCH 11, 2010: Afghans look on as US Marines search their van March 11, 2010 in a hamlet near Khan Neshin in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Marines in the area have been assigned to help gather census data for planned Afghan government in the area, and are making visits to rural compounds to get the demographic information in their area of operations. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images).

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Photos: Afghanistan’s President Courts Iran, Germany, Britain, USA

Photos aplenty showing Afghan President all over the democratic world hobnobbing with world leaders from Iran, Germany and British.

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L) shakes hands with visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he arrives at The Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 10, 2010. Ahmadinejad said Iran does not consider the presence of foreign troops a solution for peace in Afghanistan. His visit overlaps with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates touring the country for a review of the US and NATO troop surge aimed at ending eight years of war. Photo by Parspix/ABACAPRESS.COM

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Visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) speaks at a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 10, 2010. Photo by Parspix/ABACAPRESS.COM

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses the audience during the 46th Munich Security Conference at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich on February 7, 2010 in Munich, Germany. The 46th Munich conference on security policy ends today.

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German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (R) welcomes Afghan President Hamid Karzai during the first day of the 46th Munich Security Conference at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich on February 5, 2010 in Munich, Germany.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Afghan President Hamid Karzai depart after speaking to the media after talks at the Chancellery on January 27, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel has pledged an additional 500 German ISAF troops for Afghanistan as well as a program to help intice Taliban fighters who are willing to lay down their arms. Karzai is in Berlin ahead of the upcoming international conference on Afghanistan in London. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images).

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U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman (C) and John McCain (R) talk to Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L) during the 46th Munich Security Conference at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich on February 7, 2010 in Munich, Germany.

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (R) shakes hands with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan in Downing Street after a breakfast meeting on January 28, 2010 in London, England. Foreign ministers from over 70 countries attended the conference, co-hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Talks aims to tackle key issues on the future of Afghanistan and the gradual withdrawal of international troops from the country. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).

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LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 28: Delegates including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (C), Afghan President Hamid Karzai (CL) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (CR) and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Second Row, CL) pose for a photograph ahead of the Afghanistan London Conference at Lancaster House on January 28, 2010 in London, England.

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos Cuyaube before posing for a photograph ahead of the Afghanistan London Conference at Lancaster House on January 28, 2010 in London, England.

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British Foreign Secretary David Miliband waits to greet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Afghanistan London Conference at Lancaster House on January 28, 2010 in London, England.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) meets with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai at the London Conference on Afghanistan in London on January 28, 2010. UPI/Embassy Photo.


Germany Ups Troop Numbers in Afghanistan; Latest Deaths British & American

German Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a government declaration on ISAF military deployment to increase the number of German troops in Afghanistan from the current 4,500 to 5,350.

Meanwhile, at least 8 British soldiers have lost their lives in February in Afghanistan. American soldiers are also numbered here.

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Mourners react as the hearses carrying the bodies of five British soldiers killed in Afghanistan are driven along the High Street on February 18, 2010 in Wotton Bassett, England. The bodies of Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh, from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, Lance Corporal Darren Hicks from 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, Kingsman Sean Dawson of 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (2 LANCS), Rifleman Mark Marshall from 6th Battalion The Rifles and Sapper Guy Mellors from 36 Engineer Regiment were flown into RAF Lyneham from Afghanistan this morning.

Lance Corporal Hicks, 29, was killed in an explosion on February 11. Lance Sgt Greenhalgh, 25, died when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device on February 13. Rifleman Marshall, 29, was killed by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol on February 14. And on the same day, Kingsman Dawson, 19, was shot during a gunfight with insurgents but early indications suggest he was killed from suspected ‘friendly fire’. Sapper Mellors, 20, from Coventry, was killed while he was engaged in bomb clearance, on February 15.

A total of 261 British service personnel have now died since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images).

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WOOTTON BASSETT, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 12: The family of Corporal Johnathan Moore react as the hearses carrying the bodies of Private Sean McDonald, Corporal Johnathan Moore and Warrant Officer Class 2 David Markland – a bomb disposal expert – pass on the High Street on February 12 2009, in Wootton Bassett, England. Cpl Moore, 22, and Pte McDonald, 26, of The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, were killed in an explosion near Sangin on February 7. Their deaths pushed the numbers of soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001, past that of the 255 killed in the Falklands War in 1982. WO2 Markland, 36, was killed in another IED blast the following day. The repatriation came as a 15,000-strong force of coalition and Afghan troops made final preparations for a major offensive against the Taliban in Helmand Province. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images).

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American Troops Killed in Afghanistan

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A U.S. Marine carry team moves the transfer case of Marine Pfc. Jason H. Estopinal during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base on February 17, 2010 in Dover, Delaware. Estopinal who was from Dallas, Georgia was killed in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images).

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A U.S. Navy carry team prepares to move the transfer case of Navy Internet Technician 1st Class Sean Caughman during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base on February 17, 2010 in Dover, Delaware. Caughman was killed in Iraq while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


At War: Kabul – At War Blog – NYTimes.com

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Afghan soldiers take position in a public market during clashes between Taliban-linked militants and security forces on January 18, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Taliban militants launched multiple suicide attacks at key government targets.

At least five people were killed and nearly 40 others wounded in fighting between Taliban militants and security forces, the public health ministry said. The death toll did not include four militants who were also killed during the attacks, which lasted more than three hours. President Hamid Karzai had stated that security had been restored to the capital. UPI/Hossein Fatemi

At War: Notes From the Front Lines – At War Blog – NYTimes.com.

Source: New York Times writer Dexter Filkins who is embedded with troops in Kabul, Afghanistan. Filkins is the journalist who broke the story earlier this week revealing NZ SAS soldiers were fighting with Afghan soldiers against the Taliban earlier this week.

KABUL, Afghanistan — The attack on the Central Bank in downtown Kabul this week revealed many things about Afghanistan. But one of the more surprising things it brought to light was that New Zealand is at war.

Af-Pak

New Zealand? At war?

Who knew?

Not a lot of New Zealanders, apparently. The news — first reported in my story—that a team of commandos from New Zealand had joined Afghan soldiers at the scene caused a sensation in the little country off the coast of Australia.

I spotted the team of New Zealanders as they moved into Pashtunistan Square, the site of the Taliban attack, which killed five people and wounded at least 70. All seven militants died or killed themselves. The city was paralyzed for hours.

“Get out of here,” one of the New Zealanders said to me. I saw the patch on his arm announcing his country.

Others were more friendly.

“Can’t talk now, mate,” another said with a smile.


Photos: Kabul 3-Hr Shoot Out With Militants Versus NZ & Afghani Commandoes

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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: Afghan commandos take position on a building during clashes between Taliban-linked militants and security forces in Kabul on January 18, 2010. Taliban militants launched multiple suicide attacks at key government targets.Five people were killed and 38 others wounded in fighting between Taliban militants and security forces, the public health ministry said. The death toll did not include four militants who were also killed during the attacks, which lasted more than three hours. UPI/Hossein Fatemi.

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WARNING: IMAGES CONTAIN GRAPHIC CONTENT, MAY DISTURB. Read the rest of this entry »


Update: Explosions and Gunfire Shake Kabul; NZ Commandoes “only Western Soldiers” On The Scene

about 30 minutes ago with Taliban saying it is conducting a militant operation.

Update: New Zealand commandos were reportedly the only Western troops on the scene, no American troops were present. Source: New York Times Dexter Filkins

Within minutes, hundreds of Afghan commandos, soldiers and police surrounded Pashtunistan Square and attacked. Some of the Afghan fighters were part of specially formed antiterrorism squads. Monday’s gun battle was notable for the absence of American soldiers: a small group of commandos from New Zealand were the only Western soldiers on the scene.

One group of Afghan commandos said they had come straight from a training class.

“We were going through drills when we got the word,” said Bawahuddin, a young member of an antiterrorism squad, standing behind a wall as he prepared to join the fight. Bawahuddin flashed a thumbs up sign. “We’re ready — we’re ready.”

And then his unit got the word — “Go now, go now!” — and the men began to run. And Bawahuddin’s eyes flashed with fear.

“Either we are going to kill them, or they are going to kill us,” said Saifullah Sarhadi, a commando on the edge of the fight.

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — At least two explosions and gunfire shook downtown Kabul on Monday morning, with the Taliban saying it was conducting a militant operation.

The attack started as 14 members of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s Cabinet were to be sworn in, said Parliament member Fawzia Koofi.

About 20 Taliban insurgents entered the presidential palace; the ministries of finance, mines and justice; and the Serena Hotel, said spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. The militants claimed responsibility for one explosion, which was later followed by at least one another.

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Photos: German Politicians Grill Defence Over Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan

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BERLIN : German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg speaks during debates at the Bundestag over the German-ordered bombing of Taliban-hijacked gasoline transporters near Kunduz in Afghanistan on December 16, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Scores of civilians, in addition to many Taliban fighters, were killed in the bombing, and the subsequent political fallout cost both a German Defense Minister and the Chief of Staff their jobs.

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Zu Guttenberg is under growing pressure following his statements that the German-ordered bombing of Taliban-hijacked gasoline transporters near Kunduz in Afghanistan was appropriate, and a later statement that it was not, as well as allegations of a cover-up over what he knew about the incident and when. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The subsequent political fallout cost both a German Defense Minister and the Chief of Staff their jobs. Read the rest of this entry »