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« Responder #30 em: Junho 19, 2007, 01:33:10 pm »
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Anatomy of a Suicide Bombing
David Axe | June 19, 2007

Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan - On June 15 in this tiny town in Afghanistan southern Uruzgan province, a car laden with explosives raced down a narrow alley towards a Dutch M-113 armored personnel carrier trundling down a perpendicular street. Taking advantage of their healthy relationship with the town, a Dutch army civil affairs team, accompanied by a Dutch reporter, had been visiting with the town's women in a girls' school in celebration of International Women's Day. The M-113 was part of the team's escort.
The car exploded, killing the driver, blowing to pieces around 10 Afghans - including five children and two women - and injuring three Dutch soldiers in the personnel carrier. Within seconds of the blast, the other vehicles in the Dutch patrol pulled back to a safe distance, their gunners scanning for follow-on attacks, while medics raced to treat the wounded soldiers. One of the injured - 20-year-old Private 1st Class Timo Smeehuyzen - hovered near death.

The casualties were evacuated to Kamp Holland, a major Dutch base 10 miles away. A few hours later, in the neighboring town of Chura, hundreds of Taliban fighters wielding mortars, rockets and firearms launched a major assault on Afghan and Dutch checkpoints, initiating two days of fighting that left at least 30 Taliban dead.

Suicide attacks such as the one in Tarin Kowt are frightfully common in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Chechnya and other battlefields where powerful nations square off against elusive extremists. Some suicide bombers wield cars as weapons; others wear the bombs on their bodies. Some target occupying military forces; others aim to kill civilians in order to terrify them into submission or to instigate sectarian violence in the pursuit of some political goal. For all their diversity, most suicide bombings have in common complex infrastructures that bring together a suicidal killer, a bomb and a motive.

The evening after day after the Tarin Kowt bombing, a five-person Dutch "sensitive site" team convoyed to an Australian patrol base at a boys' school just two blocks from the bombing site. An Australian squad escorted the Dutch team to the bombing site so they could snap photos of the debris, the street and the surrounding area. Meanwhile, back at Kamp Holland, Dutch military investigators began speaking to witnesses and reviewing video shot by the reporter.

So began the laborious process of decoding the bombing and tracing its components - both human and machine - back to their origins, with the intention of ultimately disrupting the back-end activities that enable suicide bombings. The investigation of the Tarin Kowt bombing might take weeks to reach any official conclusions. But an informal verdict on means and motives can be assembled from bits of intelligence proffered by Dutch, Australian and Afghan soldiers and officials.

Based on their statements, it's reasonable to conclude that the Tarin Kowt bomber was a foreigner - and his bomb was a product of local materials, regional funding and foreign expertise. His motive was evidently two-fold: to weaken Dutch forces in advance of the Chura battle and to punish Tarin Kowt residents for collaborating with coalition forces. In regard to the former, the bomber at least partially succeeded, for Smeehuyzen's unit was immediately pulled from the front line for a period of rest. It remains to be seen whether the attack will turn the people of Tarin Kowt against coalition forces or actually strengthen their resolve to resist the Taliban.

Tarin Kowt's choice is between the International Security Assistance Force that builds roads and schools on one hand and, on the other, a body of relatively impoverished extremists renowned for their brutal application of fundamentalist Islamic law.

Regardless, it's choice between two invaders. For the Towin Kart bombing, like most in Afghanistan, was most likely conceived and executed by foreigners. Afghan ambassador to the U.S. Said Tayeb Jawad made that clear last month when he described Pakistan as the font of Afghanistan's trouble. He called that nation's fundamentalist religious schools, or madrasses, as "hate factories" whose products - not all of them Pakistanis - infiltrate the rugged Afghanistan-Pakistan border to challenge Afghanistan's moderate government and ISAF forces. Indeed, after the first round of fighting in Chura ended on June 16, Dutch forces reported finding dead Taliban fighters who were clearly foreigners. It wouldn't have been too hard for even Bosnian Muslims to reach Tarin Kowt. The town lies on a major Taliban supply line beginning in Pakistan and ending in opium-rich Helmand province.

Dutch army spokesman Major Erik Jonkers seconds Jawad's assessment of the source of Afghanistan's trouble, characterizing Afghan supporters of the foreign Taliban as "local recruits forced or 'persuaded' to join the Taliban." Again, the Chura fighting seems to confirm this. Dutch troops reported that Taliban fighters forced their way into Afghans' homes, ordered them to take up arms against ISAF and threatened to "slit their throats" if they refused.

Afghans, especially those in the outlying provinces such as Uruzgan, are known for being survivors. Older Afghans have lived through no fewer than three major foreign invasions since 1979: first by the Soviet Union, then by the Taliban and most recently by the United States and its allies. (Life expectancy in Afghanistan hovers at around 40, so there are few living Afghans who were adults during the country's recent period of relative peace preceding the Soviet invasion.) It seems unlikely that the Tarin Kowt bomber was an Afghan: suicide attacks are the acts of dedicated extremists, not coerced farmers. As for the bomber's sex: "he" was almost certainly a he, for in this region of the world, few women join extremist groups - or any political bodies, for that matter - and even fewer drive.

Even the most motivated bomber is powerless without his bomb. To turn its fanatics into weapons, the Taliban combine local components with know-how developed in the course of diverse conflicts over several decades by the foreign militants who pass through Pakistan's "hate factories." In the case of the Tarin Kowt bombing, it's possible that the bomb components came from the town's own bazaar. "There've been reports that the bazaar just over the road here is what they consider a black market for the Taliban where they do trading for IEDs," says Australian Lieutenant "Cliff." (Many Dutch and Australian soldiers give only their first names for security reasons.)

Lieutenant Cliff adds that, bazaar aside, Tarin Kowt "is generally considered permissive to ISAF." Tarin Kowt vendors, in a bid to make a few dollars from foreign-led Taliban bomb-makers, might have unwittingly supplied components used to kill their own neighbors and their coalition friends. As for the vehicle used in the attack: slightly used cars sell for around $4,000 in the capital of Kabul; in the provinces, older models sell for perhaps a few hundred dollars. All told, a suicide bomber's weapon might cost only a few hundred dollars. But those dollars have to come from somewhere. In Afghanistan, a seemingly innocent flower is the major source of revenue for terrorist activities.

Afghan poppies reportedly account for 90 percent of the world's opium production. Opium is the basis for heroin. Helmand and Uruzgan provinces are both major opium centers and last year produced bumper crops. Smugglers sneak the unrefined drug to the West via Iran and Turkey; much of the revenue winds up in the coffers of Taliban leaders. But according to Jawad, the average Afghan poppy farmer doesn't consider himself a Taliban supporter: he's just growing the most viable crop for the country's brutal climate and unreliable transportation network. Tragically, Tarin Kowt farmers - much like the bazaar vendors - might have inadvertently facilitated attacks against their own community.

Afghans aren't the only ones who suffer from the unintended consequences of their selling and farming. Private Smeehuyzen, the Dutch soldier critically injured in the Tarin Kowt bombing, died en route to Kamp Holland. Two days later, an honor guard carried the fallen soldier's coffin past hundreds of his friends, both Dutch and Australian, all standing at attention on the road to the base heliport. Meanwhile, behind closed doors elsewhere on the camp, investigators labored unseen to dig up the attack's roots, in a bid to prevent more such sorrowful ceremonies.
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« Responder #31 em: Junho 20, 2007, 10:07:26 pm »
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Backgrounder: Is Iran Abetting the Taliban? Sign
Published: June 11, 2007

Introduction

Affairs U.S. officials say they have found evidence that Iran has supplied weapons to Taliban rebels operating along the Afghan-Pakistani border. This has prompted questions about why majority Shiite Iran would support a Sunni-led force it has opposed for more than a decade. But some experts say there are a number of reasons why a strengthened Taliban would serve Iran’s interests, particularly in keeping U.S. forces off balance, as well as potentially deflecting pressure over its nuclear program. Historical tensions complicate relations between Iran and Afghanistan, but their commercial and cultural ties have developed since the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban. Reports of aid to the Taliban suggest that different elements within Iran’s government may be pursuing dual-track policies in Afghanistan.

What is Iran's alleged military involvement in Afghanistan?
Defense Secretary Robert Gates alleged on June 5 that Iranian-made weapons, including Tehran’s signature roadside bomb—the explosively formed penetrator (EFP)—as well as AK-47s, C-4 plastic explosives, and mortars have been found in Afghanistan and used by Taliban-led insurgents in recent months. Gates said deliveries of Iranian weapons to Taliban forces were made but he did not accuse the highest levels of the Iranian government of signing off on the shipments. U.S. officials are concerned because Taliban forces increasingly use more sophisticated weaponry and mimic the style of suicide attacks popular among insurgents in Iraq. Iran also stands accused of offering sanctuary to opponents of the Afghan government and violating Afghan airspace. Iranian officials deny the charges.

But experts disagree whether the Iranian government is directly involved. Some say the weapons could have been smuggled into Afghanistan via various third-party channels. Others suggest they are being supplied by hard-line components within the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which has a separate agenda from the Iranian foreign ministry, which in turn has a separate agenda from Iran’s business community. “We’re talking about rogue elements,” says Col. Christopher Langton, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “maybe even cross-border organizational criminal groupings.” He adds that arms factories in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province make copies of those weapons made in Iran.

Why would Tehran help the Taliban?
Experts say a strengthened Taliban would benefit Tehran in a number of ways. Peter Tomsen, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, says a weakened Afghan state lessens the likelihood it can become a U.S. ally against Iran. By maintaining a certain level of instability, he says, “it keeps us tied down. After all, we have airbases in Afghanistan where we could mount attacks on Iran.” Some analysts call it “managed chaos,” a strategy they say is similar to the one Iran employs in Iraq. Abetting the Taliban also boosts Iran’s leverage at a time when it is under pressure to end its uranium-enrichment program. “It’s saying, ‘If you push us on the nuclear issue, we can make life hell for you not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan,’” says Amin Tarzi, an Afghan expert at Radio Free Liberty/Radio Liberty.

In Iraq, Iran has clearly thrown its support behind majority Shiites against Sunni forces but it has backed Sunni groups elsewhere. W. Abbas Samii, a research analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses, says Tehran has supplied funding and weaponry to Palestinian Sunni groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. “For Iran, this is a strategic and military issue, not a theological debate,” says Samii. Ray Takeyh, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in his book, Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic: “[F]or Tehran the issue in Afghanistan has not been ideological conformity but stability.” Iran has long supported Sunni Tajik and Pashtun opposition groups there. “If you look at the roulette table, Iran is putting money on a many different numbers in Afghanistan,” says Tarzi.

Does Iran favor a return of Taliban rule?
No. The mullahs in Iran and the Taliban leadership have never gotten along. “I’m quite sure Iran does not want a return of Taliban-style rule on its border, which would bring, in addition to Pakistan, another adversarial state,” says Col. Langton. Iran remains suspicious of the Taliban’s ties to Pakistan and, in response, has cultivated stronger ties to India, which includes building a road linking the two states and inking a number of energy deals with Indian firms. Yet Iran also has exploited the current rift between Kabul and Islamabad by enhancing trade links with Afghanistan. “This reality limits Washington’s option to pressure Tehran since if Iran blocks the border, the Afghan economy could collapse,” writes Mohammed Tahir in the Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor.

What are Iran's ultimate interests in Afghanistan?
U.S., NATO, and UN officials have all noted Tehran’s support of the current government in Kabul. A number of experts stress that Iran wants stability and prosperity on its eastern doorstep for commercial and trade reasons. That explains why Iran has been such a large donor—giving about $600 million since 2001, according to its foreign ministry—for various reconstruction projects. Iran also wants its population of about 900,000 Afghan refugees, who have aggravated tensions among Iranians by competing for scarce jobs, to one day return to their homeland. Over 850,000 have been repatriated since 2002 but the pace of return has slowed in recent years. Finally, Tehran has sought to curb the flow of opium across the Afghan border, which has generated a drug abuse crisis in Iran; an estimated two million Iranians are drug addicts. “It’s a sensible decision on the part of Tehran if Afghanistan is rebuilt and becomes a normal autonomous state so that all the refugees can go home and the flow of narcotics ends,” says Samii.

How have recent Iranian-Afghan relations evolved?
Iran has close linguistic and cultural ties to Afghanistan, particularly with Dari-speaking Shiite groups in Herat province and central Afghanistan. Tehran opened its borders to hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees during the war against the Soviet Union in the 1980s and later in the 1990s worked with various mujahideen groups, including the Northern Alliance, to undermine Soviet influence and later Taliban rule. After the Taliban took power in 1996, Iran’s Supreme Leader denounced the Taliban as an affront to Islam, and the killing of eleven Iranian diplomats and truck drivers in 1998 by what Langton calls “rogue” Taliban elements almost triggered a military conflict. Iran worked with Western countries as part of the Six-Plus-Two framework on Afghanistan and also at the Bonn Conference after 9/11 to cobble together a post-Taliban system of government. Tehran normalized relations with the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai, even while hard-line elements within the Iranian leadership have sought to destabilize Afghanistan, says the Center for Naval Analyses’ Samii.

But Iran’s influence has also bred resentment among some local Afghans. Takeyh writes: “The fiercely independent Afghan tribes have historically resisted Persian encroachment and have jealously guarded their rights.”
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« Responder #32 em: Julho 04, 2007, 06:37:04 pm »
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Six Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter were killed Wednesday in a roadside bomb attack in southern Afghanistan, military officials said. They were killed when their armoured vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the volatile Panjwaii district southwest of Kandahar, Brig.-Gen. Tim Grant told a news conference.

"We are greatly saddened by the loss of these great, young Canadians," said Grant, the commander of Canada's troops in Afghanistan. The soldiers were returning to their forward operating base after conducting a joint operation with the Afghan National Army, said Grant. They were travelling in a convoy when their armoured NG-31 Nyala vehicle struck the bomb at about 11 a.m. local time.

The soldiers have not been identified because the military is still working to notify next of kin, said Grant.
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« Responder #33 em: Julho 15, 2007, 08:27:03 pm »
Como é sobre Talibahn

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The Father of the Taliban: An Interview with Maulana Sami ul-Haq

By Imtiaz Ali

 
Maulana Sami ul-Haq
Maulana Sami ul-Haq is the director and chancellor of Pakistan's famous madrassa, Darul uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak. He has served in this post since the death of his father, Maulana Abdul ul-Haq, the founder of the madrassa, in 1988. Darul uloom Haqqania is where many of the top Taliban leaders, including its fugitive chief, Mullah Omar, attended. It is widely believed that the madrassa was the launching pad for the Taliban movement in the early 1990s, which is why Sami ul-Haq is also called the "Father of the Taliban." Besides running his madrassa, Maulana Sami has a long political history as a religious politician. He was among the founders of Pakistan's Muttahida Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) coalition of six Islamic religious parties. He recently spoke with Jamestown analyst Imtiaz Ali.

Imtiaz Ali: During the Russian invasion, the students from your madrassa were traveling to Afghanistan to fight, after which most of them were eventually inducted as governors and administrators in the Taliban government. Is the same thing continuing today? Are you still sending people to Afghanistan for jihad?

Maulana Sami ul-Haq: No, there were not only Taliban who took part in jihad. This is an incorrect assumption, which needs correction. After the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, people from all walks of life went to Afghanistan for jihad. Students from colleges and universities went more than madrassa students.

IA: But it is an undeniable fact that students who graduated from your madrassa played a significant role in the establishment of the Taliban regime.

SH: Well, the Taliban were busy in their studies when the factional wars in Afghanistan reached their climax. Naturally, when the leaders could not make it, the students had to come to the rescue of the war-torn country. Thus, the Taliban rushed back to rescue their country from the factional fighting. Similarly, when America attacked Afghanistan in late 2001, the same event happened—it is understandable that when infidels attack a Muslim country, then it is the duty of every Muslim to defend it. Maulana Sufi Muhammad of Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat- e-Mohammadi (TNSM) also took thousands of people for jihad, which was a commendable action. The U.S. attack on Afghanistan was a clear act of aggression and terrorism. But when someone rises up against U.S. aggression, then he is called a terrorist. It is a strange and illogical philosophy.

IA: There were reports that the Taliban leadership had called for fresh reinforcements in connection with its spring offensive in Afghanistan. Is this true?

SH: These are just baseless reports. Had they called upon the madrassa students, they would have called us for the reinforcements or at least we would know. The Taliban are not that organized. They are living in caves. They lack proper communication and logistics systems, and that is why they do not want new recruits. The Afghans themselves have risen up and they are fighting against American and NATO forces.

IA: If they would ask you for help, what would be your reaction?

SH: They would never ask us. We ourselves have not sent students before nor will we send them now. It is not our madrassa policy to do so.

IA: What would you call the situation in Afghanistan? Is that jihad?

SH: When the red forces of the Soviet Union entered Afghanistan, it was a war of independence and we all agreed that it was jihad. Even the United States had said that the Russians must be ousted from Afghanistan. When Russia left, the United States committed the same aggression. So, the situation is the same. One infidel force replaced another. No difference at all. Whether it is Russia or America, it is a jihad.

IA: Some analysts call it a Pashtun uprising. What do you think?

SH: It is neither a Pashtun uprising or a Persian one, or a Sunni uprising or a Shiite. In fact, the Afghan nation has risen up against the invaders—the United States and its allies. It is a war of independence. After the fall of the Taliban regime, the Afghan people remained quiescent for two years to see if any positive change would come into their lives. But they did not see anything that was promised to them at the time of the collapsing Taliban regime and that is why they started this revolt against the occupied forces. It is now a war of independence for all Afghans. They want to get rid of the U.S.-led occupation forces. Terming it only a Pashtun uprising is a completely incorrect assumption.

IA: Do you not consider the Karzai-led government in Afghanistan a Muslim government?

SH: We have nothing to do with the Islam of Karzai. It is not our business to issue a decree about him being Muslim or non-Muslim. We just want an end to the suffering of the Afghan people. We ask the current Afghan rulers to start negotiations with the Taliban and other jihadi forces to pave the way for a durable peace in the war-torn country.

IA: It does not matter to you, then, if there is a Karzai-led government or the Taliban, just as long as it is an Afghan government?

SH: We say that there should be no foreign interference in Afghanistan, and the Afghans themselves should come up with a solution. All the factions—the leaders, the Taliban, the jihadi forces—should come forward and work together for peace. They should decide their fate in the absence of foreign interference. But I firmly believe that there is no chance for peace and stability in Afghanistan until the presence of foreign troops is removed.

IA: What are your thoughts on the flow of fighters between Afghanistan and Pakistan over the Durand Line?

SH: Like I said earlier, it is an Afghan uprising against foreign invaders and it has nothing to do with cross-border terrorism and the flow of fighters from Pakistan.

IA: Why, then, has the government decided to fence and plant mines on the Pakistani side of the border? Do you approve of that?

SH: I oppose this plan because the Pashtun nation on both sides of the border shares cultural, racial and religious values. Their lives are intertwined. They are all Muslims. They are one nation. Fencing the border will not solve the problem. The main reason behind the tension on the Pakistan-Afghan border is the presence of U.S.-led foreign troops in Afghanistan. The day they leave Afghanistan, there will be no tension at all.

IA: With the ban on foreign students' admission in the religious seminaries in 2003 by the government, has enrollment of the students changed in your madrassa?

SH: That ban is a total violation of our fundamental rights. People from here go to the United States and the United Kingdom for studies. Similarly, students from other countries come to Pakistan for education. That was a kind of service we were providing to the Muslim students from other countries. But this ban is an unconstitutional, inhumane and unlawful act. The government has taken this step only to appease the United States and its other Western masters. It is a shame for us because India is a secular country, but has been issuing visas to students from all Muslim countries who want to come to India for education.

IA: But there have been accusations that terrorists are being trained here in the madrassas.

SH: This is nothing more than an example of the perpetual propaganda against the madrassa system. This is what we have been hearing, but so far no one has produced any solid evidence.

IA: The mystery has always been shrouded by the lack of an audit of the money being received by madrassas, correct?

SH: We are not bound by the government to audit our funding system because they do not give us any money. First, let them give us funds for running our madrassas and then we will let them have their audit. Why are they taking pains when they are not giving us a penny? Only those who give us financial support have the right to audit our funds. We have our system of donations and we do not accept any donations from the government. I also want to make it clear that we keep a record of all our donations and funding. The funding is being registered and we prepare annual reports and then those reports are printed along with the names of the donors.

IA: Who gives you the donations for running this big madrassa?

SH: Common Muslims. And the majority of the funding comes from the poorer classes of society. They know that madrassas are the forts of Islam and the students in madrassas are the real guardians of Islam. God's religion is flourishing in the madrassas. These people cut their meager domestic budget and give us donations. This is how they express their love of Allah almighty and save the integrity of these madrassas.

IA: Is Musharraf validated in meddling with religious issues considering he is supposed to be the leader of a secular government?

SH: He has been doing all this just to appease the United States and his other Western masters.

IA: To what extent could a nuclear Iran pose a potential threat to the strength of Pakistan?

SH: Iran is not a threat to Pakistan at all. Iran is giving the United States a tough time in the region and seems quite determined to acquire nuclear power status. Muslims all over the world are happy about this move because there should be someone who has the courage to demonstrate the religious strength to look into the eyes of the United States. We support Iran. Besides, we would not allow the Pakistani leadership to toe the U.S. line in dealing with Iran, as they have done in the case of Afghanistan.

IA: There has been speculation that Iran has ambitions for a "Shiite Crescent" in the Middle East. What is your opinion of this?

SH: This is U.S. propaganda aimed at dividing the strength of Muslims. The Shiite-Sunni issue has been created by the United States just to hide its failure in Iraq and to achieve its goals in the Middle East. Besides, the United States is also creating poisonous propaganda against Iran for intervening in Iraq's affairs just to malign its position in the world community. It is baseless. I was in Iran two months ago where I held meetings with the top Iranian leadership. I urged them to counter U.S. propaganda and try to satisfy Kurds, Arabs and Sunnis. I clearly told them that if you [Iran] need the support of the whole Muslim ummah, then you have to garner support against the United States, not only from Shiites but also from Sunnis.

IA: What do you think of Lashkar-e-Jangvi, TNSM and other jihadi outfits in Pakistan?

SH: Lashkar-e-Jangvi and similar organizations are the continuity of the Kashmir problem. These jihadi forces were patronized by the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI, with full state support for their activities in Kashmir. But when Pakistan came under immense pressure, then this whole drama was wrapped up and that is why a ban was put on these jihadi organizations. It is all a dictated policy from the West.

IA: What do you think about the latest spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan?

SH: This is not a surprise. This new suicide phenomenon in Pakistan is the direct outcome of the government's policies, particularly the unjust military operations in the tribal belt along the Afghan border. Today, Pakistani forces are at the highest level of danger and risk due to the flawed policies of General Musharraf in the name of fighting the so-called war on terror. This is what I had forewarned about in the past, that if the government did not stop these unjust military operations, then attacks on military posts and violence would not be confined to the tribal areas, but will spread to the rest of the country. Today, you see that this is happening.

IA: Do you think that suicide attacks are fair?

SH: The bombers would not ask us to confirm whether it is fair or unfair. It is better you ask this question to the suicide bombers, whose family members have been killed and houses have been bombed. They themselves decided what they had to do. They would not ask any mullah. But they do think that they will go straight to paradise.

IA: Who do you think these bombers are?

SH: They are young and emotional Muslims. When they see that their leaders have surrendered to the United States and its allies, then they do not see any other way out except for the option of suicide bombing. Among them are students of modern universities who see how the Western powers are destroying Muslims around the world. Suicide bombing is an international phenomenon now. These young people do not receive any suicide training or motivation in a madrassa or a mosque. They watch it on their TVs—the dead bodies of Muslim brothers. They see that Muslims are being killed in various part of the world. When they see these atrocities, they go their own way. If the international community wants to put an end to this kind of activity, it is high time for them to ponder solutions to issues like Palestine, Iraq and Kashmir.

IA: Besides your madrassa role, how do you see your role as a politician in the political field?

SH: My role is very clear as a madrassa teacher as it is as a politician. I want a true Islamic system in Pakistan. That is my simple goal. The current Pakistani system of governance was introduced by the British Raj, which means we are still enslaved by that colonial legacy. Our economy, education and judicial system stem from the same exploitative British rule. I want to introduce real Sharia, which was implemented by the four caliphs of Islam.

IA: Will you support Musharraf in the upcoming presidential elections?

SH: We have not yet decided about the upcoming elections. But I think they will be a fraud and a futile exercise in the name of democracy. Elections are part of democracy, but here they have become a fraud. In my 37-year career as a politician, I have seen a particular group of politicians from a particular group of families ruling this country. They have made their own dynasties. Since the creation of Pakistan, they have just been replacing one another, with no big change in policies. I am in favor of a bloodless revolution, which would completely overhaul the existing system. I just wonder, how can a democracy flourish in the shadow of a military uniform? The present one is a shame of a democracy.

IA: Do you think that with his support for the war on terror, Musharraf's popularity has increased or decreased at home?

SH: Absolutely decreased. First, look at the declining popularity of President Bush in his own country. So, how can Musharraf be popular for his role in the so-called war on terror? The reports about his increasing popularity are just rubbish.

IA: Will Musharraf be able to maintain control over Pakistan?

SH: Well, people are not happy with what he is doing here in Pakistan. The overwhelming majority of the masses are opposing his policies, particularly the much talked about "enlightened moderation." After bringing changes to the Hudood laws, now his government might soon amend the blasphemy laws. But he does not understand that the Pakistani people will sacrifice their lives on the issue of blasphemy. All these actions demonstrate his unpopularity among the masses.

IA: Is an Islamic revolution a possibility in Pakistan's future?

SH: Anything is possible. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that the motive behind the creation of Pakistan was the establishment of an Islamic state for the Muslims of India. Establishment of Sharia is the logical conclusion of Pakistan's creation.

IA: How do see yourself and your role in the next 10 years, and how can you contribute to the peaceful revolution you mentioned earlier?

SH: I'll see how events unfold in the future. However, I'm optimistic that after 10 years, the whole Muslim ummah will have awakened from its deep slumber; Pakistan is no exception. I think that the vast majority of Pakistanis will not tolerate what is going on here as silent spectators. Here is also a lesson for the United States: to learn from what happened to the former superpower the USSR. It should address the problems of the world in a positive way and address the sense of deprivation being created in the people of this region and especially in the Muslim ummah. Things have drastically changed. With the way they [the United States and its Western allies] inflict cruelties and damages on the Muslim ummah, there will be a strong response. Now, the Muslims have awakened. It is time for the United States to act responsibly. Otherwise, there will be tit-for-tat attacks.

IA: Do you think that the suicide bombing phenomenon is a kind of awakening?

SH: Look, if you kick a sleeping man, he will not only wake but will also resist. So, yes, suicide bombing is an awakening. Tell me, where did the concept of suicide bombing in Pakistan come? We had not heard about any suicide bombings in the more than two decades of the Afghan conflict. But this is a new and unbeatable discovery which some Muslim youth have found as an answer to the cruelties and damages being inflicted on the Muslim ummah.

IA: Can Western governments have a healthy relationship with Pakistan through foreign aid or development work?

SH: The first step is sovereignty and respect, and only then can foreign aid work. Until the United States and the West respect the sovereignty of Muslim countries and stop their aggression and atrocities, nothing will work.
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« Responder #34 em: Agosto 14, 2007, 07:05:06 pm »
Ahmadinejad refuta acusações de que o Irão estaria a armar talibãs

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O presidente do Irão, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, negou todas as acusações feitas pelos EUA de que estariam a armar talibãs no vizinho Afeganistão e acusou o Ocidente de «financiar o terrorismo».

Autoridades norte-americanas afirmaram que as armas iranianas têm entrado em território afegão com tal frequência que será impossível acreditar no não-envolvimento do país com o envio do material.

De acordo com os EUA, o Irão está a enviar bombas de grande potência para o Iraque e para o Afeganistão. Pelo seu lado, o presidente iraniano Mahmoud Ahmadinejad negou todas as acusações.

Numa conferência de imprensa em Cabul, Ahmadinejad afirmou que não há qualquer tipo de verdade nessas acusações». O presidente visitou o Afeganistão em missão diplomática uma semana depois de Hamid Karzai - o presidente afegão - ter regressado da sua visita aos Estados Unidos.

Bush disse então a Karzai que o Irão «era uma força do bem».

Agora, os EUA acusam o Irão de armar militantes por todo o Médio Oriente, numa alegada tentativa de destabilizar o Iraque e o Afeganistão e ainda de acumular um arsenal nuclear.

O governo pró-ocidental de Karzai evita criticar o Irão, país com quem divide uma longa fronteira e com quem mantém fortes relações comerciais.

Para combater as acusações, Ahmadinejad culpou o Ocidente pelo terrorismo. «Os Governos do Afeganistão e do Irão são vítimas do terrorismo. O terrorismo é patrocinado pelas superpotências», afirmou.

Karzai considera que o seu país pode servir de intermediário numa eventual aproximação entre os EUA e o Irão, que se encontram de relações cortadas desde a Revolução Islâmica, que depôs o xá pró-Ocidente e deu o poder ao Ayatollah Khomeini, fundando o primeiro estado Islâmico do mundo moderno.

«O Afeganistão possui profundos laços com o Irão. Oartilhamos a religião e a mesma língua. Também somos parceiros estratégicos dos EUA», afirmou o presidente afegão.

O Irão deu abriga a cerca de 1 milhão de refugiados afegãos e de trabalhadores migrantes, mas deixou os líderes do Afeganistão insatisfeito ao deportar 160 mil desde Abril, sem lhes permitir levar pertences pessoais e economias.

Reuters/SOL

 

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« Responder #35 em: Agosto 14, 2007, 07:22:08 pm »
Ameaça talibã paira de novo sobre Cabul

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A agressividade militar crescente talibã, o multiplicar dos ataques e atentados bombistas e a vizinhança instável e potencialmente explosiva do Paquistão mergulham de novo o Afeganistão num clima de insegurança.

Além disso, colocam em cheque o regime de Hamid Karzai e a própria presença militar da NATO e dos EUA.

É assim uma situação militar cada vez mais volátil e um ambiente político de incerteza que prepara a renovação da presença militar portuguesa no Afeganistão.

Os primeiros elementos da 22ª companhia de infantaria pára-quedista partiram segunda-feira para Cabul para preparar a rendição, no final do mês, da companhia de comandos, que cumpriu missão em terras afegãs nos últimos seis meses. Seis anos depois do derrube do regime talibã e da ocupação do país pelas forças norte-americanas, os estudantes de teologia e a Al Qaeda conseguiram reagrupar-se e lançam-se de novo ao assalto do Afeganistão a partir dos seus santuários nas recônditas zonas tribais ao longo da fronteira com o Paquistão.

Apanhadas de surpresa pela grande ofensiva talibã da Primavera do ano passado, as forças da NATO, em coordenação com tropas afegãs assistidas por conselheiros militares ocidentais, lançaram nos últimos meses uma vasta campanha no Sul do país, logrando conter os avanços da guerrilha e recuperar o controlo de povoações e áreas que os talibãs tinham de novo ocupado, em particular na área de Helmand.

Esse esforço não terá, ainda assim, conseguido travar a ofensiva dos talibãs, e a intensificação dos combates a que se assistiu nas últimas semanas e o multiplicar de atentados bombistas e raptos de estrangeiros parecem mostrar que os talibãs recuperaram a iniciativa.

O clima de insegurança alastra continuamente no país, atingindo províncias até agora poupadas, e a própria capital, Cabul, vive sob a permanente ameaça de atentados bombistas.

A ameaça dos talibãs e aparentemente da própria Al Qaeda torna-se ainda tanto mais difícil de combater quanto, sobretudo a partir do ano passado, se assiste à importação de tácticas utilizadas pela insurreição no Iraque, como os atentados suicidas, que se multiplicam a um ritmo imparável - 47 no ano passado e 66 só nos primeiros seis meses deste ano.

Os relativos sucessos militares conseguidos no Sul têm, por outro lado, um preço político elevado, fazendo disparar o número de mortos entre a população - perto de três centenas só este ano, segundo os dados das agências humanitárias presentes no terreno -, mortes causadas em particular pelos raides aéreos contra os talibãs.

A situação está a comprometer o próprio alcance dos avanços militares e a provocar o alarme e mesmo um crescente mal-estar entre as forças da Aliança e no próprio regime de Cabul.

Os sinais de hostilidade face à presença militar estrangeira multiplicam-se entre a população, arriscando-se a oferecer terreno fértil à penetração da guerrilha talibã.

À degradação da situação de segurança junta-se, por outro lado, uma crescente crise de credibilidade do regime de Hamid Karzai, minado pela corrupção e pela incapacidade de garantir a segurança no território.

Ao mesmo tempo, e apesar de alguns progressos nas condições de vida dos afegãos, o próprio esforço internacional de reconstrução do país parece atolado num impasse.

Os alarmes disparam no seio da coligação ocidental e Washington tem multiplicado iniciativas para remediar a situação. No início da semana passada, George Bush recebeu o presidente afegão em Camp David para lhe manifestar o apoio renovado dos Estados Unidos.

Foi ainda de Washington que partiu, no final do ano passado, a iniciativa da convocação da jirga (conselho tribal) que reuniu nos últimos três dias da passada semana, em Cabul, líderes políticos e religiosos tribais do Afeganistão e do Paquistão - um encontro que se propunha reforçar a unidade e coordenar estratégias no combate à guerrilha talibã, ao terrorismo e ao tráfico de ópio.

A ausência de representantes do Waziristão, zona tribal fronteiriça que, do lado paquistanês, constitui o principal santuário da guerrilha ou de quaisquer forças próximas dos talibã, terá comprometido a iniciativa, e só a presença do presidente paquistanês, Pervez Musharraf, no último dia do encontro, no domingo, terá salvo a jirga de um fracasso total.

O presidente paquistanês cancelara à última hora, na quinta-feira, a sua participação no encontro, invocando compromissos de ordem interna, mas deslocou-se no último dia da jirga a Cabul para se juntar a Hamid Karzai numa promessa de unidade num apelo conjunto à intensificação da luta contra o terrorismo e contra a produção de ópio - o cultivo da papoila representa 60 por cento da economia afegã e constitui um elemento crucial na sustentação da guerrilha.

Acusado por Karzai de não fazer o bastante para combater os santuários talibãs nas zonas tribais fronteiriças, o general paquistanês reconheceu enfim a necessidade de multiplicar esforços para controlar essas áreas críticas.

A hipótese de uma ofensiva em larga escala do exército paquistanês ou mesmo de forças norte-americanas contra os santuários talibãs no Waziristão tem sido insistentemente invocada, mas a mobilidade da guerrilha, que consegue mudar rapidamente a localização das suas bases e campos de treino, auguram enormes problemas a qualquer iniciativa militar no terreno.

E, apesar dos compromissos assumidos pelo general Musharraf em Cabul, a grave crise vivida no país faz do vizinho Paquistão um enorme factor de risco nesta situação. Abertamente contestado pela oposição secular, Musharraf vê-se a braços com uma autêntica insurreição desde o sangrento assalto do Exército paquistanês à Mesquita Vermelha de Islamabad ocupada por radicais pró-talibã, em meados do mês passado.

O Irão marca também presença crescente na conjuntura afegã, gerando algumas notas dissonantes entre a Casa Branca e o regime de Cabul. No encontro de Camp David, Karzai evocou a cooperação de Teerão no combate ao tráfico fronteiriço de droga, enquanto George Bush repetia acusações de que vêm do Irão apoios à guerrilha talibã.

Diário Digital / Lusa

 

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« Responder #36 em: Agosto 15, 2007, 02:18:15 pm »
Três soldados alemães da NATO mortos em atentado

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Pelo menos três soldados alemães morreram hoje e uma outra pessoa ficou ferida na sequência da explosão de uma bomba artesanal à passagem de uma coluna militar na capital afegã, informou fonte da polícia.

O atentado ocorreu no bairro de Bagrami, na zona leste de Cabul, e atingiu um «veículo militar estrangeiro», informou o chefe do departamento de investigação da polícia local, Alishan Paktiawal.

Apesar de Paktiawal não o ter referido, um outro funcionário da polícia de Cabul, que pediu anonimato, garantiu que os mortos foram três soldados alemães da Força Internacional de Assistência à Segurança no Afeganistão (ISAF).

O contingente alemão já tinha sido alvo de um importante ataque no passado dia 19 de Maio, no qual morreram três soldados em consequência de um atentado suicida registado no mercado público de Chaiferoshi, na província de Kunduz (norte do país).

No Afeganistão estão estacionados cerca de 3.000 soldados alemães às ordens da ISAF, que actua no país sob mandato da NATO.

Este ano já morreram no país mais de 3.200 pessoas, sobretudo desde a chegada da Primavera.

Diário Digital / Lusa

 

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« Responder #37 em: Agosto 16, 2007, 04:40:10 pm »
Forças militares afegãs e dos EUA bombardeiam posições da Al Qaeda em Tora Bora

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Aviões e forças de infantaria dos EUA e do Afeganistão bombardearam posições de militantes da Al Qaeda nas montanhas de Tora Bora, pelo segundo dia consecutivo na quinta-feira.

Osama bin Laden teria fugido para a região, que fica perto da fronteira com o Paquistão, pouco depois da invasão de 2001.

As encostas íngremes das montanhas têm um grande número de cavernas e túneis construídos por combatentes afegãos e árabes durante a luta nos anos 1980 contra a ocupação soviética.

«Trata-se de uma operação conjunta realizada pelas forças afegãs e norte-americanas, pelo ar e por terra», afirmou  Vanessa Bowman, porta-voz das forças de coligação lideradas pelos EUA no Afeganistão.

«As forças afegãs e norte-americanas entraram em conflito com a Al Qaeda e com outros grupos de combatentes extremistas na região de Tora Bora, leste do Afeganistão», disse, acrescentando que a operação tinha começado na quarta-feira.

O Paquistão estacionou um «número limitado» de soldados regulares na região tribal de Kurram, do seu lado da cadeia de montanhas de Tora Bora, afirmou uma autoridade paquistanesa da área de segurança.

«Tomámos as medidas necessárias para evitar quaisquer infiltrações de militantes vindos do outro lado. Até agora, não houve qualquer tentativa de infiltração».

Meios de comunicação locais disseram que, segundo autoridades do governo, cerca de 50 militantes islâmicos tinham sido mortos no conflito.

Moradores da área contaram que dezenas de famílias fugiram de suas casas e que três vilarejos tinham sido bombardeados pelas forças norte-americanas e afegãs. Infomaram que 30 civis tinham morrido.

As Forças Armadas dos EUA disseram que não tinham informações confiáveis sobre civis mortos.

«Não estamos a atacar nenhum vilarejo e a operação decorre longe das áreas povoadas», afirmou um porta-voz dos militares norte-americanos.

Organizações de ajuda humanitária suspenderam seus projectos na região de Tora Bora, disse uma autoridade ocidental na cidade de Jalalabad (a cerca de 50 quilómetros ao norte das montanhas).

As forças da Al Qaeda e do talibãs, usam o terreno montanhoso e acidentado da fronteira entre o Afeganistão e o Paquistão para planear e lançar ataques nos dois países.

Lusa/SOL

 

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« Responder #38 em: Agosto 17, 2007, 12:34:13 pm »
Bombista suicida mata governador de Kandahar

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Um bombista suicida fez explodir esta sexta-feira a bomba que transportava junto da residência do governador da província de Kandahar, no sul do Afeganistão, matando o responsável e os seus três filhos, segundo a polícia.

«O bombista suicida accionou a carga explosiva que transportava no momento em que o governador e os três filhos saíam de casa», na cidade de Kandahar, capital da província com o mesmo nome.

«Os três tiveram morte imediata«, adiantou Abdul Ghafar, um oficial da polícia presente no local.

Os governadores são nomeados pelo Presidente afegão, Hamid Karzai.

Diário Digital / Lusa

 

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« Responder #39 em: Agosto 28, 2007, 07:58:36 pm »
Filmagem recente Junho/Julho de combates no sul do Afeganistão por forças britânicas.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bdb_1188267378
 

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« Responder #40 em: Setembro 04, 2007, 11:32:01 pm »
Capacidade de defesa do Canadá comprometida devido à missão afegã - relatório

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A guerra no Afeganistão absorve de tal forma os recursos do exército canadiano e atenção dos seus chefes que compromete a capacidade do Canadá para defender-se, revela um relatório oficial citado hoje pelo diário Ottawa Citizen.
 
O relatório de 62 páginas destinado ao chefe de estado-maior canadiano, o general Rick Hillier, avalia os progressos alcançados no processo de reforma das Forças Armadas.

Este processo foi lançado há um ano e meio, numa altura em que o conflito no Afeganistão se intensificou, dominando a política externa e de defesa canadiana, nota o diário.

Em consequência, o Comando Canadá, responsável pela segurança do território canadiano e que tem de responder a crises como catástrofes naturais, não beneficiou "da atenção e da prioridade" que devia receber "devido à importância considerável e compreensível das operações no Afeganistão", indica o relatório.

O Canadá enviou cerca de 2.500 militares para o sul do Afeganistão, onde está envolvido na luta contra os talibãs.

Setenta soldados canadianos perderam a vida no Afeganistão desde 2002, 26 dos quais desde o início de 2007.

De acordo com o relatório, o comando da força expedicionária, encarregue das operações internacionais, nomeadamente a missão no Afeganistão, está no limite das suas capacidades e alguns dos seus oficiais sofrem de uma síndroma de esgotamento profissional.

As exigências do Afeganistão impedem também o comando da força expedicionária de se consagrar a outros aspectos da sua missão, como a preparação de planos de emergência.

No terreno do conflito, os talibãs prometeram hoje perpetuar as tomadas de reféns estrangeiros, assegurando que o rapto dos evangelistas sul-coreanos provara a eficácia desta táctica contra o governo afegão.

E Cabul reconheceu que a ameaça era real, recomendando a todos os estrangeiros para se registarem junto das autoridades e comunicarem todas as deslocações à polícia.

Lusa

 

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« Responder #41 em: Setembro 10, 2007, 09:47:18 pm »
Pelo menos 27 mortos num atentado suicida no sul do país

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Pelo menos 27 pessoas morreram e outras 57 ficaram feridas, na maioria civis, num atentado suicida perpetrado hoje de mota e que visava um alto responsável da polícia da província de Helmand, no sul do Afeganistão.

Vinte e sete corpos foram transferidos para um hospital local, nomeadamente os de 13 policias, e 57 pessoas ficaram feridas, anunciou Abdul Manaf, o governador do distrito de Gereshk, onde ocorreu o atentado, a cerca de 600 quilómetros a sudoeste de Cabul e a uma centena de quilómetros a ocidente de Kandahar, a principal cidade do sul.

Este balanço foi confirmado à noite pelo Ministério da Defesa, mas poderá ser ainda mais elevado porque a população levou corpos para dentro das casas, segundo o governador e testemunhas.

«O atentado ocorreu no centro da povoação cerca das seis horas da tarde (14:30 em Lisboa) numa estação de autocarros onde as pessoas esperavam transporte para seguir para casa», indicou o porta-voz do Ministério do Interior, Zemerai Bashary.

«Foi em pleno centro do mercado», disse.

O governador do distrito deu mais pormenores sobre as circunstâncias do ataque. «Um bombista suicida dirigiu o seu veículo contra uma coluna de quatro viaturas da polícia numa pequena ponte que leva ao bazar de Gereshk e perto de um posto de polícia», descreveu. «A zona estava cheia de gente».

Segundo o general Zahir Azimi, o porta-voz do Ministério da Defesa, o atentado era dirigido contra um comandante auxiliar da polícia provincial, Haji Abduul Qodus, mas este sobreviveu».

Um testemunho, Fede Moahmmad, contou que «a explosão veio numa mota de três rodas. Havia sangue por todo o lado na ponte e na estrada», disse.

Este atentado ocorreu na província de Helmand, onde os ataques são quase diários devido à forte presença dos talibãs e que é também a província onde cresce a papoila que financia as actividades dos islamitas.

O atentado de hoje em Gereshk é um dos mais graves cometidos este ano. A 17 de Junho um atentado fez 35 mortos em Cabul, na maioria jovens recrutas da polícia.

Diário Digital / Lusa

 

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« Responder #42 em: Setembro 13, 2007, 05:07:00 pm »
Mais de 45 talibãs mortos no sul do Afeganistão

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Mais de 45 talibãs morreram num ataque da ISAF e do Exército afegão após uma emboscada no sul do Afeganistão, anunciou a aliança internacional num comunicado divulgado esta quinta-feira.
Os rebeldes atacaram uma patrulha mista do Exército afegão e das forças da aliança com RPG-7s e armas ligeiras no distrito de Deh Rawood, na província de Oruzgan, uma das regiões mais instáveis do Afeganistão, indica o comunicado.

A patrulha reagiu imediatamente e solicitou apoio aéreo, acrescenta.

Os talibãs foram «neutralizados» graças a «munições de precisão», segundo a mesma fonte.

Desde que foram expulsos do poder por uma aliança internacional liderada pelos EUA no final de 2001, os islamitas fundamentalistas iniciaram uma violenta rebelião para recuperar o poder com o apoio de 50.000 guerrilheiros estrangeiros, deixando milhares de mortos. São particularmente activos nas regiões sul e sudeste, na fronteira com o Paquistão.

Diário Digital

 

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« Responder #43 em: Setembro 16, 2007, 02:53:01 pm »
Armas iranianas capturadas pela NATO no Afeganistão

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Soldados da NATO capturaram recentemente no Afeganistão importantes quantidades de armas provenientes do Irão que aparentemente se destinavam aos rebeldes talibãs, escreve hoje o diário Washington Post.
 


Por outro lado, 12 insurrectos foram mortos pelas forças conjuntas afegãs e da coligação internacional na província de Helmand, bastião dos talibãs, informou fonte governamental.

Segundo o Washington Post, que cita fontes não identificadas da Força Internacional de Assistência à Segurança (ISAF) no Afeganistão, as armadas foram apreendidas no passado dia 06, na província de Farah, possuindo algumas delas capacidade de perfurar veículos blindados.

Duas outras apreensões foram feitas na província de Helmand (sul do país), em 11 de Abril e 03 de Maio, segundo as mesmas fontes citadas pelo diário.

"Não é tanto por serem armas qualitativamente diferentes, mas por se tratar de uma importante entrega de material que marcou psicologicamente os espíritos", declarou um responsável norte-americano ao Washington Post sob anonimato.

Um alto responsável iraniano interrogado também pelo jornal afirmou, no entanto, que estas acusações são infundadas.

Durante uma recente visita a Cabul, o secretário de Estado Adjunto norte-americano, John Negroponte, já reiterara a convicção dos Estados Unidos de que os talibãs recebem armas do Irão.

"Inquieta-nos as informações, que consideramos dignas de fé, de que armas e outros tipos de equipamento militar provenientes do Irão chegam às mãos dos talibãs", declarou então o governante norte-americano.

Londres e Washington afirmam desde há meses que armas com proveniência do Irão são utilizadas pelos rebeldes talibãs, mas o presidente afegão, Hamid Karzai, declara não não ter qualquer prova disso.

 
 

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« Responder #44 em: Setembro 21, 2007, 02:11:56 pm »
Ofensiva militar mata cerca de 40 alegados rebeldes afegãos

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Cerca de 40 alegados rebeldes pró-talibãs morreram hoje na província de Helmand, no sul do Afeganistão, numa operação militar de forças afegãs e dos Estados Unidos, indicou o comando norte-americano no país.
Em comunicado, o comando dos EUA refere que cerca de 40 milicianos morreram no distrito de Garmsir, no centro de Helmand.

A ofensiva foi lançada depois de o exército receber informações «confiáveis» sobre a presença de extremistas violentos na região.

«Durante as operações, as forças conjuntas usaram munições de precisão, matando um grande número de combatentes», refere a nota.

Naquela zona as tropas encontraram diversos armazéns de armas, com mais de 20 granadas e uma «significativa» quantidade de munições e minas terrestres.

«É um dos maiores arsenais encontrados até ao momento», disse um dos porta-vozes do comando norte-americano, o major Christopher Belcher.

Na última vaga de confrontos, «mais de 30» alegados rebeldes morreram quinta-feira na província de Uruzgan, segundo o comando dos EUA.

Este ano morreram mais de 4 mil pessoas devido à violência no Afeganistão, especialmente no sul do país.

Diário Digital

 

 

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