Monday, March 19, 2007

Mastrogiacomo Freed in Afghanistan

+ Italian La Repubblica journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo Freed in Afghanistan: Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Mastrogiacomo's release was obtained through the collective effort of Italian authorities, humanitarian officials and the Afghan government. Taleban rebels kidnapped the Italian journalist in southern Helmand province, along with his Afghan driver and interpreter. They accused Mastrogiacomo of spying for British forces.
The Afghan driver was killed last week. The interpreter is believed to have been freed along with the journalist but no details were immediately available.

+
U.S. embassy convoy was hit by a Taliban suicide car bomber in Kabul on Monday, killing an Afghan teenager by the road and wounding officials in the motorcade, police and an embassy spokesman said.

+
Iraqis Express Frustration as War Enters 5th Year

+
Siberian mine blast kills 78; 50 trapped


+
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty moved Monday to end a much-criticized tax break for oil sands producers, but softened the blow to the industry by providing a long lead time for the changes.

+
Pashtuns (also Pathans or ethnic Afghans) are an ethno-linguistic group with populations primarily in eastern and southern Afghanistan and in the North-West Frontier Province, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan.

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Army Reserve Soldiers from the 7th Army Reserve Command (ARCOM) are supporting Operation Enduring Freedom as part of ISAF-VIII in Kabul.

+ Afghans rejecting Canadian troops for Taliban, survey finds: In a survey to be released in London today by the Senlis Council think tank, Afghan men in the Canadian-controlled areas of Kandahar province and in the neighbouring British- and U.S.-controlled regions say they are being driven to support the Taliban because of disillusionment with the NATO military effort and poverty created by the continuing conflict. A team of 50 researchers polled 17,000 Afghan men in randomly selected districts in the Kandahar, Helmand and Nangarhar provinces of southeastern Afghanistan between March 3 and March 12.

The study found that 72 per cent of men in the region know how to fire a weapon, making them potential Taliban recruits. The average annual income in the region of $747 (U.S.) is equivalent to two months pay for a Taliban fighter.


Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN - This addict gets his opium supply for free from his nephew, who harvests poppies on his farm in Kapisa Province.


Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN - Drug addicts smoke pure opium paste while one holds a baby in Kapisa Province, about 100 miles north of Kabul, where many farmers are growing opium-producing poppy plants. Afghanistan is the worlds leading producer of poppy fueling the heroin drug market.


An Afghan soldier, far left, and a man who lost his legs to a land mine walk through their neighborhood as two boys fill water buckets at a well behind the bullet pocked Eid Ghah mosque in Kabul Saturday (AP/David Guttenfelder)


Bamiyan, Afghanistan - Road from the bazaar and the cliff face. (
Luke Powell Photographs)


Village of Pusht-i-Mazar, Afghanistan (
Luke Powell Photographs)


Bamiyan, Afghanistan: Volleyball is more often seen in Afghanistan than soccer. It is much easier to make a smooth, somewhat level place to play volleyball. (
Luke Powell Photographs)

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