Homemade bombs killed three U.S. troops in southern and eastern Afghanistan on Friday, and a roadside blast tore through a crowded market in the increasingly volatile north, killing three police and two civilians.
President Hamid Karzai said that U.S. plans to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan next year had boosted the Taliban's spirits, while an insurgent attack killed eight Afghan police in the country's increasingly volatile north Thursday.
A spurt of violence this week in Afghan provinces far from the Taliban's main southern strongholds suggests the insurgency is spreading, even as the top U.S. commander insists the coalition has reversed the militants' momentum in key areas of the ethnic Pashtun south, where the Islamist movement was born.
Men are forced to grow beards. Women can't leave home without a male relative. Music, movies and watching sports on TV are banned. Limbs are chopped off as punishment, and executions by stoning have become a public spectacle.
Afghan and NATO-led troops have killed about 35 Taliban insurgents in offensives in eastern Afghanistan this week as part of efforts to secure next month's parliamentary elections, coalition forces said Tuesday.
Afghan and international forces have killed about 40 Taliban fighters east of the Afghan capital as part of operations to provide security ahead of parliamentary elections next month, NATO said Tuesday.
As Lt. Col. Peter N. Benchoff prepares for an assault next month into the birthplace of the Taliban, he doesn't sugarcoat the hurdles his troops face in this crucial swath of southern Afghanistan.
A senior U.S. commander said Monday that Afghanistan is still more than a year away from building a security force with enough soldiers and police to protect the country.
NATO said an airstrike in northern Afghanistan on Thursday killed about a dozen insurgents, but President Hamid Karzai said the victims were campaign workers seeking votes in this month's parliamentary elections.