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Jason Motlagh

Articles by Jason Motlagh

Corruption drags down Russian economy

The Hotel Moscow, an icon of Soviet architecture, is today a monument to another pervasive aspect of Russian reality: crony capitalism. Published November 23, 2009

Taliban attacks in north Afghanistan spike

Eight years ago, this northern flood plain was the scene of the Taliban's last stand. Now, it's the locus of a resurgent militancy in a region that is fast becoming a new front in the Afghan war. Published September 6, 2009

Election official: Afghan election troubled

The head of a U.S.-based organization that aided Afghanistan's electoral commission lowered expectations Thursday for that country's presidential vote, saying, "The outcome will not be something that we can all go out and celebrate." Published August 28, 2009

Fraud charges raised in Afghan election

Abdullah Abdullah, the leading challenger to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, accused his rival on Saturday of using his power to manipulate the war-torn country's second-ever presidential election. Published August 23, 2009

Karzai, Abdullah claiming Afghan election victory

President Hamid Karzai and leading challenger Abdullah Abdullah both claimed to be ahead Friday in Afghanistan's second presidential election, after a vote marred by sporadic violence and low turnout. Published August 22, 2009

Afghan voters brave rockets, bombs

As Afghans went to the polls Thursday amid reports of low voter turnout, sporadic violence and fraud, evidence suggested that former warlords still wield heavy-handed influence that could ultimately decide who wins. Published August 21, 2009

Taliban’s pre-election bombing intensifies

Insurgents stepped up a bombing campaign Tuesday in an apparent attempt to disrupt Thursday's elections, and the government countered by restricting local and international media reports of extremist attacks on election day. Published August 19, 2009

Security ramps up for Afghan election

As Afghanistan's second-ever presidential campaign season came to a close Monday, authorities moved to tighten security in the face of Taliban threats to disrupt the vote with attacks on polling stations. Published August 18, 2009

Karzai’s challengers score points in debate

Top candidates made a last-minute push for votes Sunday, with incumbent President Hamid Karzai appearing in a televised debate in which opponents spent nearly 90 minutes criticizing his alliances with regional warlords. Published August 17, 2009

U.S. to limit air power in Afghanistan

Sobered by the backlash from civilian casualties, the U.S. military is taking steps to tighten restrictions on the use of air power over Afghanistan. Published June 24, 2009

‘Bravest woman in Afghanistan’

Critics dismiss her as foolish. Some even want her dead. For Malalai Joya, an outspoken women's rights activist and scourge of Afghan warlords, controversy is a kind of oxygen. Published June 21, 2009

Dark horse seeks Afghan presidency

Ashraf Ghani says he is running for Afghan president with plenty of ideas, if not campaign contributions. Published June 11, 2009

U.S.: Taliban ‘very clearly’ target of raid

Video footage of a bombing raid by U.S. forces earlier this month on a village in western Afghanistan "very clearly" shows that Taliban militants were targeted and accounts for most of those killed, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East and South Asia said Friday. Published May 30, 2009

Afghans maintain casualty toll higher

The morning after the deadly U.S. air strike in western Afghanistan earlier this month, Homayoun Farahi received a phone call from his father. Two of his uncles were killed, he was told, along with an uncertain number of other family members. Published May 24, 2009

Sri Lankan rebels admit defeat

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, the once formidable insurgency that pioneered guerrilla suicide attacks, claimed Sunday they had given up their 25-year battle for an ethnic homeland on the tropical island nation. Published May 18, 2009

Afghan rights group finds lower civilian toll

The civilian death toll from the U.S. bombardment in western Afghanistan is about a third less than the Afghan government claims, the country's leading human rights organization said Sunday, adding that no evidence of white phosphorus was found. Published May 18, 2009

U.S. air strike victims say Taliban long gone

Afghans who lost family members in a U.S. bombardment last week say Taliban militants fled hours before the U.S. attack -- an account that contrasts with Pentagon claims about an incident that has come to encapsulate an uphill battle for Afghan hearts and minds. Published May 15, 2009

Afghan Karzai likely to win re-election

KABUL, Afghanistan | He might not be the Obama administration's preferred candidate, but Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai looks poised to win another term in office that will test both his relationship with Washington and his ability to lead a fractured country. Published May 8, 2009

Clinton: U.S. regrets Afghan civilian deaths

U.S. air strikes have killed dozens of civilians caught in the middle of anti-Taliban operations in western Afghanistan, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Wednesday. Published May 7, 2009