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Sep 14, 2011

Taliban’s Kabul siege ends after 20 hours

KABUL (Reuters) – A marathon siege in Kabul’s diplomatic enclave ended on Wednesday with the death of the last two of a group of gunmen who had held off Western and Afghan security forces for nearly 20 hours.

It was the longest militant attack on the Afghan capital in the decade since the Taliban were ousted from power and a stark reminder of insurgents’ resources and reach as foreign forces start to return home.

Sep 14, 2011

Afghan Taliban on offensive ahead of Western pullout

KABUL (Reuters) – First a night-time attack on the hilltop InterContinental Hotel in June, then a dawn assault on the British Council last month and on Tuesday a shower of rockets into the U.S. embassy in Kabul, kicking off a 20-hour siege of a half-finished high-rise.

The string of Taliban attacks on sensitive, well-guarded targets in the Afghan capital have been a powerful, frightening, show of strength at a time when NATO-led forces are claiming significant security gains across the country.

Sep 14, 2011

Analysis: Afghan Taliban on offensive ahead of Western pullout

KABUL (Reuters) – First a night-time attack on the hilltop InterContinental Hotel in June, then a dawn assault on the British Council last month and on Tuesday a shower of rockets into the U.S. embassy in Kabul, kicking off a 20-hour siege of a half-finished high-rise.

The string of Taliban attacks on sensitive, well-guarded targets in the Afghan capital have been a powerful, frightening, show of strength at a time when NATO-led forces are claiming significant security gains across the country.

Sep 14, 2011

Kabul attack ends after 20 hours, 6 attackers dead

KABUL (Reuters) – An assault by Taliban insurgents on the heart of Kabul’s diplomatic and military enclave has ended after 20 hours, when security forces killed the last of six attackers, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said on Wednesday.

“The operation just ended and 6 terrorists were killed by police. Details on casualties will be announced later,” spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter.

Sep 14, 2011

NATO, Afghan forces still battling Taliban attackers

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan security forces backed by NATO attack helicopters fought Taliban insurgents floor-by-floor in an unfinished high-rise in the center of Kabul on Wednesday, more than 15 hours after the biggest militant assault on the Afghan capital began.

It was not known how many fighters were still holed up in the 12-storey building near Kabul’s diplomatic district from where they fired rockets at the heavily-fortified U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters as part of a coordinated attack targeting other areas of the city as well.

Sep 14, 2011

NATO, Afghan forces still battling Taliban attackers in Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) – NATO attack helicopters circled over an unfinished building in the center of Kabul early on Wednesday in an operation to flush out Taliban fighters, more than 15 hours after the insurgents launched their biggest assault on the Afghan capital.

It was not known how many fighters were still holed up in the high-rise building near Kabul’s diplomatic district from where they fired rockets at heavily-fortified U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters.

Sep 14, 2011

Indian firms eye huge mining investment in Afghanistan

KABUL, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Despite increasing insecurity in
Afghanistan and gun battles with Taliban rebels in the capital
Kabul , Indian firms are bidding billions of
dollars for a contract to mine iron ore in a central district of
the country.

A consortium led by state-run Steel Authority of India
(SAIL) could invest up to $6 billion in the mine,
railroads and a steel plant in a race with China to lock in raw
materials for two of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Sep 8, 2011

NATO says mistakenly killed BBC Afghan reporter in July

KABUL (Reuters) – A U.S. soldier killed an Afghan reporter working for the BBC, mistakenly believing him to be a suicide bomber about to detonate his explosives during an attack in July, a NATO-led alliance said on Thursday.

The death of Omed Khpalwak, who also worked for the Afghan news agency Pajhwok, during a suicide bombing and a gun battle in the southern Uruzgan province prompted calls by the BBC and a local media associations for an investigation.

Sep 8, 2011

In Afghanistan’s Panjshir, disquiet over Taliban reconciliation

DALASANG, Afghanistan (Reuters) – At the entrance to Afghanistan’s magnificent Panjshir Valley, an 84-year supporter of resistance hero Ahmad Shah Massoud said his village was fully armed to fight a resurgent Taliban to the end.

Like the Russians before them, the Pashtun Taliban have failed to penetrate Panjshir fortified by jagged cliffs and plunging valleys, coming as far as neighboring Nuristan province as they extend their control in the north and east of the country.

Sep 6, 2011

India, China navies square off in nearby seas and beyond

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A little over a fortnight before China conducted sea trials for its first aircraft carrier, an Indian naval ship slipped into the South China Sea.

INS Airavat, an amphibious assault vessel designed to launch troops on enemy beaches, was on a show-the-flag mission in July when it was challenged as it sailed from Vietnam’s Nha Trang port near the deep-water harbour of Cam Ranh Bay.