Afghanistan news and updates

Rappler's latest stories on Afghanistan

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25 killed in Afghan army helicopter crash – officials

Oct 31, 2018 - 2:47 PM

An official says the aircraft crashed due to 'bad weather' in Anar Dara district, but the Taliban claims its militants brought it down

U.S. general wounded in last week's Afghanistan insider attack

Oct 22, 2018 - 8:05 PM

Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley is among 13 wounded when a gunman wearing an Afghan security forces uniform opened fire on a high-level security meeting in the southern city of Kandahar

Afghan polling centers plagued by problems as casualties surge

Oct 21, 2018 - 9:21 PM

Nearly 300 civilians and security forces have been killed and wounded in polling-related violence in more than 20 provinces

Nearly 170 casualties as violence rocks chaotic Afghan elections

Oct 20, 2018 - 3:42 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Taliban says it has carried out more than 300 attacks on the 'fake election' across the war-torn country

ELECTIONS. Afghan women wait in line to vote at a polling center for the country's legislative election in Herat province on October 20, 2018. Photo by Hoshang Hashimi/AFP

Powerful Afghan police chief killed in shooting at security meeting

Oct 18, 2018 - 10:50 PM

Taliban claims the shooting and says the targets are US commander General Scott Miller and General Abdul Raziq – the police chief of Kandahar province who had a fierce reputation for brutality

In this photo taken on January 2, 2018, Afghan General Abdul Raziq, police chief of Kandahar, looks on as he speaks during a press conference in Kandahar province. An Afghan security chief and a journalist were killed and three Americans wounded on October 18 when a gunman opened fire on a high-level security meeting attended by top US commander General Scott Miller, officials said.  JAWED TANVEER / AFP

3 million Afghans in 'urgent' need of food – U.N.

Oct 15, 2018 - 11:02 PM

A dry spell mainly across northern and western Afghanistan has devastated crops, livestock and water supplies, forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes

This photograph taken on October 8, 2017 Afghan children collecting firewood for their family on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif. / AFP PHOTO / FARSHAD USYAN

Death toll in Afghanistan election rally bombing rises to 22

Oct 14, 2018 - 1:27 PM

Civilians make up most of the casualty count, says provincial governor spokesman Mohammad Jawad Hejri

At least 12 killed in bomb attack on Afghan election rally

Oct 13, 2018 - 6:39 PM

'The bomb had been placed on a motorcycle and detonated among the supporters of a female candidate in Rustaq district,' says Afghan provincial police

Death toll in Afghan suicide attack soars to 68

Sep 12, 2018 - 3:13 PM

It is the deadliest attack since an ambulance packed with explosives detonated in a crowded street in the heart of Kabul in January

AFGHAN ATTACK. An Afghan victim receives treatment at a hospital following a suicide attack in Mohmand Dara district of Nangarhar Province, on September 11, 2018. Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP

U.S. threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe war crimes

Sep 11, 2018 - 8:27 AM

White House National Security Advisor John Bolton says the US is prepared to slap financial sanctions and criminal charges on officials of the court if they proceed against any Americans

ON ICC. US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, speaks to the Federalist Society in Washington DC on September 10, 2018. Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP

Mattis makes unannounced visit to Afghanistan

Sep 07, 2018 - 1:37 PM

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' arrival in Kabul comes at a sensitive time in the 17-year war

JAMES MATTIS. In this file photo, US Defense Secretary James Mattis delivers his speech during the first plenary session of the 17th Asian Security Summit of the IISS ShangriLa Dialogue in Singapore on June 2, 2018. File photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP

Twin blasts turn regular Kabul wrestling session into massacre

Sep 06, 2018 - 7:13 PM

The double bombing kills at least 26 people and is widely condemned by Afghan and foreign officials

BOMBING. Sandals are seen laying on the ground along the street near the site of a suicide attack, after a blast that targeted wrestlers during a training session at the Maiwand Club, in Kabul on September 6, 2018. Photo by Wakil Koshar/AFP

Afghan Taliban announces death of Haqqani network leader

Sep 04, 2018 - 11:30 AM

Jalaluddin Haqqani, whose son Sirajuddin Haqqani now heads the brutal group and is also the Taliban's deputy leader, died 'after a long battle with illness'

TALIBAN LEADER. This file picture taken on October 19, 2001 shows former Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia's key man Jalaluddin Haqqani, commander-in-chief of southern Afghanistan and minister of border region, speaking with the media in Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad. File photo by STR/AFP

Afghan leader rejects resignation letters from spy chief, ministers

Aug 26, 2018 - 6:53 PM

This comes as the government faces fierce criticism over an increasingly deadly insurgency

Afghan residents walk inside a damaged mosque after a suicide attack during Friday prayers in Gardez of Paktia province on August 3, 2018. Burqa-clad suicide bombers struck a Shiite mosque in eastern Afghanistan Friday as it was crowded with worshippers for weekly prayers, killing at least 29 people and wounding more than 80 in the latest attack on the minority. FARID ZAHIR / AFP

Suicide bomb attack kills 2 in eastern Afghanistan

Aug 25, 2018 - 4:37 PM

4 others are wounded in the blast near a tent full of protesters outside the election commission's office in Jalalabad

Afghan president offers Taliban new provisional ceasefire

Aug 19, 2018 - 11:09 PM

The truce will only hold if the insurgents reciprocated, according th Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Philippines condemns Kabul school terror attack

Aug 18, 2018 - 1:27 PM

'The Philippines joins the international community in the call for all parties in Afghanistan to 'adhere to and respect humanitarian principles,' says the Department of Foreign Affairs

At least 37 killed as suicide attacker targets school in Kabul

Aug 15, 2018 - 11:54 PM

Police Spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai: 'In the explosion 37 people were killed, more than 40 injured.' Most, he added, were students.

SUICIDE ATTACK. An Afghan resident (R) weeps for his relative following a suicide attack in Kabul on August 15, 2018.  Photo by AFP

At least 100 security forces killed in fight for Afghan city

Aug 13, 2018 - 9:41 PM

Defense minister Tariq Shah Bahrami also says 194 insurgents had been killed and 147 wounded

GHAZNI BATTLES. This screen grab taken from AFPTV video on August 13, 2018 of video shot on August 12 shows an injured man (R) receiving medical treatment at Ghazni Provincial Hospital in the Afghan city of Ghazni. Photo by Mohammad Anwar Danishyar/AFP

Fight for Afghan city rages despite gov't claim of upper hand

Aug 12, 2018 - 4:26 PM

An Agence France-Presse reporter says Taliban fighters continue to torch government offices and have control over several police checkpoints

TALIBAN IN CONTROL? Officials say Afghan special forces are also being deployed to the southeastern city of Ghazni after the latest attempt by the Taliban to capture an urban center. File photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Afghan gov't forces in control of embattled city, officials say

Aug 11, 2018 - 9:35 PM

'The situation is fully under control. The city is not going to fall,' says the interior ministry spokesman, after confusion mounted over Ghazni's fate following hours of official silence

U.S. launches airstrikes as Taliban attack Afghan city

Aug 10, 2018 - 3:44 PM

An official says the Taliban began the attack late Thursday, August 9, from several positions around the city

ATTACK. Officials say Afghan special forces are also being deployed to the southeastern city of Ghazni after the latest attempt by the Taliban to capture an urban center. File photo by Wakil Kohsar / AFP

Afghans bury victims of mosque attack as toll rises to 35

Aug 04, 2018 - 7:24 PM

The attack comes as urban areas across Afghanistan have been rocked by a surge in violence in recent months

BURIAL. Afghan Shiite mourners and relatives attend a burial ceremony for the 35 victims of a suicide attack in a Shiite mosque in Gardez of Paktia province on August 4, 2018. Photo by Farid Zahir/AFP

15 dead as gunmen storm Afghan government building, 11 killed in bus bombing

Jul 31, 2018 - 4:32 PM

(4th UPDATE) The attack ends after more than 5 hours of intense fighting between militants and security forces

ATTACK. An Afghan security personnel stands guard atop a vehicle near the site of suicide attack as an ongoing attack between Afghan security force and suicide attackers in Jalalabad on July 31, 2018. Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP

Roadside bomb hits Afghan bus, killing 11 and wounding 31

Jul 31, 2018 - 4:13 PM

(UPDATED) There is no immediate confirmation from the Taliban that they are responsible for the blast

AID. A wounded Afghan man is brought to a hospital after roadside bomb hit a passenger bus, in Herat on July 31,2018. Photo by Hoshang Hashimi/AFP

Militants attack Afghan midwife training center

Jul 28, 2018 - 5:21 PM

There is no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack, but most of the recent assaults in the city have been carried out by the Islamic State group (ISIS), which has a stronghold in Nangarhar.

TARGETED. Afghan volunteers carry an injured youth on a stretcher to a hospital following an attack that targeted an education department compound in Jalalabad on July 11, 2018. Photo by Noorullah Shirzada / AFP

Swede's stunt to save Afghan from deportation goes viral

Jul 26, 2018 - 12:00 AM

A spokesman at the Swedish Prison and Probation Service confirms the pilot decided Elin Ersson, along with the Afghan asylum seeker and the escorts accompanying him had to leave the plane, halting the planned deporation

3 wounded as rockets are fired into Kabul

Jul 24, 2018 - 6:14 PM

(UPDATED) The rockets landed in residential areas 'near the mountains in PD5 (police district)' in the west of Kabul, police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai says. It is not clear if a nearby police academy was the intended target.

Kabul suicide attack death toll rises to 23

Jul 23, 2018 - 2:45 PM

At least 107 others are wounded in Sunday's powerful explosion

SUICIDE BOMBING. Afghan security forces place victims on the back of a pickup truck following a suicide attack in Kabul on July 22, 2018. Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP

Suicide attack at Kabul airport leaves 11 dead, 14 wounded

Jul 22, 2018 - 8:59 PM

(UPDATED) The return of Afghanistan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, a powerful ethnic Uzbek leader and former warlord, comes amid violent protests in several provinces

Locator map of Afghanistan

7 dead in suicide attack at Afghan ministry – officials

Jul 15, 2018 - 9:18 PM

(UPDATED) It is the second time in just over a month that the ministry has been targeted by militants

Locator map of Afghanistan

Civilian deaths in war-torn Afghanistan hit record high – UN

Jul 15, 2018 - 4:00 PM

The record high death toll comes despite an unprecedented ceasefire by Afghan security forces and the Taliban last month that was largely respected by both sides, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

cLocator map of Afghanistan

12 killed in suicide attack on Afghan security forces – officials

Jul 10, 2018 - 4:59 PM

(UPDATED) The explosion in the eastern city of Jalalabad also leaves at least 5 people wounded and sets a nearby gas station alight, provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani says

Pompeo makes unannounced visit to Kabul – Afghan official

Jul 09, 2018 - 9:29 PM

The visit follows an unprecedented ceasefire during Eid last month, when the Islamic holiday was marked by spontaneous street celebrations involving Afghan security forces and Taliban militants

MIKE POMPEO. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo gives a press conference during a NATO Foreign ministers' meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on April 27, 2018. File photo by John Thys/AFP

Afghan forces resume offensive operations after gov't ceasefire ends

Jun 30, 2018 - 7:11 PM

The ceasefire, which lasted 18 days, has been '98 percent successful,' says Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

UNREST. Afghan president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani speaks during a press conference at Presidential Palace in Kabul on June 30, 2018. Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP

Bodybuilding: The pursuit of beauty in war-torn Kabul

Jun 30, 2018 - 1:00 PM

The sport has a long tradition in Afghanistan, and was even tolerated by the Taliban when they ruled the country from 1996-2001 – so long as the men wore long trousers as they lifted

BEEFCAKE. This file photo shows an Afghan bodybuilder posing after competing in a bodybuilding and fitness contest in Kabul. Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Taliban says ceasefire will not be extended, as suicide attack kills 18

Jun 17, 2018 - 9:13 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Further dampening hopes for peace after jubilant scenes during the ceasefire over the Muslim holiday, the Taliban says they will not be extending the truce beyond Sunday night

Locator map of Afghanistan

At least 20 dead in Afghanistan suicide attack during ceasefire

Jun 16, 2018 - 11:21 PM

The attack comes as President Ashraf Ghani announced an extension of the government's week-long ceasefire with the Taliban

CEASEFIRE ATTACK. Afghan volunteers carry an injured man on a stretcher to an hospital following a suicide bomber blew himself in Jalalabad on June 16, 2018. Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP

Taliban, Afghan troops hug, take selfies as ceasefire holds

Jun 16, 2018 - 8:19 PM

The bizarre images serve as powerful propaganda for both sides and have fanned hopes among war-weary Afghans for the ceasefire to continue

CEASEFIRE. Afghan Taliban militants ride a motorbike as they took to the street to celebrate ceasefire on the second day of Eid in the outskirts of Jalalabad on June 16, 2018. Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP

Taliban agrees to unprecedented Eid ceasefire with Afghan forces

Jun 09, 2018 - 7:41 PM

The Taliban says 'foreign occupiers are the exception' to the 3-day ceasefire order sent to its fighters around Afghanistan

Afghanistan announces ceasefire with Taliban for Eid

Jun 07, 2018 - 5:04 PM

The ceasefire will last 'from the 27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-al-Fitr,' Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani tweeted from an official account, indicating it could run from June 12-19

RAMADHAN. In this photo taken on June 5, 2018, Afghan Shiite Muslim worshippers hold holy Quran as they pray during the Laylat al-Qadr at a mosque in Herat province. Photo by Hoshang Hashimi/AFP

Suicide blast near gathering of top clerics in Kabul – officials

Jun 04, 2018 - 3:51 PM

'Our initial information shows that the suicide attack took place when guests were exiting the hall" where the meeting was taking place at around 11.30 am (0700 GMT),' police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai tells local broadcaster Tolo News

Taliban, Afghan officials in ceasefire talks – U.S. general

May 31, 2018 - 2:02 PM

'A lot of the diplomatic activity and dialogue is occurring off the stage, and it's occurring at multiple levels,' General John Nicholson says in a teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon

At least 6 dead as blasts, gunfire rock Afghan city – officials

May 13, 2018 - 6:57 PM

The assault comes days after suicide bombers and gunmen launched apparently coordinated attacks on two Kabul police stations

Locator map for Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Blast at Afghan voter registration center kills 13 – health official

May 06, 2018 - 9:03 PM

(UPDATED) The assault, the latest in a series of attacks on voter registration centers, is likely to deter more people from signing up for the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections

Slain Afghan journalists remembered on World Press Freedom Day

May 03, 2018 - 2:22 PM

Afghanistan was earlier ranked the 3rd most dangerous country in the world for journalists by Reporters Without Borders

IN MEMORY OF. An Indian photojournalist lights a candle during a vigil for 10 Afghan journalists who were killed in a targeted suicide bombing and on the eve of World Press Freedom Day in Kolkata on May 2, 2018. Photo by Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP

Outrage after bloody day for Afghan journalists

May 01, 2018 - 5:22 PM

A double suicide blast in Kabul left 25 people dead including AFP photographer Shah Marai and 8 other journalists, while a BBC reporter was killed in a separate attack

BURIAL. Prayers are said before the burial of Agence France Presse (AFP) Afghanistan Chief Photographer Shah Marai Faizi in Gul Dara, Kabul on April 30, 2018, after his death in the second of two bombings that occurred in the Afghan capital. Photo by Andrew Quilty /pool/AFP

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, May 1, 2018

May 01, 2018 - 12:52 PM

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Tuesday

Workers from various groups march towards Mendiola Peace Arch on Labor Day, May 1, 2018, to call for an end to ENDO. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

10 journalists among dozens killed in Afghan attacks

May 01, 2018 - 10:06 AM

Reporters Without Borders calls it the most lethal single attack on the media since the fall of the Taliban

AFGHAN ATTACKS. Relatives and friends of Agence France Presse (AFP) Afghanistan Chief Photographer Shah Marai Faizi, including his AFP photographer colleague Wakil Kohsar (R) carry Marai's coffin before his burial in Gul Dara, Kabul on April 30, 2018, after his death in the second of two bombings that occurred in the Afghan capital. Photo by Andrew Quilty/AFP