Afghan Militants Threaten More Attacks After Deadly Bombing — L.A. Times Hezb-i-Islami claims responsibility for a suicide blast that killed six Americans and nine Afghans. It says it is stepping up assaults on foreign forces. KABUL, Afghanistan — A militant group said its attack Thursday on a NATO convoy in the Afghan capital marked a stepped-up campaign against the foreign presence in Afghanistan, and promised more such assaults. The suicide bombing killed six Americans, including four civilian contractors, and at least nine Afghan civilians, including two children, according to local and coalition officials. “Our party will increase its attacks against foreign troops in Afghanistan in the future,” said Zubair Sediqqi, a spokesman for Hezb-i-Islami, which claimed responsibility for the attack. He spoke by phone from Pakistan. It was the first major attack in Kabul since insurgents launched their spring offensive last month. Read more …. More News On Afghanistan ISAF Joint Command Operational Update, May 17th — ISAF Suicide car bombing in Afghan capital kills 15, including 6 Americans and 2 children — Washington Post/AP Afghanistan blast targets NATO convoy, kills at least 6 — Christian Science Monitor Senior Taliban commander killed in northern Afghanistan — Press TV (Iran) Senior Taliban leader arrested in Baghlan: ISAF — Khaama Press Combined Force Arrests Taliban Leader in Baghlan Province — US Department of Defense ISAF targets al Qaeda facilitator in eastern Afghanistan — Long War Journal Canadian soldiers prepare for final deployment to Afghanistan — Global News Fearing Afghan instability, Russia mulls border troops — Reuters Russia to deploy troops on Afghanistan-Tajikistan border — Khaama Press Karzai visits India to discuss defense cooperation with New Delhi — Khaama Press Afghanistan seeks enhanced military help from India — Times of India Child refugees flee war in Afghanistan — CBS News/60 Minutes Violence against women act modification sparks furor in Afghanistan — Khaama Press Afghanistan’s Cycle of Corruption — Mujib Mashal, Daily Beast
NATO soldiers with at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on May 16, 2013. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters) How T he Afghan Conflict Will Be Decided — Michael Hirsh, The Atlantic A horrific week for U.S. casualties reaffirms President Obama’s rush to rely on the Afghan army. But can they handle it? KABUL, Afghanistan – Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi thumbs excitedly through a brochure prepared for him by Textron, the U.S. defense contractor. “This is what I want!” the Afghan army chief of staff says, pointing to a picture of the latest technology in armored troop carriers. Outside Karimi’s window, the giant, $92 million new defense headquarters that Washington is building for him is nearly finished; Karimi moves in in September. “Pentagon No. 1. This no. 2,” Karimi’s adjutant, Col. Mohammed Shah, says proudly in broken English. What Shah means is that the vast domed structure atop a hill–which resembles nothing so much as the Temple Mount–is expected to be the second-largest defense headquarters in the world, a distinct oddity in one of the poorest countries in the world. The Pentagon is also spending about a billion dollars on Karimi’s pride and joy, a new Mobile Strike Force. That includes $58 million on brand-new armored vehicles designed especially for the Afghan army by Textron (and which are deemed so state of the art that Canada just bought some for itself). Read more …. Update: Embassy Row: After Afghanistan for NATO — Washington Times My Comment: In the end …. Afghanistan’s future will be decided by the Afghan’s themselves …. which should have been the case starting a few years ago.
Nigeria Launches Air Strikes Against Militant Camps — Voice of America Nigerian forces have launched air strikes against suspected Islamist militant camps in the country’s northeast. A government spokesman said several camps were targeted and the attacks killed an undetermined number of insurgents. Some of the attacks took place in the Sambisa Game Reserve in Borno state, a known hideout of the radical sect Boko Haram. Witnesses reported the deployment of troops and jet fighters in Borno on Wednesday, a day after President Goodluck Jonathan said Boko Haram had taken over parts of the state. Read more …. More News On Nigeria’s War Against Boko Haram Nigeria begins offensive against Islamist sect — France24/AFP Nigerian forces bombard Islamist militant camps from the air — Reuters Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria air raids ‘kill militants’ — BBC Nigerian forces ‘shell fighters’ camps’ — Al Jazeera Nigerian troops shell Boko Haram hideout as jets join renewed offensive — The Guardian Official: Nigeria military shells suspected Islamic extremist camps in northeast, killing 21 — Washington Post/AP Nigeria military: Insurgents killed in raid on militant camps — CNN Nigerian army starts offensive against Islamists — Deutsche Welle Nigerian military strikes insurgent targets in northeast — Deutsche Welle Nigeria Military Begins Anti-Islamist Operations In Northeast — RTT News Nigeria: Security Forces Raid Boko Haram Camps in Borno — allAfrica.com Nigerian forces target Islamist strongholds — Reuters Nigerian army strikes out at Boko Haram in northeast — Euronews Nigerian military raids Boko Haram camps — UPI Gunmen Storm Nigeria Police Station — Voice of America Christian leader gunned down by Islamic militants in Nigeria — FOX News Nigeria: You’ve Declared War On Northern Nigeria, NEF Tells Jonathan — allAfrica.com Nigeria Rethinks Insurgency Battle — Wall Street Journal Nigerians Debate Amnesty for Boko Haram — Voice of America Nigeria: UN Chief ‘Very Concerned’ About Deteriorating Security in Northeast Nigeria — allAfrica.com
Rebuilding Of Mali Faces Daunting Obstacles, Despite Outside Aid — New York Times DAKAR, Senegal — The outpouring of support may be more a sign of nervousness than altruism. At an international conference in Brussels this week, donors pledged $4.2 billion for Mali on a range of fronts, including roads, energy and business development, hoping to help rebuild a nation that alarmed governments around the world when much of it collapsed and fell to Islamist militants last year. Beyond the money, the United Nations plans to deploy 12,600 peacekeepers this summer to make sure the militants do not return, while a host of outside powers, with France and the United States in the lead, are keeping a watchful eye on preparations for elections the Malians have promised for July. Read more …. More News On Mali Mali Gets Billions in Pledges to Rebuild — Wall Street Journal Nations pledge billions to rebuild Mali — AP Donors Pledge $4.2 Billion for Mali — Voice of America International donors pledge $4.19B for Mali recovery plan — Examiner UN Envoy Says July Date for Mali Presidential Vote “Difficult” — Wall Street Journal Ban pledges UN commitment to stable, prosperous Mali in message to Brussels meeting — UN News Centre Extreme food shortages in northern Mali — KUNA U.S. instructors to train African troops for Mali in Niger — Reuters US Air Force flies 200th Mali air refuelling sortie — Defence Web
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. © RIA Novosti. Mikhail Mokrushin Russia ‘Does Not Understand’ Uproar Over Syria Arms Sales — The Telegraph Russia’s foreign minister has said he did not understand the international uproar created by Moscow’s continuing weapons cooperation with regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “I do not understand why the media is trying to create a sensation out of this,” said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “We have not hidden that we supply weapons to Syria under signed contracts, without violating any international agreements, or our own legislation.” Lavrov said during a joint press appearance in Sochi with visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that Russia only supplied defence weapons that could not alter the outcome of the 26-month conflict between Assad’s forces and the opposition. “We are first and foremost supplying defence weapons related to air defence,” Lavrov said in televised comments. Read more …. More News On Syrian Arms Sales To Syria Report: Russia sends advanced missiles to Syria, signaling commitment to Assad — Haaretz Russia Sends More Advanced Missiles to Aid Assad in Syria — New York Times Syria crisis: Russia ‘sends sophisticated weapons’ — BBC Russia sends advanced missiles to aid Assad in Syria — NBC Russia boosts its naval presence in Syria, sends regime new missiles — Christian Science Monitor Lavrov Plays Down Reports of New Missile Deliveries to Syria — RIA Novosti Russia sends warships, missiles to Syria — Washington Times Newest Russian arms shipment to Syria ‘destabilises’ area, Livni says — JTA