Dr. Abdullah Shirzai[?], the policy director of the Afghan Health Ministry[?], said that the Afghan government would take steps to reduce maternal and child mortality in the country. To date, 16 women in every 1,000 pregnancies died, and one child in four died before the age of five. Such rates were said to be among the worst in human history. The ministry planned to employ more than 20,000 health workers, mostly women nurses and midwives, over the span of a year.
Rebel forces attacked military posts, an ammunition depot, the district commissioner's office and other government installations in Spin Boldak[?], Afghanistan, killing three Afghan soldiers and injuring two.
U.S. Maj. Gen. John Vines, commander of 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, handed control of combat missions to Lt. Gen. Dan McNeill[?], the overall commander of coalition troops in Afghanistan. Vines stated "I think there are renegade elements in Iran who have an interest in controlling a portion of Afghanistan....I think there are elements in Pakistan — not the government — that have an interest in creating instability....In certain parts, the country is stable. In other parts, it's terribly dangerous....That has not changed and that probably won't change in the foreseeable future....If you had to design an area to support an anti-government movement, you might describe an area like this....Multiple borders, extreme distances, lack of road infrastructure, high mountains, weak central government, areas where there are religious or tribal (conflicts)....It applies absolutely right here."
A tractor pulling a trailer carrying Afghan villagers along a road leading to the border with Uzbekistan hit a landmine, killing two.
Amnesty International condemned a United Kingdom decision to forcibly return a group of asylum-seekers to Afghanistan. An Amnesty International mission earlier in April concluded that conditions were still not conducive to the promotion of voluntary and forced returns.
Close air support was called in by U.S. forces after men were spotted near the U.S. base at Shkin[?], Afghanistan. The men were apparently trying to retrieve a body of one of the opposing fighters killed a clash there on April 25. Pakistani forces across the nearby border were contacted and conducted an operation that led to the arrest of two people.
At Shkin[?], in Paktika province[?], Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border, two U.S. soldiers were killed and several other U.S. and Afghan soldiers were wounded in a clash with unknown attackers. The U.S. estimated that at least three of the attackers were killed. Two F-16 Fighting Falcons, two USAF A-10 Thunderbolt tankbusters and two AH-64 Apache attack helicopters responded. Two days later, two rebel corpses were discovered near the site. One of the U.S. soldiers killed was identified as Raymond Losano[?].
In Kabul, Afghanistan, the Irish Club shut itself down after warnings that it could be the target of a terror attack. The nightclub had originally opened on March 17. It was frequented by aid workers, diplomats and journalists. Afghanis were not allowed to patronize the club because the sale of alcohol was against the law.
Yunis Qanuni[?], the Afghan Minister of Education, appealed for donors to provide more funds for schools. To date, the ministry had received US$86 million in 2003, leaving the budget short US$114 million.
After a meeting in Islamabad, between Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmud Kasuri[?], the two nations announced an agreement to hold political consultations twice a year in Islamabad and Kabul alternatively. The purpose of the meetings was to monitor progress in the promotion of bilateral cooperation and to take follow-up actions.
During a joint meeting between Pakistani and Afghan Ministers at the finance ministry in [Islamabad]], Pakistan Finance minister Shaukat Aziz[?] offered Afghanistan the chance to establish a free industrial zone near the Torkhum[?] and Chaman[?] border. Also during the meeting, Afghanistan identified over 3,000 projects and invited the private sector to invest in them.
The U.S. military reported that "a handful" of the Afghan war prisoners held at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had been identified as juveniles and were separated from the adult prisoners.
Using rockets and automatic weapons, rebel fighters attacked a government office in Chapan[?] in Zabul province[?], Afghanistan. Two Afghan soldiers and three assailants were killed in the four-hour shootout.
The highest ranking Afghan officials, including President Hamid Karzai arrived Islamabad, Pakistan to discuss border disputes, terrorism, trade, and exchanges of prisoners. Tensions between the two nations had recently flaired up along the ill-defined Durand line, each side accusing the other of intrusion. Many in the Afghan government still viewed Pakistan, which nurtured and supported the Taliban regime, with suspicion. Accusations had been made that Pakistan was harboring Taliban fugutives. Pakistan had concerns about Afghanistan's failure to fulfil promises in March to release up to 800 Pakistani prisoners. In the course of the day, Karzai met separately with Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali[?] and President Pervez Musharraf.
The Pakistan government announced that it had released 50 Afghan prisoners as a gesture of goodwill, a day before Afghan President Hamid Karzai was to arrive for meetings.
The cabinet of Afghan President Hamid Karzai approved a law allowing cable television networks in Kabul to resume broadcasting programs. Cable broadcasts had been banned by the supreme court Chief Justice Mawlavi Fazl Hadi Shinwari[?] earlier in the year for being obscene and un-Islamic.
In a southern Afghan raid aimed at catching those responsible for the March 27 murder of Ricardo Munguia, U.S. special forces killing one man and detained seven others. Weapons were also seized by the U.S. forces.
An emergency meeting was held in Kabul, Afghanistan at the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development with U.N. agencies and NGOs for the coordination of relief efforts for the 200 families displaced by flooding on April 18.
In Afghanistan, a two-day national military meeting, that brought together regional commanders, government leaders and commanders of U.S.-led forces for the first time, came to a close.
Dana Rohrabacher, a senior member of the U.S. Congress foreign relations committee, met with rival faction leaders Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ustad Atta Mohammad[?] in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan. After the meeting, Rohrabacher told the media that, if bloody ethnic feuds were to be resolved in Afghanistan, regional autonomy was essential.
At least 30 people died from powerful floods that washed away houses in the Sha Gho valley of Helmand province[?], Afghanistan. 25 others were missing.
On the Shomali plain just north of Kabul, Afghanistan, three children were missing and 200 families were evacuated by helicopter due to flood waters.
Afghan border forces clashed with alleged Pakistani militiamen who intruded into border village of Gulam Khan[?], south of the town of Khost[?]. However, Pakistani officials denied that any of their militia had crossed the border, saying Afghan soldiers had merely traded fire with tribesmen living in the border region.
A blast occurred on a highway that was being reconstructed by the Afghan government in Sabiqa, Timanee district, in Kabul, but did not cause any damage or casualties. A second bomb nearby was defused.
NATO agreed to take command in August of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The decision came at the request of Germany and the Netherlands, the two nations leading ISAF at the time of the agreement. It was approved unanimously by all 19 NATO ambassadors. This marked first time in NATO's history that it took charge of a mission outside the north Atlantic area. Canada had originally been slated to take over ISAF in August.
A blast damaged the UNICEF office in Jalalabad, but there were no casualties. The office was empty at the time. Security commander Haji Ajab Shah[?] said the explosion appeared to have been caused by an improvised explosive device made from automatic rifle bullets.
Over 100 Afghan and U.S. soldiers crossed into Pakistan along the Durand Line allegedly without realizing it to conduct a survey to supply water to tribesmen. They had been invited by a local tribal leader, but were forced to leave the area after Pakistan forces challenged them. Coalition forces claimed that no direct firing took place, but machine gun firing took place. Hundreds of troops were then deployed by Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghan forces moved tanks, heavy weaponry and reinforcements to the area.
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