Encyclopedia > Afghanistan timeline February 15-28, 2003

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Afghanistan timeline February 15-28, 2003

Afghanistan timeline

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February 28, 2003

  • Eight armed men stepped into the road and opened fire on a two-vehicle United Nations World Food Program convoy at midday as they traveled from Wazahan[?] village to Hiraqat[?], but no injuries were reported.
  • A lone gunman opened fire with an AK-47 on U.S. soldiers manning a guard post north of Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, but no casualties were reported.
  • Using a pistol and then a sub-machinegun, an Afghan man killed two policemen guarding the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. Five other officers and a passerby were injured.
  • United States troops discovered a "bomb-making facility" near Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The troops found the materials after searching five compounds in Shinwar district. Also recovered were three 82 mm mortars, one grenade launcher, five machine-guns, 1,000 mortar rounds, 300 rockets, mines and thousands of ammunition cases.
  • Two rockets found inside a bag exploded near government offices in Kandahar, Afghanistan. A guard found four rockets hidden in a bag at around 7 a.m. He informed the intelligence department nearby, but two of the rockets exploded before the bomb disposal squad could reach the site, he said. The other two were defused. There were no casualties.
  • An explosive device went off near the home of Education Minister Dawood Barak[?] in Kandahar.
  • Antonella Deledda[?], Central Asia representative for the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, said from Tashkent, Uzbekistan[?] that the steady flow of opium and heroin from Afghanistan was causing rising drug addiction and AIDS infections across the region, especially in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
  • Ruud Lubbers, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, traveled by road from Kabul to Mazar-e-Sharif and met with warlords Abdul Rashid Dostum, Atta Mohammed[?] and Ustad Sayeedi[?]. Afghan Refugees Minister Inayatullah Nazeri[?] also attended the talks. Lubbers complained about insecurity and ethnic tensions and urge the warlords to unite to help Afghans return to their homes.
  • Afghanistan's Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim[?] headed to Washington, DC for a six-day trip intended for talks with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Also traveling with Fahim was Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Hatiqullah Baryalai[?]. Speaking to the press before his flight left Kabul, Fahim urged the United States to provide more cooperation and financial assistance to rebuild his Afghanistan's national army.

February 27, 2003

February 26, 2003

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, DC. What was to be a private panel discussion instead turned into a hearing with television cameras and reporters present. The Bush administration later apologized to Karzai for the way he was treated by the senate. In the hearing, Karzai gave an optomistic view of the state of Afghanistan, to the dismay of some senators. Karzai disputed beliefs that 100,000 militiamen living in the provinces are beyond the influence of his government. He also turned down offers from senators that they lobby for an expansion of the international force, saying he would prefer to expand the new national Afghan army, which to date had about 3,000 trained troops.
  • Canada announced that it would be unable to make any substantial deployment of ground troops to Iraq because of its commitment to peacekeeping in Afghanistan.
  • Two Afghan children injured by mines near the air base that serves as U.S. military headquarters in Bagram, Afghanistan. Both children had limbs amputated.
  • Afghan forces found a giant cache of weapons including mortars, missiles and anti-tank land mines in an abandoned compound in the Nangarhar region.

February 25, 2003

  • Habibullah Jan[?], a district administrator in Nimroz province[?] in Dilaram, 135 miles northwest of Kandahar, Afghanistan, was assassinated. Jan's body guard was wounded in the attack.
  • According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC[?]), about 3,400 tons of opium were produced in Afghanistan in 2002, making it the largest opium producer in the world, followed by Myanmar and Laos. The report also stated that more than three quarters of the heroin sold in Europe originated in Afghanistan. The UNODC called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to take a tougher stance on the production of the illegal crops.
  • Two US security posts northwest of Bagram Air Base reported seeing and hearing approximately 14 mortar rounds being fired, as factional fighting broke out just before dawn.
  • The Afghan government found a giant cache of weapons including mortars, missiles and anti-tank land mines in an abandoned compound in the eastern Nangarhar region, near the border with Pakistan. Mortars, AK-41 anti-tank land mines, BM-12 Chinese-made missiles and munition rounds were found when troops searched the compound in Bander district, 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Jalalabad.
  • Five were Taliban suspects were arrested at a hotel in the town of Spin Boldak[?] near the Pakistan border.
  • Afghan police detained a British man who allegedly killed two Afghans with a pistol during a shootout at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. The shootout was aparently sparked by a "conflict of interest concerning a commercial dealing." The British man, identified only as a bodyguard of an American man and his Afghan wife, was wounded.

February 24, 2003

February 23, 2003

  • A International Committee of the Red Cross project started in Bamyan[?] that provided women with vegetable seeds and training to tend family plots more productively.
  • An Afghan soldier working with U.S. special forces was killed and another wounded in a firefight at a compound just east of Tarin Kot[?] in Uruzgan province[?], Afghanistan. The clash also left one enemy fighter dead and another wounded.
  • In a new report entitled "Disaster Management Framework for Afghanistan," the United Nations urged Afghanistan to draw up plans to respond to natural disasters. Achieving that capacity would likely take at least 10 years, the report said.
  • About five alleged Taliban fighters fired Afghan security forces about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northeast of Kandahar in Zabal province[?] near the Pakistani border. The ensuing fire exchange left one of the attackers dead. Security force commander Haji Wazir Mohammed[?] was seriously wounded.
  • A truck full of American military supplies including sandbags and a generator struck a landmine about 200 yards south of Bagram Air Base. No casualties were reported.
  • A U.S. military convoy in the vicinity of Wazir, Afghanistan[?] drew small arms fire from two armed men at approximately noon while attempting to secure a compound.
  • The United Nations called on donors to help fund the repatriation of an expected 1.2 million Afghan refugees in the coming year. The repatriation will begin March 2 and is expected to cost US$195 million, but, to date donors had only provided US$15.4 million.
  • Seven Taliban suspects with a stock of arms and land mines were arrested at a house in Kandahar.

February 22, 2003

  • A one-day international donors' conference to help Afghan President Hamid Karzai tighten control over Afghanistan took place in Tokyo, Japan. There were about 45 donor nations and international organizations in attendance. The meeting, called by Japan, sought to raise money for efforts to disarm warlords and extend President Karzai's authority outside Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • In Islamabad, Pakistan, Afghan Minister for Petroleum and Mines Juma Mohammad Mohammadi and other administrators from Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to invite India to take part in a potential $2.5 billion gas pipeline project to connect the states.
  • Fighting between supporters of Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and rival Gen. Atta Mohammed[?] broke out near Maimana, Afghanistan[?], the capital of Faryab province[?]. The two sides battled with machine guns, rocket launchers and artillery. Six civilians — including one man, two women and three children — were killed in the crossfire.
  • In Tokyo, Japan Afghan President Hamid Karzai secured $51 million in aid for Afghanistan from Japan ($35M), the United States ($10M), Great Britain and Canada ($2.2M).
  • A massive fire swept through a food and fuel warehouse in the central bazaar in Jalalabad. Six cars, plus large quantities of motor oil, flour, mayonnaise and other commodities were consumed by the fire.
  • The Tawainese[?] Department of Customs Administration of the Ministry of Finance announced that Afghanistan was included in a list of eleven countries being given ‘second-tier’ tariff rates in hopes of facilitating trade development.

February 21, 2003

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Tokyo, Japan to attend a conference of nations involved in pledging donations to Afghanistan. In a press conference, Karzai expressed confidence that his government would succeed in creating a unified Afghan fighting force, and in stabilizing areas beyond Kabul. But he also acknowledged that fighting has continued between rival warlords and that terrorist pockets continue to plague areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border. He estimated that about 100,000 irregular troops still need to disarm. Japan is the second largest donor nation of Afghanistan after the United States.
  • Canada announced it would not able to run peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan alone later this year, and asked for NATO help. Canada will send a battlegroup and a brigade-level headquarters to Afghanistan in August, 2003 to take over command of the 4,000 member United Nations force. Canada's commitment could involve as many as 2,800 troops on each of two six-month rotations. The general in charge of international security policy in the Canadian Department of Defense resigned over the decision.
  • David Singh[?], the public information officer for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, warned staff to take precautions following anonymous threats warning of increased retaliation in the context of the possibility of war between the United States and Iraq.
  • In a press conference, United States Military spokesman Colonel Roger King[?] said that in the last 24-hours Operation Viper[?] brought about the detention of seven more suspected Taliban members, bringing the number during the mission up to about 25. King also said that there was no indication that a land mine this week that blew off the foot of a US soldier near Gardez, Afghanistan[?] was planted recently or was targeted at US patrol.
  • German Defense Minister Peter Struck[?] said Germany could withdraw its 2,500 troops from the 4,700 strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan if a war in Iraq began and escalated tensions in the region.
  • Pakistan donated arms and ammunition to the Afghan National Army, signifying an attempt to strengthen Pakistan’s influence in the post-Taliban government in Afghanistan. The weapons include 5000 submachine guns[?], 180 mortars[?], 75 rocket-propelled grenade launchers[?] and 10,000 mortar bombs[?]. Pakistan will also help train Afghan army personnel.
  • The managing director of Sui Southern Gas Company[?] reported that Pakistan needed to finalize one natural gas import pipeline project by the end of 2003 to meet soaring gas demands in the years ahead. The three projects under discussion included an Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline, and a Qatar-Pakistan pipeline.
  • A 35-year-old U.S. Army master sergeant suffered a head injury when wind from a twin-rotor CH-47 Chinook helicopter swept up a wooden pallet that struck him at an airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was flown to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for emergency treatment. He survived.
  • U.S. forces apprehended seven suspected enemy fighters in Helmand province[?], Afghanistan.

February 20, 2003

February 19, 2003

February 18, 2003

February 17, 2003

February 16, 2003

  • In Balochistan, Pakistan, strong winds and heavy rains caused a wall to collapse in a Latifabad refugee camp, killing a nine-year-old girl and injuring three of her family members. Some 50 Afghan families in a Mohammad Kheil camp also lost their homes and tents in the storms. Later in the week, UNHCR will distribute tents, food, coal and blankets to the affected refugees, along with 150 tents and 900 quilts to storm-hit refugees in Chaghi refugee village in Baluchistan’s Dalbandin area.
  • United Nations officials in Kabul said that rains brought signs of recovery in southern Afghanistan, where reservoirs are filling up in drought ravaged Kandahar[?] and Helmand[?] provinces.
  • Afghanistan and UNICEF announced a program to re-train thousands of teachers, particularly women forced out of work during the Taliban regime. About 70,000 teachers across 29 of the country's 32 provinces will begin to receive the on-the-job training in the coming weeks. Teachers will be instructed on new ways to teach Dari and Pashtu. They will also be trained to teach awareness of the dangers of landmines.
  • The United Nations said that authorities were looking for new housing for 100 impoverished families who recently moved into cliff-side caves that surround the famed Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in central Afghanistan.
  • Rebel attackers fired two rockets near the U.S. base in Shkhin[?], Afghanistan. No casualties or damage was reported.
  • The United Nations World Food Program began to distribute to the Afghan people 10,000 mt of fortified high-energy biscuits recently donated by the Indian government. Afghan President Hamid Karzai inaugurated the program by distributing biscuits to schoolchildren of the Amani High School in Kabul.
  • Three children drowned when they were swept away by flood waters near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

February 15, 2003

  • United States Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that the Bush administration continued to hold the belief that Afghanistan still belonged to the Afghans. He said US forces were in the Afghanistan to promote the goal of long-term stability and independence through the development of local institutions. In response to concerns over the United States shifting its focus onto Iraq, he said that whatever else happens in the world, the US would not abandon Afghanistan.
  • U.S. Lt. Gen. Dan McNeill[?] met separately with Afghan president Hamid Karzai and village elders Helmand province[?] to discuss a coalition assault a week earlier that allegedly left several civilians dead. Karzai expressed concerns for the safety of civilians in operations carried out by US-led military coalition hunting for Islamic militants. Local officials and villagers in Helmand province[?] have said that at least 17 civilians, mostly women and children, had been killed in coalition bombing raids in the mountainous region that week. The U.S. military said that only an eight-year-old boy was wounded in the operation, and added that coalition forces had the right to self-defense.

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