During Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai's visit to London, U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Britain could not commit more troops to an expanded international force requested by Afghanistan, and that he wanted to end Britain's command of the 17-nation mission by the end of April. Britain's command lasted until June.
Two days of bloody fighting ended in Gardez, as governor Padsha Khan[?] tried to take up his post through force after rival warlord Saif Ullah[?] refused to hand over power. Some 50 people, including about 20 civilians, were killed in the fierce exchange of mortars, rockets and machinegun fire. Khan's troops were forced to retreat.
During Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai's one-day visit to the U.K., Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Britain could not commit more troops to an expanded international force in Afghanistan. To date, Britain was leading the force, deployed in Kabul, but wanted to end its command of the 17-nation mission by the end of April.
U.S. President George W. Bush met in the White House with German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. They discussed the global economy and the war on terrorism. Bush thanked Schröder for sending German peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan and for offering to help develop a new Afghan police force. Following their Oval Office meeting, Schröder said it was crucial for Afghanistan to develop its own police and military to maintain security once international peacekeepers leave.
In Pakistan, fire broke out in some tarpaulin tents in Ashgoor[?]refugee camp in which two children were killed and eighteen others injured seriously. Twelve tents were also destroyed in another incident in Balochistanrefugee camp in which three peopledied. Two children also received burns. Arson was suspected for both fires.
Afghanistan was one of twenty countries barred from voting in the U.N. General Assembly in 2002 because they have fallen too far behind in their dues.
In New York City, Afghan leader Hamid Karzai laid a wreath of yellow roses at the site of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. He later appealed to the U.N. Security Council in New York City to expand the multinational force into other cities beyond Kabul. However, deployment into other cities would mean an increase from 2,000 to 35,000 troops. At another meeting, Karzai met with Australian Prime Minister John Howard offered to pay Afghan asylum-seekers detained in Australia to go home.
A two-hour battle was fought between rival Pashtun tribal factions just one mile to the east of the town in an area called Zakhira[?]. Abdul Wali[?], a member of the Gardez tribal council, said the clash was between one faction that backed the town governor, Padshah Kahan Zadran[?], and another faction opposed to him. There were no casualties in the fighting.
In a meeting with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Afghan leader Hamid Karzai said that democracy would someday thrive in Afghanistan and that elections would be held in two years. He promised that his interim government would never abandon the war against terrorism. Karzai added that Afghanistan needed an immediate infusion of cash to get the process started.
Local Afghan military chief Padsha Khan[?] said that up to 1,200 al-Qaeda fighters had gathered in mountains near the village of Zurmat[?]. Khan said readying some 6,000 fighters to root the fighters out of the area.
Afghanistan's interim leader Hamid Karzai visited the White House to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush. After their meeting, President Bush announced an initial $50 million line of credit to finance private-sector reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. President Bush said the United States will help Afghanistan create an army, but that he has no intention of allowing U.S. troops to join International peacekeeping operations.
Afghan leader Hamid Karzai raised Afghanistan's new flag over at Kabul embassy in Washington, DC. The flag reflects the former black, red and green flag approved by the 1964 constitution as its national emblem. In the early 1990s, the government of Burhanuddin Rabbani changed the flag to green, white and black, while the Taliban used a white flag after taking power in 1996.
370 refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, were on hunger strike at Woomera, Australia. Dozens had sewn their lips together. They were demanding that the government speed up their asylum claims and move them out of Woomera.
U.S. and Afghan troops surrounded Kandahar's Mir Wais Hospital before dawn and traded fire with fighters inside for hours. The troops eventually hurled grenades through the hospital windows to launch a final assault, killing all six of the fighters.
An e-mail sent to various U.S. newspapers (including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times[?]) said that Richard Pearl[?] was being held under inhumane conditions. The group demanded that Pakistani nationals detained by the U.S. government be allowed access to their lawyers and families, that Afghanistan's former ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef[?], be handed over to Pakistan, and that F-16 fighter jets purchased by Pakistan in the 1980s be released. The e-mail was accompanied by four photographs purporting to show Pearl chained in captivity. One showed him hunched over with a gun to his head.
An independent newspaper, Kabul Weekly[?], was formally released. Fahim Dashty[?], the editor, said he expects the paper to be a significant test of the interim government's promise of media freedom. The newspaper was organized by Reporters Without Borders[?] and the French non-governmental organization AINA. It was funded by UNESCO with a budget of $130,000 a year for the next three years.
The first Afghan leader to visit the United States in 39 years, President Hamid Karzai addessed an audience at Georgetown University. Earlier in the day he visiting a mosque in suburban northern Virginia. In the address, Karzai appealed to Afghan teachers and other professionals living abroad to come home to help with reconstruction. He promised dual citizenship to any Afghans living in other countries.
Afghan villagers challenged U.S. accounts of a firefight, claiming U.S. Special Forces soldiers killed the wrong people during a raid. They said the victims were neither Taliban nor al-Qaida fighters but Afghans sent by a pro-government official who successfully negotiated the surrender of weapons from Taliban renegades and decided to spend the night in an Islamic school afterward.
On a three-day visit to Afghanistan, Andrew Natsios[?], the head of the U.S. government's aid agency U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), said that Afghanistan's destruction was the worst he had seen in more than a decade of service covering scores of civil wars. The purpose of his visit was to review U.S aid projects and toured areas that have been hardest hit by over two decades of conflict, including a 10-year Soviet occupation. Natsio was to assess how the United States should apportion the $296 million it pledged earlier that week.
A delegation of 20 members of the U.S. Congress travelled to the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to inspect conditions at the detention camp housing 158 prisoners from Afghanistan.
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan made a brief visit to Afghanistan. He was the first UN chief to travel here since 1959. During his visit, Annan announced, as dictated by the Bonn accord on a political future for the country, the formation of a special 21-member commission (which included one woman) to organise a loya jirga, which would in turn name a transitional authority to rule ahead of elections within two years. Annan then flew on to Tehran for two days of meetings with Iranian leaders on the rebuilding of Afghanistan.
Afghan deputy defense minister Abdul Rashid Dostam promised there would be no more ethnic fighting in Afghanistan. He also said he was unwilling to disarm before he received guarantees on his and his troops' security.
After visiting the Great Wall of China, interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Days earlier, in a summit in Japan, China offered to $1 million for rebuilding Afghanistan and $3.6 million in humanitarian aid. Karzai promised to work with China in containing separatists in Xinjiang.
During a "search-and-destroy" mission by U.S. special forces, up to 15 al Qaeda fighters died and a U.S. soldier was wounded in a pre-dawn firefight 40 miles north of Kandahar.
A U.S. raid on Hazar Qadam[?] resulted in as many as 15 mostly Afghan fighters being killed and 27 others captured. An AC-130[?] gunship destroyed a major arms cache including mortars, rockets and more than half a million small-arms rounds at the site. Villagers, however, claimed U.S. forces bombed their town hall and clinic, and killed and arrested men loyal to Afghanistan's U.S.-backed Hamid Karzai. The spokesman for Kandahar Gov. Gul Agha[?] said those captured in the raid included the district police chief, his deputy and members of the district council. A week later, U.S. security sources said they had been deliberately misled by tribal factions. Earlier that month, U.S. forces mistakenly arrested an entire family and their servants from the Khorot[?] tribe on suspicion of being Taliban members on the basis of information supplied by Khorot rivals in the Waziri[?] tribe across the border in Pakistan.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said U.S. ground troops would remain in Afghanistan at least into that summer, to continue their manhunt, to attack any Taliban and al-Qaida resistance and to help Afghanistan's transition to a more permanent government. To date, the United States had about 4,000 troops in Afghanistan and many hundreds more in neighboring Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Smaller numbers were in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and thousands were aboard Navy ships patrolling the Arabian Sea.
In Kandahar, the local governor, Gul Agha[?], accused Iran of sending vehicles and weapons into Afghanistan to undermine the new interim government of Hamid Karzai. At the time, Iran was allied with warlord Ismail Khan. Agha denied claims that he had sent fighters toward Herat, Khan's stronghold, in western Afghanistan. U.N. Deputy Special Envoy Francesc Vendrell[?] said he found no evidence of Iranian interference in Afghanistan; moreover, he hailed Iran's commitment to Afghan reconstruction.
The U.S. Treasury Department unblocked $193 million in gold and $24 million in other assets of the Afghan Central Bank[?]. Those assets had been frozen since 1999 to keep them out of the hands of the Taliban regime.
The interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai visited Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji in Beijing, China discuss the future of Afghanistan and regional issues. Karzai promised that Afghanistan would no longer be used as a base to support separatists in China's Xinjiang region.
Organizers of the UNICEF emergency aid program in Afghanistan stressed the humanitarian crisis was not over, and that the country still faces a pile of problems concerning millions of refugees and internally displaced people, a lack of proper health care, nearly four years of drought and an estimated 10 million land mines. They urged continued international assistance.
Afghanistan's defense ministry began to form the nucleus of its new national army, which hoped someday to be 200,000 strong. Each of the 33 provinces was instructed to choose 200 men in the first phase of establishing the army.
A hearing was set before U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz, who decided over the weekend to consider a petition filed by The Committee of Clergy, Lawyers and Professors. The challenge demanded that the government bring the men before a U.S. court and define the charges against them. The petition alleged prisoners were held in violation of the Geneva Convention and U.S. Constitution. The petition also sought to guarantee due process and to block any transfer of the detainees from Guantanemo Bay[?].
Interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai was in Japan seeking assistance for Afghanistan from sixty donor nations. Nations pledged $4.5 billion over five years, of which the four conference co-hosts (Japan, the United States, the European Union and Saudi Arabia) were expected to share the bulk of the financial burden. The United States promised a first-year installment of $296 million. Great Britain pledged 200 million pounds (US$288 million) over the next five years, and Saudi Arabia pledged $220 million over three years. The United Nations, World Bank and Asian Development Bank estimated that reconstruction would require $15 billion over a decade with $5 billion needed in the critical first 30 months and $10 billion in the first five years. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell attended the opening session. Singapore offered a special five-year technical assistance package, specifically for the purpose of training nurses and teachers of special education. India pledged US$100 million in assistance for the reconstruction.
Two U.S. special forces soldiers in a Humvee were on patrol near the city of Herat when the vehicle rolled over. One soldier broke several ribs and may have injured his spinal cord, while the other was just shaken up. Both were airlifted to Bagram[?] for medical treatment.
Pakistan announced that it would not extend a transit facility for Indian wheat bound for Afghanistan through Pakistan, on the grounds that it was infested and could harm Pakistani wheat. India refuted Pakistan's claim and requested that the World Food Program inspect the wheat.
Kumar Periasamy[?], a Singaporean staff member of Operation Blessing International (OPI) returned to Singapore after a 2-week mission there. He announced that the organization wanted to send a team of medical professionals to Kabul in March, and was looking for local volunteers. OPI's focus was on distributing food rations to 13 villages and more than 500 widows, many of whom walked miles to collect the food. OPI also distributed textbooks to Kabul's first co-ed school.
Japan's cabinet approved 6.47 billion yen (US$48.93 million) in immediate aid to Afghanistan.
An Australia SAS soldier was injured by a landmine in southern Afghanistan, losing two toes from his right foot. He was evacuated by a U.S.Black Hawk[?] helicopter and underwent surgery at a military medical facility at Kandahar.
In Kandahar, two policemen open fire on a taxi that refused to stop at their checkpoint. Five rounds were fired, smashing the rear window of the vehicle. The taxi was brought to a halt at the next checkpost and no one was hurt. The checkpoints were part of an effort to confiscate weapons from armed groups.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in Kabul to meet with the head of the Afghan interim authority, Hamid Karzai. Powell referred to Afghanistan as a "start-up country." For security reasosns, Powell's visit was not announced until after he arrived, and his visit lasted only five hours. He then flew on to India.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he could not predict how long detainees would be kept at Guantanamo Bay. He suggested that some might be tried before a special U.S. military tribunal, others in U.S. civilian courts and still others might be sent back to their home countries for prosecution.
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