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Afghanistan timeline November 2002

Afghanistan timeline

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November 30, 2002

  • In Moscow, Afghan foreign minister, Abdullah Abdullah, and his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, held talks focusing on security issues. Russia had provided economic and food aid to Afghanistan during 2002, and Ivanov committed to increasing that aid. The two officials also spent much of their time discussing the growing problem of illegal drug smuggling.

November 29, 2002

November 28, 2002

November 27, 2002

November 26, 2002

  • Several rockets slammed into the eastern edge of Kabul overnight, landing several miles from a base of the international peacekeepers.
  • Forces loyal to Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum clashed with those of Gen. Atta Mohammed[?] in Faryab province[?], Afghanistan.
  • A rocket was launched from a truck on near the town of Lwara[?] into a U.S. base. At least three men were seen fleeing in the vehicle and were pursued by U.S. attack helicopters until the truck crossed the border into Pakistan. A total of 53 attacks were reported against U.S. forces in Afghanistan in November. The tally of incidents, which included mines, direct fire, mortar or rocket attacks on U.S. forces, was up from 49 in September and 51 in October.
  • Afghan authorities released 87 Pakistani prisoners suspected of fighting alongside the former Taliban government. The men were handed over to officials at Pakistan's embassy in Kabul and, in the presence of several delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross, placed on a bus destined for the Pakistan border. To date, an estimated 600 Pakistanis were still jailed in Afghanistan.

November 25, 2002

  • A 15-man U.S. special forces patrol seized a large cache of heavy weapons and armored vehicles near Bamyan[?]. About 100 armed Afghan men fled the site as the soldiers approached the cache. Two unarmed men were briefly questioned then released.
  • A U.S. special forces soldier was airlifted from a U.S. base near Spinboldak[?], Afghanistan, after falling and breaking his collar bone.
  • A rocket was fired at a U.S. base near Shkin[?], about 150 miles south of Kabul.
  • A rocket-propelled grenade hit the south wall of the Spinboldak[?] U.S. base.
  • Lieutenant Commander Altug Akyuz[?] of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said there were a series of explosions near their base on the eastern outskirts of Kabul.
the blasts occurred late Monday in the vicinity of bases housing most of the troops from the 22-nation contingent.

November 23, 2002

  • Nine white phosphorus rockets were fired at a U.S. base near Lwara[?], Afghanistan, 178 km southwest of Kabul, at about 10:30 pm. An A-10 fighter jet dropped a single bomb on the suspected launch site.
  • A 107 mm rocket was fired at a U.S. base near Khost[?], Afhanistan[?]. The rocket landed inside the base's outer perimeter. One of the two military trucks hit by the rocket at the Khost base was heavily damaged.
  • Welcomed by Abdullah Abdullah, Germany's Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, arrived in Kabul to visit German troops serving as international peacekeepers, to discuss security, and to discuss the transfer of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) leadership. Fischer said Germany would send more troops to Afghanistan ahead of taking over command of international forces in Kabul. To date, there were more than 1,000 German soldiers in Kabul, together with hundreds of Dutch troops. Germany and the Netherlands were scheduled to take over command of the 5,000-strong international force, which to date comprised soldiers from 22 nations.

November 22, 2002

November 21, 2002

  • A large quantity of explosives was found by Afghan police in the generator room of the Sarobi Dam[?] in Kabul, averting a possible sabotage attack. Several arrests were made.
  • Explosives disposal experts from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) concluded that an explosion in Kabul's Microryan neighborhood was caused by a pound of explosives. Afghan authorities, however, rejected that version and stuck by their initial assessment that a rocket was responsible.
  • India announced it would send 124 more busses to Afghanistan in addition to the 50 that it had already sent.

November 20, 2002

November 19, 2002

  • The newest U.N. refugee camp[?] of Zhare Dasht[?] was criticized as being too remote, overcrowded and dangerously close to a mine field. It was built in the desert on the outskirts of Kandahar to house about 60,000 refugees who had been living on Pakistani border.
  • U.S. boxer Muhammad Ali met former Afghan king, Mohammad Zaher Shah[?]. The king's grandson Duran Zaher[?] gave Ali a tour of the palace remains.
  • Denmark announced that a March 6 blast that killed two German and three Danish soldiers "could have been avoided if everyone had respected the safety procedures." The event occurred near the airport in Kabul, while the team was defusing Soviet-made SA-3 anti-aircraft missiles.
  • In Kabul, two Afghan children were killed when they picked up an unexploded mortar in the eastern part of the city. In a separate incident, another child in Kabul picked up a butterfly mine which blew off his hand.
  • While searching for weapons near Jalalabad, U.S. soldiers were fired on by AK-47 machine guns around 7 a.m. A search of one of the three buildings in the compound turned up equipment used to produce narcotics. Documents seized showed the lab was tied to Hezb-e-Islami[?], a group affiliated with the warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
  • Gunmen fired at the U.S. base near the central Afghan city of Terin Kot[?].
  • Japan extended its logistics support for the U.S[?]-led anti-terrorism campaign in and around Afghanistan for another six months. Japan also added a transport ship (carrying bulldozers and other heavy equipment for construction of airfields) to other Japanese vessels already taking part in the campaign. However, Japan chose not to send a state-of-the-art Aegis destroyer to the region. To date, Japan had dispatched two refueling ships and three escort ships, supplying fuel and food to U.S. and British military vessels deployed mainly in the Indian Ocean.
  • The U.S. State Department strongly warns U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan]]. Items of concern included military operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry among political and tribal groups.
  • Afghan forces loyal to Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum battled those of rival commander Gen. Atta Mohammed[?] in Maqsood[?], Samangan province[?]. Two of Dostum's fighter's were killed and three were captured.

November 18, 2002

  • In New Delhi, India, Afghan Commerce Minister Sayed Mustafa Kazmi[?] and Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha[?] held talks to put in place a preferential trading arrangement and the setting up of transit routes to jack up bilateral economic cooperation.
  • On a visit to China by Afghan Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan[?] pledged to write off Afghanistan's multimillion-dollar debt, some of which dated back to the 1960s. To date, China had given Kabul $30 million in 2002 aid.
  • U.S. boxer Muhammad Ali began a three-day visit to Kabul as a U.N. Messenger of Peace, visiting a boxing club, a girls' school, and President Hamid Karzai. Ali wanted to bring attention to the world regarding Afghanistan's huge humanitarian needs.
  • A U.S. special forces soldier suffered head and hand injuries while rock climbing during a mission near Deh Rawod[?] in central Uruzgan[?], Afghanistan. He was to be flown to Germany for an operation on his hand.
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill visited Kabul for the day to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to rebuilding Afghanistan. O'Neill toured a girls' school, new road construction sites, and some fledgling factories making shoes and metal products. O'Neill said that a five-star hotel was under consideration in Kabul, but did not name the possible owners. "Afghanistan will not be forgotten," he told a press conference, "the United States is committed to be here for the long term."

November 17, 2002

  • The United Nations was investigated alleged human rights abuses by Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum. Witnesses claimed that Dostum jailed and tortured witnesses to prevent them from testifying in a war crimes case.

November 16, 2002

  • A remote-control 107 mm rocket landed nearly a mile from the U.S. base near Gardez at around 8 p.m.
  • Two rockets were fired at the U.S. airfield near Khost[?], both falling about a mile from the base.

November 14, 2002

  • Construction began on a key highway connecting Kandahar to Spinboldak, Pakistan. The three-month, US$15 million project was funded by the Asian Development Bank.
  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai was awarded the International Rescue Committee's Freedom Award.
  • The U.S. Congress passed legislation that calls for $2.3 billion over four years in reconstruction funds for Afghanistan, plus another $1 billion to expand the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
  • Nine 107mm rockets were fired at the U.S. military base near Gardez, in eastern Afghanistan. The rockets landed near the base but did not cause any casualties. U.S forces called in A-10 fighter planes, which dropped several bombs and fired about 2,000 rounds of ammunition. Special forces troops found a suspected enemy vehicle and destroyed a rocket that had not been fired.
  • The U.S. base in Lwara[?] came under rocket and mortar fire. At least one round exploded inside the compound. Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division moved on the launch site, trading small arms and mortar fire with the suspected attackers. An A-10 plane fired rockets at the launch site and dropped a 500-pound bomb after three suspected enemy fighters were detected moving. Another aircraft dropped a 1,000-pound bomb shortly afterward.

November 13, 2002

November 12, 2002

  • Hundreds of Kabul University[?] students marched in protest against the killing of four of their colleagues in a demonstration the previous evening. Police fired into the air and used water cannons to break up the march. Many of the poorer students, who lived in the troubled dormitory, were from areas dominated by ethnic Pashtuns[?], while the university was dominated by ethnic Tajiks[?].
  • A tape of Osama bin Laden was broadcast on by the Arabic-language al-Jazeera satellite television channel based in Qatar. On the tape, he warned U.S. allies that they would be targets of new attacks if they continued to back the United States. He also hailed attacks in Bali, Kuwait, Yemen and Jordan and the Moscow theatre siege a month earlier. The cassette was handed to an Al-Jazeera television correspondent in Islamabad by an unidentified man who disappeared immediately.

November 11, 2002

  • A team of representatives of the Afghan Human Rights Commission[?] and the U.N. was dispatched to the north to look into the reports that witnesses of mass killings were being harassed, detained, tortured and executed.
  • A dozen gaunt Pakistani men, some wrapped in ragged shawls against the cold, were released from a prison in Kabul, Afghanistan.They had been held since the collapse of the Taliban one year earlier.
  • At least four students of Kabul University[?] were killed and dozens injured, as over 500 students clashed with police in violent demonstrations in Kabul, Afghanistan. Students were protesting over a lack of food and electricity in their dormitory. Several policemen were also injured.
  • Ismail Khan, Afghan provincial governor of Herat[?], reimposed a ban on wedding celebrations at restaurants, on the grounds that they encourage men and women to dance together. The ban was based on a decree from Herat's 60-man Council of Scholars and Clerics. The ban was first imposed by Khan four months ago after a young women burned herself to death when her parents told her they could not afford to hold her wedding party at a restaurant. Khan later reversed this decision after complaints.

November 10, 2002

  • As part of an international effort in Afghanistan, work began on rebuilding a major highway. The project was expected to cost $250 million, two thirds of it pledged by the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia. The 750-mile route, which runs from Kabul through Kandahar and then to Herat, was built in the 1960s with U.S. funds, but devastated during the 1980s Soviet occupation and the civil war that followed.

November 9, 2002

  • U.S. helicopters broke up a gun battle between Kuchis[?] and local government forces over a land dispute. After the two sides exchanged fire with light machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades for two hours, the American helicopters attacked the gunmen's positions on cliffs surrounding Kikara village, near Khost[?], Afghanistan. Six gunmen were wounded in the clash.

November 8, 2002

  • Iran called for the second time in less than two weeks for Kabul to respect a water-sharing accord on the Helmand river flowing from Afghanistan into Iran. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he would "take care of this issue personally."
  • A regional Afghan commander, Haji Mohammed Zaher, escaped unhurt from a shooting incident on the border with Pakistan. One of his bodyguards was killed and another wounded. Zaher had gone to the border to close an illegal checkpoint on the road from Torkham[?] to Jalalabad, where militiamen were stopping motorists and demanding money.
  • Unidentified attackers fired four rockets toward the U.S. airfield in Khost[?]. There was no damage.
  • It was revealed that the United Nations was using snapshots of eyes to build an iris recognition[?] database of Afghan refugees. The database will enable the U.N. to prevent refugees from fraudulently claiming more than one U.N. aid package per person as they cross the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan.

November 7, 2002

  • Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai ordered the release of 20 female prisoners in a goodwill gesture one day after the start of the holy month of Ramadan. The women had all been detained for petty crimes. The women, held in a Kabul prison, would likely be released over the weekend.
  • U.S. special forces shot and killed a gunman who fired on them near the central Afghan town of Deh Rawod. The forces were helping an Afghan policeman who had been fired on when two attackers in civilian clothing opened fire on the U.S. forces with AK-47 assault rifles. The soldiers returned fire, killing one man. The other escaped.
  • Eight people fired on U.S. special forces 2 miles north of Khost[?], in eastern Afghanistan. AH-64 Apache helicopters fired rockets and 30 mm rounds, before the eight fled over a nearby ridge.
  • U.S. paratroopers swept through four areas in northeast of Khost[?], seizing weapons including 28 mines, 76 hand grenades, 147 rocket-launched grenades, 62 launchers, more than 500 round of 5.62 mm rounds. Five men were taken to Khost for questioning.

November 6, 2002

  • The Hague announced that the Netherlands will join Germany in taking over command of the U.N. security force in Afghanistan in mid-February 2003. To date, Turkey was in command of the 19-nation, 5,000-strong International Security Assistance Force. Germany had 1,200 soldiers in the force, and the Dutch 240, but those figures would be boosted after the transfer of command. To date, Germany had a total of 10,000 troops serving abroad, second only to the United States.
  • Near the town of Khost[?], U.S. special forces seized five 107 mm rockets aimed at a U.S. airfield in southeastern Afghanistan. The rockets were armed and had fuses, but they had not been timed to fire. A villager told special forces about the weapons.
  • Rival factions in northern Afghanistan began turning in their weapons as part of a United Nations monitored program to curb violence. More than 120 assault rifles and some artillery pieces were seized from soldiers loyal to Abdul Rashid Dostum and fighters under Ustad Atta Mohammad[?] in the Sholgara district, southwest of Mazar-i-Sharif.
  • A senior U.S. official said an Afghan government defense commission, made up of Afghan officials and warlords, agreed to build up the country's army to 70,000 troops over the next two years. To date, Afghanistan's national army had only 1,000 men.
  • International peacekeepers destroyed six missiles that had been seized two days earlier in an abandoned storage facility in Kabul. The missiles, three Scud-B warheads and three Frog-7 rockets, were believed to have been in Afghanistan since the Soviet era, and could not be fired. But each of the warheads was fitted with a detonator and each contained about 800 kilograms of TNT. About 4,800 peacekeepers of International Security Assistance Force regularly patrolled Kabul to bolster security. ISAF troops could frequently be scene patrolling the streets in jeeps and armored cars mounted with heavy guns.
  • U.N. and U.S. researchers reported that women in Afghanistan were dying during childbirth at a staggeringly high rate. In rural Badakshan province[?], the maternity death rate was highest rate ever documented -- 6,500 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births. High death rates for mothers have profound implications for the children.

November 5, 2002

  • A rocket or mortar was fired at a U.S. Army Special Forces base in Gardez, but caused no injuries.
  • In a 51-page report titled All Our Hopes Are Crushed: Violence and Repression in Western Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch alleged that the governor of Herat, Ismail Khan, ordered politically motivated arrests and beatings throughout 2002. The report detailed lashings with thorny branches, sticks, cables and rifle butts. In the most serious cases, prisoners were hung upside down, whipped or tortured with electric shocks. The group also reported that there were no independent media in Herat and no public meetings allowed in Herat. Khan's Herat was described in the report as a closed society without room for dissent, independent opinion or personal freedoms. The report called for the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force beyond Kabul. It also called for US to exert its influence and adopt a peacekeeping role in the regions.

November 3, 2002

  • A rocket exploded 500 meters from a U.S. base in Deh Rahwod district in Uruzgan province[?], Afghanistan.
  • A delegation from Herat province[?] on made its second visit to Hamid Karzai to call for the removal of Ismail Khan, the Tajik governor and self-styled "Emir of Herat", after his troops attacked ethnic Pashtuns[?].
  • The night curfew in Kabul was lifted for the first time in 23 years.
  • Former Afghan King Mohammad Zaher Shah[?] inaugurated a special committee set up to draft a new constitution for this war-ravaged nation. The nine-member committee, headed by Vice President Nayiamatullah Shahrani[?], took on the task of preparing a preliminary draft of the document and to later be reviewed by a constitutional commission. The final draft would be approved by a constitutional loya jirga in 2003.
  • Acting on tips 400 U.S. troops raided Naray and nearby Kot Kalay. They found one-hundred and fifteen 107 mm rockets, 14 rocket-propelled grenades, land mines, detonators and thousands of rounds of ammunition, some of it armor-piercing. An entire wedding party, decked in their best clothes, arriving at a mosque and were told to sit outside. They were told not to move. Everyone was frisked. Teams then moved through homes, pulling clothing from trunks, opening bins of flour and cutting plaster from walls to look for hidden compartments. A trunk of AK-47s and "toe-popper" landmines[?] were found under a haystack; other weapons were discovered under beds or wrapped in rugs. Villagers were detained overnight. The villagers were then freed, except for five detainees, who were taken to helicopters with bags over their heads. The troops left the shotguns and long rifles they found, but kept the AK-47s. The troops then left in their Black Hawks[?]. Troops found AK-47s in the second town, Kot Kalay, but little else.
  • Three rocket-propelled grenade rounds were fired at a U.S. base in the southeastern town of Shkin[?] in Paktika province[?], about 150 miles south of Kabul.
  • A U.S. base near Kandahar came under small-arms fire from a lone gunman. U.S. troops were deployed but failed to find the shooter.
  • U.S. troops at a base in Deh Rawod in Uruzgan province[?] fired an illumination round after "two unknown personnel were seen" about 300 yards away. The two then fired five rounds at U.S. troops in a guard tower on the base and fled on foot.
  • U.S. 82nd Airborne[?] paratroopers[?] ended a 24-hour operation northeast of Khost[?] that netted 20 mines, 60 grenades, 20 rifles or shotguns, and thousands of artillery and automatic weapon rounds. Six people were also detained in the operation, and Taliban literature and documents were seized.

November 2, 2002

  • Tajik forces loyal to Ismail Khan, the governor of Herat province[?], launched the attack in the Zer-e-Koh district, killing two civilians and injuring 15 in a crowded market. Ismail Khan, a former governor, took back control of Herat after the fall of the Taliban. But local Pashtuns[?] have complained his forces have looted and oppressed them.
  • The U.S. base in Asadabad, Afghanistan[?] in Kunar province[?] came under rocket or mortar fire . No injuries were reported
  • Afghan security officials in Jalalabad found two bombs connected to timers set to go off in a busy market area. Authorities were unable to neutralize the bombs, but streets were blocked off around one before it detonated on its own. A second bomb found nearby was taken to a secure location at an intelligence ministry compound where it exploded. Neither blast caused casualties.
  • Two rockets exploded near a U.S. base at Orgun[?], about 110 miles south of Kabul. One of the rockets landed about 500 yards from the base.
  • An emergency cabinet meeting was called by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to decide the fate of some 15 local commanders. The moves were intended to to bring unruly and corrupt provincial leaders into line. In Nangarhar province[?] (one of the major suppliers of Afghanistan's illicit opium exports) several officials were dismissed for their links with the drug trade. The directors of customs, agriculture and public works were also dismissed. Two security chiefs in the principal northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif were fired, including Sayeed Kamal[?], a powerful commander once in charge of five provincial districts.
  • Two people were killed when Ismail Khan's men shelled a busy market place in a Pashtun community in the south of the province.

November 1, 2002

  • About 60 kilometers east of Khost, in Gardez, three rockets exploded just after midnight about one kilometer southwest of a compound housing U.S. special forces soldiers.
  • Two 107 mm rockets exploded before dawn within 500 meters of Camp Salerno[?], near the city of Khost[?]. Another exploded 10 minutes later near Chapman Airfield[?], a few kilometers away.
  • A spokesman for the United Nations Population Fund reported that in Afghanistan 50 women were dying each day during labor. In some parts of the women could not be treated by male doctors.
  • Pakistan turned over to U.S. forces 25 suspected al-Qaida fighters. They were taken to the Kandahar base[?], bringing the total number of detainees there to 189. The U.S. also is holding 12 prisoners at Bagram air base[?] north of Kabul, one in Mazar-e-Sharif and eight on a U.S. Navy ship in the Arabian Sea.

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