Accessibility links

Karzai to Announce Next Round of Afghan Security Transition

Afghan security forces will soon take control of security in 17 areas of Afghanistan, ahead of the complete withdrawal of foreign combat troops from the country by 2014.

A senior Afghan official said Wednesday that Afghan President Hamid Karzai will announce the second phase of the security transition at a conference in Turkey on November 2.

NATO plans to transfer full security control to Afghan forces by the end of 2014. The process began in July, and Afghan police and troops have already taken charge of several cities and provinces.

Abdul Khaliq Farahi, director of the Afghan government's Independent Directorate of Local Governance, said Wednesday that all or parts of 17 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces will be handed over in the next phase.

He did not give details, but among the areas where security will be partly or completely handed over are Takhar, Sar-e-Pul, Samangan, Parwan, Balkh, and Badhakshan provinces in the north, and Herat and Nimroz provinces in the west.

Some provincial governors attending the transition meeting in Kabul expressed concern over the readiness of Afghan forces to take over security, especially as violence continues.

At least 10 people were killed late Tuesday when a bomb exploded on a fuel truck in Parwan province.

The blast north of Kabul also wounded more than 35 others. Afghan officials say a magnet bomb attached to the tanker blew a hole in the truck. A second blast took place as people gathered to collect fuel that was leaking out after the first explosion.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place on a road near Bagram Airfield, one of the largest U.S.-run bases in Afghanistan.

In the east, NATO said an insurgent attack Wednesday killed one of it service members. The coalition did not give details.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.