World News

18 Killed in Afghan Attacks During Hagel's Visit

Officials say two suicide bombings Saturday in Afghanistan killed at least 18 people as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visits the nation.

Authorities say at least nine civilians were killed in an attack at the Defense Ministry in Kabul while Hagel was visiting the capital city. At least 14 people were wounded in the attack by a suicide bomber on a bicycle.

Hagel says he was in a safe location and was not harmed.



"I was in a briefing, but we're in a war zone. I've been in war, so shouldn't be surprised when a bomb goes off or there is an explosion."



The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the assault was a warning to the U.S. defense chief.

Hagel comes to Afghanistan as it struggles with the U.S. over control of detention facilities and troop withdrawal. A ceremony to transfer U.S. control of a main detention facility to Afghanistan Saturday was canceled as a deal struck between the two governments broke down the day before.

Elsewhere, authorities say an Afghan police officer and eight civilians, mostly children, were killed in the second explosion in the eastern city of Khost.



Hagel arrived in Afghanistan Friday on his first foreign trip since being confirmed as Pentagon chief by the U.S. Senate last week.

Speaking to reporters as he flew to Kabul, Hagel expressed optimism about the transfer of security responsibility to Afghan forces prior to the departure of U.S.-led coalition forces in 2014.

Last month, Hagel's predecessor, Leon Panetta, said that NATO allies were considering leaving between 8,000 and 12,000 international troops in Afghanistan after 2014. There are currently around 100,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, including 66,000 U.S. troops.

Hagel said that while in Afghanistan he would meet with U.S. commanders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs