News

NATO Tightens Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan

NATO says it has tightened its rules of engagement in Afghanistan in an attempt to minimize civilian causalities and reduce tensions.

An alliance spokesman Wednesday announced that Afghan forces will take the lead in all searches of Afghan homes and religious sites. The directive specifies that foreign troops can only lead such searches if a clear danger has been identified.

This new rule went into effect last month but was only made public Wednesday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly called on the roughly 60,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan to avoid harming civilians. He has said the issue of civilian casualties has undermined public support for foreign troops in his country.

NATO blames Taliban fighters for causing the majority of civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

In other news Wednesday, a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, General Zahir Azimi, said that only four districts in Afghanistan's volatile south remain under Taliban control. General Azimi made the remarks at a joint Afghan-NATO press conference in Kabul.

Officials say one district is located in Daykundi province while the other three are in Helmand province.

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

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Story

VIDEO: Top U.S. intelligence officials warn the Islamic State remains a “formidable and brutal threat” even as coalition airstrikes and fighting on the ground begin to erode its strength. But there are also indications that the constant bombardment is starting to take a more permanent toll. VOA National Security Reporter Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Degraded IS Still 'Formidable and Brutal'

US intelligence, military officials say Islamic State group losing ground in Iraq and perhaps elsewhere More