News

    Taliban Kills 7 in Kabul After Obama Visit

    Afghan investigation team members assess the damage caused at the scene of a militant attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 2, 2012.
    Afghan investigation team members assess the damage caused at the scene of a militant attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 2, 2012.

    Insurgents killed at least seven people and wounded 17 others, mostly children, in Kabul Wednesday, just two hours after U.S. President Barack Obama left Afghanistan following a brief, unannounced visit.

    A suicide car bomber and militants disguised as women attacked a heavily secured compound housing hundreds of international workers on the eastern outskirts of the capital.  Afghan security forces swarmed the area and regained control after hours of gunfire.

    The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying it was in response to the U.S. president's visit and promised more attacks as they launch their usual "spring offensive" across the country.  U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker joined NATO and the United Nations' mission in Afghanistan in condemning the attack.

    Hours before the attack, President Obama was at Bagram Airbase just outside Kabul to sign a strategic pact with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, and deliver an election-year message on the anniversary of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's death.

    In televised remarks broadcast to Americans late Tuesday, Mr. Obama told the American people that the Afghan war is winding down.  He reaffirmed the transition in Afghanistan with U.S. combat troops completing their withdrawal and Afghans taking full security control of their country by 2014.

    The president said the United States will continue to support counterterrorism and training efforts in Afghanistan, but "will not build permanent bases" in the country.  He also said Washington's goal is to destroy al-Qaida and "not to build a country in America's image, or to eradicate every vestige of the Taliban," objectives that would "require many more years, many more dollars and many more American lives."

    The U.S.-Afghan strategic agreement pledges American aid for Afghanistan for at least a decade after the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops.  The two sides also have pledged to negotiate within the next year a separate deal outlining any U.S. troop presence beyond 2014.

    Around 90,000 U.S. troops currently serve in Afghanistan. Some 33,000 American forces will have pulled out of Afghanistan by September of this year.

    Ambassador Crocker said Wednesday the pact is the "clearest statement" that the U.S. is committed to Afghanistan through 2024.

    Senior U.S. officials say the pact is part of a larger strategy to stabilize Afghanistan and defeat extremist forces in the region.  Another key element of the strategy involves Afghan-led reconciliation with the Taliban, which the officials said can move forward if the group breaks its ties with al-Qaida.

    President Obama for the first time publicly acknowledged that his administration has been in direct discussions with the Taliban in pursuit of a "negotiated peace."  He said many insurgent leaders and fighters have shown an interest in reconciliation, but that they must cut ties with al-Qaida, renounce violence and abide by Afghan laws in order to take part in the peace process.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mike
    May 02, 2012 2:02 PM
    There are no words to express my disgust at this kind of attrocity, and it appears that the "locals" must somehow agree with it or at least not actively oppose it. The Pakistanis and the Iranians will never allow peace in the region and we can't succeed against them. This is why the U.S. should not spend a single dollar or life in this region. Obama campaigned on getting the U.S. out ASAP and he did not.

    by: Godwin
    May 02, 2012 10:14 AM
    That is seven gun salute to Obama - congratulations to the man who hates what is good and loves the evil that comes from the children of wickedness. Obama's love for islam is yielding it fruits - more hatred. And yet it is known the world over that islam breeds extremism so that any other walk of life that tries extremism is only mimicking the religion of hatred. What is USA doing in the islamic world?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.