Accessibility links

US Homeland Security Chief in Afghanistan

A burqa-clad woman crosses the street as butchers man their meat stalls outside Kabul, Afghanistan, 30 Dec 2010

The U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is in Afghanistan.

Napolitano arrived in Kabul Friday morning accompanied by Department of Homeland Security customs and border security officials who will provide civilian assistance to their Afghan counterparts.

A statement said she will also meet with senior U.S. and Afghan officials to discuss the progress being made to secure the region. Secretary Napolitano is set to spend the New Year's holiday with U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

After Afghanistan, the homeland security chief is scheduled to travel to Qatar, Israel and Belgium where she will meet with her counterparts to discuss international efforts to ensure the security of global aviation.

Secretary Napolitano's visit comes after a global scare with parcel bombs on cargo aircraft in September.

Also Friday, NATO officials in Afghanistan say a top Taliban commander has been killed in the north of the country. A statement from NATO's ISAF forces says the commander and several other insurgents were killed in a joint operation with Afghan forces in the Chahar Dara district of northern Kunduz province.

The Taliban commander was identified by local authorities as Mullah Bahadar, who reportedly commanded hundreds of insurgents in the area.

The security situation in northern Afghanistan has deteriorated over the past two years and NATO and Afghan forces launched an offensive this week in the Kunduz area.