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Afghanistan timeline February 1-14, 2003

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Afghanistan timeline

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February 14, 2003

  • In Kabul, Afghanistan, four armed robbers stormed into the office of a French charity (Solidarity, working to help farmers), tied up two Afghan employees and stole cash. Police chief General Basir Falangi said authorities were investigating and vowed to find the robbers.
  • Suspected Taliban remnants fired two rockets into the southern Afghan town of Spin Boldak, but there were no casualties. A third rocket landed near a Pakistani border post.

February 13, 2003

  • In Operation Eagle Fury, coalition warplanes dropped four 500 pound bombs and fired several hundred rounds of ammunition at the caves. Special forces patrols had collected abandoned ammunition casings and rocket-launchers. 15 fighters were captured by more than 100 US troops, while an estimated 30 rebels were believed to have suffered heavy injuries.
  • The United States Congress stepped in to find $295M in humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistan after the Bush administration failed to request any money in the latest budget. In its budget proposal for 2003, the White House did not ask for any money to aid humanitarian and reconstruction costs in Afghanistan. The chairman of the committee that distributes foreign aid, Jim Kolbe, said that when he asked administration officials why they had not requested any funds, he was given no satisfactory explanation. The $295M was not even close to the $825M promised in a bill signed by Bush in December 2002.
  • Another detainee attempted suicide at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It was the 16th attempted suicide there since detentions began.

February 12, 2003

  • Canada said it would send up to 2,000 troops (consisting of a battle group and a brigade headquarters) to Afghanistan later in the year to bolster the United Nations peacekeeping mission. To date, Canada had two warships, two maritime patrol aircraft, three transport plans, and about 850 military personnel in the region searching for al Qaeda or Taliban operatives from Afghanistan.
  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged he international community not to abandon Afghanistan in the event of a United States-led war on Iraq. Such a move, he told the BBC, would lead to instability not just in Afghanistan, but within the region.
  • Key members of the U.S. Senate criticized the Bush administration for glossing over difficulties it still faces in Afghanistan. Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar said the administration appeared to be losing interest in Afghanistan.
  • The British announced that they had granted political asylum to three former Taliban fighters. None of the fighters had engaged in direct combat with British or U.S. troops.

February 11, 2003

  • United States bombers fired laser-guided bombs at 25 armed Taliban suspects near the village of Lejay in the Baghran valley. Afghan authorities said that the raids had killed 17 civilians.

February 10, 2003

  • Afghanistan became the 89th nation to join the International Criminal Court. The ratification will take effect May 1, 2003. The court will prosecute those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It will intervene only when a country is unable or lacks the political will to carry out the trail.
  • In the Baghran mountains of Afghanistan, U.S. soldiers looking for weapons were attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns; they sustained no casualties. Air support was requested, and coalition F-16s dropped five 500 pound bombs. Eyewitnesses said 13 people had been killed in the bombing. The US claims that the only civilian confirmed injured was an eight-year-old son of a suspected Taliban fighter. The boy was taken to the US military base at Kandahar (on February 14, 2003) for treatment of shrapnel wounds to the face and leg and was in stable condition.
  • Germany and the Netherlands took over joint command of the international peace-keeping force in Afghanistan. The command was handed over by Turkey?s Maj-Gen Hilmi Akin Zorlu during a ceremony at a secondary school in the Kabul. Dignitaries present included Afghan President Hamid Karzai, German Defense Minster Peter Struck, and the Dutch Defense Minister Benk Korthals. As Lt-Gen Norbert Van Heyst vowed to maintain law and order, a rocket landed a hundred meters from a German base in Kabul. Struck was taken to shelter during the visit to Kabul when two rockets landed in his vicinity. To date, The German contingent in the peacekeeping force numbered about 2,500. The Turkish contingent numbered about 1,400, but was likely to be reduced to 160 men.
  • In Khost province, Afghanistan, a U.S. base came under rocket fire. Three rockets struck less than a kilometer from the base, but there was no damage.
  • A 22-year-old Afghan man was airlifted to the U.S. airbase in Bagram after suffering gunshot wounds. There were no details of how the man was shot, but he was said to be in a serious condition.

February 9, 2003

  • On the orders of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, 138 people, including 72 members of the Taliban, were freed from Afghan jails in a goodwill gesture before the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. Freed were prisoners who were critically ill, older than 60, serving minor offences or women who had finished half their sentence.
  • Afghanistan launched a campaign to recruit more women for training at the national police academy in Kabul. Priority was to be given to women who were denied education opportunities under Afghanistan's former Taleban rulers. To date, There were 29 women among the nearly 1,500 students undergoing training.

February 8, 2003

  • German Defense Minister Peter Struck said that US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had assured Struck that he would support the German proposal for NATO to take over.
  • A bomb exploded in a medical plaza a half-mile from a provincial governor's mansion in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. One person was hurt.

February 7, 2003

  • United States troops were fired upon while they were searching a compound southwest of Gardez, Afghanistan in an early morning operation following an intelligence report. There were no casualties on either side.
  • Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a security post in Chotu village, Helmand province, Afghanistan, killing five Afghan soldiers and kidnapping two others.
  • Kabul residents reported a man on a bicycle dispersed leaflets from a previously unknown Islamic group (called Pious Mujahideen (holy warriors) of Islam) demanding the immediate departure of U.S.-led forces from Afghanistan and a return to a strict Islamic dress code for women.
  • A report by the Post-Conflict Assessment Unit of the United Nations Environment Program revealed that 99% of the Sistan wetlands in Afghanistan and Iran were dried out.
  • Rebels attacked an Afghan army post on the Ayub Mama post in Helmand province, Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, killing five soldiers and wounding four others. Two Afghan soldiers were also abducted.
  • Twenty-five men arrived at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, pushing the number of terror suspects at the naval base to about 650. The arrivals came a day after The Pentagon reported a recent rise in suicide attempts among detainees at the base.

February 6, 2003

February 5, 2003

  • Helge Boes, a CIA counterterrorism officer, was killed and two wounded in a grenade accident during a live fire exercise in eastern Afghanistan.

February 4, 2003

  • Afghan government forces clashed with suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in the mountainous area of Shawali Kot north of the city of Kandahar. Two Dutch F-16 aircraft bombed the cave complex as part of a follow-up to the attack.
  • Twenty female teachers from Afghanistan began a one-month training course at five women's universities in Japan. The program was sponsored by the Foreign Ministry-affiliated Japan International Cooperation Agency.

February 3, 2003

  • A private memo was sent from Canadian deputy chief, Vice-Admiral Greg Maddison to the chief of the Canadian defense staff, Gen. Ray Henault, saying that command of the United Nations forces in Afghanistan was "not viable with Canada as the lead nation" without multinational support. Canada was scheduled to take over command in August, 2003.
  • Nabil Okal, an Israeli military court sentenced a Palestinian man to 27 years in prison for training in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda. Okal said he was innocent.
  • The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reported that Afghanistan remained the world's largest producer of opium poppy despite efforts to stop trade and cultivation.
  • U.S. troops with the 82nd Airborne Division completed clearing more than 75 caves in the Adi Ghar mountain of Afghanistan.

February 2, 2003

  • As part of a global U.N. campaign to cut deaths among mothers and new-born children, UNICEF began a week long project to vaccinate 740,000 women in four major Afghan cities.

February 1, 2003

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