Wiki Actu en

February 13, 2010

Landmark coalition offensive launched in Afghanistan

Landmark coalition offensive launched in Afghanistan

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Leaflets were dropped into Marja in preparation for the attack.
Image: US Army.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has launched a large-scale siege of the town of Marja, currently held by Taliban insurgents. The attacking forces consist of Afghan, American, British, and Canadian troops.

Operation Moshtarak marks the largest Afghan-ISAF joint offensive to-date. The aim of the operation is to wrest control of the town in Helmand Province from Taliban forces.

The operation was announced several days in advance in order to allow the 80,000 civilians in the town an opportunity to leave, or prepare for the siege. Reports indicate over 10,000 citizens subsequently left and the local government is preparing shelter for them in nearby towns. This strategy is hoped to minimise civilian casualties; however, the side-effect is giving Taliban defenders time to prepare.

15,000 troops are involved in the operation, while the Taliban defense is believed to consist of between 1,000 and 2,000 militants. The attack was launched with an initial wave of over 4,000 US Marines, 1,500 from the Afghan Army plus 300 US Army soldiers flying into the city by helicopter at about 2am local time (2130 UTC).

Operation Moshtarak is the first major operation in Afghanistan since the United States sent 30,000 reinforcements in late December. If successful, ISAF hopes it may mark a turning point in the conflict in Helmand, as Marja provides a base of operations for key Taliban figures in the province. Upon securing the town, NATO hopes to quickly restore public service and provide alternative livelihoods for the town’s opium farmers – a bid to win over the population and prevent Taliban resurgence in the area.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 12, 2009

Former WWE superstar Jeff Hardy arrested on major drug charges

Former WWE superstar Jeff Hardy arrested on major drug charges

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Former WWE and TNA superstar Jeff Hardy

Former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Jeff Hardy has been arrested on five major drug charges. The former WWE Champion’s home was searched by police and they seized 262 Vicodin prescription pills, 180 Soma prescription pills, 555 milliliters of anabolic steroids, a residual amount of powder cocaine and other items of drug paraphernalia. The estimated street value of the drugs is $2,500.

Hardy’s charges are listed as “felony trafficking in opium, two counts of felony possession with intent to sell or deliver a Schedule III controlled substance, felony maintaining a dwelling to keep controlled substance, felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanour possession of drug paraphernalia.”

It is believed that Hardy is now back at his North Carolina home and his brother, fellow World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Matt Hardy, posting the $125,000 bail.

The superstar released a statement on his Twitter page saying “A lot of exaggerations are out there today, don’t believe everything you read 4 it is not true, I am at home and fine-thanks for your concern.”

Hardy only left the WWE two weeks ago when he lost a “Loser leaves WWE” match against CM Punk. During his tenure at WWE he was often surrounded by both controversy and personal issues. He was released in 2003 with him saying it was a “mutual decision” He returned in 2006 but was suspended twice for violations to the WWE wellness program. He also had a stint in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he was suspended and later released for missing shows.

Hardy’s arrest comes less than a week after former WWE and WCW superstar Sean O’Haire was arrested on charges of misdemeanor battery and criminal trespass.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 27, 2007

Opium production in Afghanistan reaches record highs

Opium production in Afghanistan reaches record highs

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, August 27, 2007

Opium Poppy

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report released Monday, the opium produced in Afghanistan has doubled in the past two years, reaching record highs. The United Nations’ report determined that 93% of the world’s opium is now produced in Afghanistan, up 1% from last year.

In 2007, 193,000 hectares of land in Afghanistan were dedicated to opium poppy cultivation, representing a 17 percent increase over 2006. In addition, the yield per hectare was up from last year, due to favourable weather conditions. In 2007, opium yields were 42.5 kg per hectare, while in 2006 yields were 37.0 kg/ha. Overall in 2007, Afghanistan produced 8,200 tons of opium, an amount 34 percent greater than in 2006.

This marks the sixth consecutive year that production has increased despite the United States’ US$600 million counter-narcotics program in Afghanistan. When commenting on the report’s overall findings, William B. Wood, the American ambassador to Afghanistan, said, “I think it is safe to say that we should be looking for a new strategy, and I think that we are finding one.” He refers to the possibility of such enhanced U.S. efforts including spraying poppy crops with herbicides. This proposal has been opposed by both British and Afghan officials in the past.

Sources

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 5, 2006

British soldier killed in Afghanistan

British soldier killed in Afghanistan – Wikinews, the free news source

British soldier killed in Afghanistan

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Helmand is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the south-west of the country. Its capital is Lashkargah. The Helmand River flows through the mainly desert region, proving irrigation. The population is 1,011,600 and the surface area is 23,058 square miles. The population is largely Pashtun. Helmand produces 20% of the world’s opium.

The Ministry of Defence has named a British soldier from the 3 Para Battle Group who died while on patrol in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

The soldier, 19 year-old Private Damien Raymond Jackson, of South Shields, Tyne and Wear, came under fire from Taliban forces in the town of Sangin. He died while being given treatment.

His father, Daniel Jackson said: “I wish everyone to know just how extremely proud I am of my son Damien – of all that he has achieved in his lifetime and of the fact that he died, when duty called, protecting others, in the service of his country.

“A fine, upstanding South Shields lad, Damien was immensely proud to have achieved his ultimate ambition in becoming a member of the finest regiment in the British Army.”

He also condemned the government’s policy in Afghanistan, saying that UK forces are in “dreadful danger”. “We fully support the British Army in Afghanistan whilst in no way supporting or condoning a government policy, which has placed our young men and women in such dreadful danger.”

Private Jackson’s death means six British soldiers have died in the unstable Helmand region in the last four weeks. Since 2001 when operations began in Afghanistan, thirteen British soldiers have lost their lives.

On Saturday, two British soldiers were killed after a rocket-propelled grenade struck the headquarters they were in.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said he would give more resources to British troops to assist them in their fight against the Taliban, but he said the British Army has not yet made such a request.

“If they need more, we will make sure that they get more,” he told the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

Along with the Conservative Party leader David Cameron, Mr Blair also commended the efforts of British soldiers by praising their “extraordinary and heroic job”.

“They are fighting a battle that I think is important not just for the security of Afghanistan. It is important for the security of the wider world,” the Prime Minister said.

Approximately 4,000 British soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan, and almost 3,000 of them work in Helmand Province.

In general, they are in Afghanistan to help train the country’s troops, provide security, and assist with reconstruction. As 20% of the world’s opium is produced in Helmand Province, the main task for troops there is to control drugs lords.

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

February 23, 2006

UK and Aussie troops will not fight opium in Afghanistan

UK and Aussie troops will not fight opium in Afghanistan

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, February 23, 2006

raw opium seized in Afghanistan

Colonel Gordon Messenger, commander of the British forces in Southern Afghanistan, has said that troops under his command will not be engaged in the fight against opium cultivation. “There will be absolutely no maroon berets [of the marines] with scythes in a poppy field,” he said.

The United Nations has reported that a “fear that Afghanistan might degenerate into a narco-state is slowly becoming a reality.”

U.S. State department officials and the CIA claim that Afghan drug trafficking is a primary source of funding for terrorists. Doug Wankel, a former Drug Enforcement Administration official who is point man for the U.S. counternarcotics initiative at the American Embassy in Kabul, said the opium industry is “financing terrorism. It’s financing subversive activities. It’s financing warlordism. … And if it’s a threat to the government of Afghanistan, it’s a direct threat to the national security interests of the United States.”

Australia recently committed 200 extra troops to Afghanistan. Prime Minister John Howard has said that they also will not be involved in destroying opium poppies. “Well, dealing with that is overwhelmingly the responsibility of the local authorities,” he said.

opium poppy

A 2005 U.S. State department report warned that Afghanistan is becoming a “narcotics state”. Afghan hectares in opium cultivation has increased by 50% since the coalition invasion; up from an average of 67,000 prior to the invasion (1998-2001), to an average of 97,000 since the invasion (2002-2005). The last year under the Taliban, 2001, saw production of 185 metric tonnes; in 2005 production was 4,100 metric tonnes.

Afghanistan produced 87% of the world’s opium in 2005 with 104,000 hectares in production. President Karzai has blamed the coalition for this situation, “This particular operation (controlling opium production) was supposed to be done by an agency, a department that was funded by the international community, by the United States, by Britain. The failure is theirs, not ours.” Karzai said. “Where international money and creation of forces for destruction of poppies was concerned, it was ineffective and delayed and half-hearted.” Karzai is opposed to aerial spraying which was proposed by the United States, as is done in other drug producing regions of the world, because of what Karzai called “health concerns”.

Adrian Edwards of the United Nations stated 2 months ago that early reports indicate “there will be an increase in poppy cultivation in 2006”.

Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 8, 2005

Afghan-Tajik border control transferred from Russia

Afghan-Tajik border control transferred from Russia

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Map of Tajikistan showing Afghan border

Tajikistan will now protect their border unaided by Russia, as Pyandzh unit border guards leave the area. The guards continued to protect part of the Tajik-Afghan border until September 1, having begun in a 1993 intergovernmental agreement.

Russian Border Service deputy Lt. Gen. Viktor Trufanov told Interfax newswire: “The last sector of the Afghan-Tajik border under the control of the Pyandzh unit of Russian border guards was transferred to our Tajik colleagues on September 1 in conformity with the intergovernmental agreement.”

This week, expert Russian border guard officers and tacticians have met with the Tajik State Border Committee, in order to assist in the turnover, according to chief of the border command Major-General Nikolai Kasharin.

Since Russia took over border control duties in 1993, China View reports that 40,000 Tajik citizens have been trained by the guards, in anticipation of the handover.

Tajikistan is a prime route for illegal drugs from Afghanistan, which is the world’s top opium producer. Drug interdiction and stopping the transport of arms are both high on the list of border guard priorities.

Sources



Bookmark-new.svg

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 23, 2005

Karzai blames U.S. and Britain for increased opium production

Karzai blames U.S. and Britain for increased opium production

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, May 23, 2005

Opium poppy. Photo by Catherine Giayvia

Afghanistan opium cultivation was a record 323,700 acres last year and yielded almost 90 percent of the world’s supply. Opium may account for one-third of Afghanistan’s GDP.

On Sunday’s CNN’s Late Edition, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai laid the blame for the explosion of opium production in his country at the feet of the US and Britain. “This particular operation in Kandahar or in other parts of the country, which have not been so successful, was supposed to be done by an agency, a department that was funded by the international community, by the United States, by Britain. The failure is theirs, not ours.” Kazai said. “Where international money and creation of forces for destruction of poppies was concerned, it was ineffective and delayed and half-hearted.”

Karzai was responding to allegations in Sunday’s New York Times that his government was dragging their heels in reducing the opium production in Afghanistan. In Kandahar Province last week, farmers were visible from the main road scraping the last resin from poppy plants. That location is just 10 minutes outside the provincial capital.



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

February 11, 2005

U.N. reports Afghan opium production is up again

U.N. reports Afghan opium production is up again

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, February 11, 2005
Afghanistan is the #1 producer of opium in the world — responsible for 87% of all illicit opium production — according to reports from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and its opium production has accelerated since the coalition invasion in 2001.

The November 2004 annual reports put out by UNODC show that Afghanistan opium production has been increasing each year since the coalition invasion. The UNODC report for 2004 shows a 64% increase over the previous year in the area of opium production, and a 22% increase in export value for the year(US$2.8 billion).

“It could be brought under control with a good dose of law enforcement, which at the moment is lacking,” Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of UNODC, said in an interview in 2003 when reports showed an increase in hectares under production of 8% over the previous year. “I believe that the war against terrorism, leaving aside addiction, will not be won unless we control the opium economy of Afghanistan.”

Doug Wankel, Counter Narcotics Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, said the opium industry in Afghanistan is financing terrorism in an interview with USA Today. “It’s financing subversive activities. It’s financing warlordism. … And if it’s a threat to the government of Afghanistan, it’s a direct threat to the national security interests of the United States.”

Calling the data “disheartening,” UNODC reported that Afghanistan now produces three-fourths of the world’s opium. The report estimated revenues from growing and trafficking to be half of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product.

Related news

  • “Report finds Afghanistan is on the verge of becoming a narcotics state” — Wikinews, March 5, 2005

Sources


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Powered by WordPress