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News About Central Asia
February 26, 2015
Afghan leader says Taliban talks could start soon, militants deny
Kabul (AFP) Feb 23, 2015
Afghanistan's chief executive Abdullah Abdullah said Monday that peace talks with the Taliban could begin in the coming days, though the militants swiftly dismissed the idea. There have been growing hopes in recent weeks of talks between Kabul and the Taliban aimed at moving towards reconciliation after more than a decade of war. Since President Ashraf Ghani took office in September, relations have markedly improved with Pakistan, which has long held influence with the Taliban, paving the way fo ... read more

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US commander proposes slower Afghan withdrawal
The US commander in Afghanistan told lawmakers Thursday he had proposed "options" to the White House that would slow the pace of a planned withdrawal of American troops from the country. ... more
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China ready to support Kabul-Taliban reconciliation: minister
Beijing is ready to support the Afghan government in reconciling with the Taliban, the Chinese foreign minister said Thursday, the latest sign of China's desire to expand its role in its war-torn neighbour. ... more
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At least 18 dead as Taliban storm Pakistan Shiite mosque
Grenade-toting Taliban militants stormed a Shiite mosque in northwest Pakistan on Friday, police said, in an attack that left at least 18 people dead. ... more
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Commander linked to Islamic State killed in Afghanistan
A NATO drone strike in Afghanistan on Monday killed a former Taliban commander and Guantanamo detainee who was suspected of links to the Islamic State group, officials said. ... more
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Pakistan military says 25 militants killed in air strikes
Pakistan's military said it killed 25 militants in air strikes on tribal regions near the Afghan border Wednesday as part of a major offensive against the Taliban and other insurgents. ... more
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Americans killed in Kabul worked on Afghan aircraft
Three American contractors killed in an apparent "insider attack" at Kabul airport were helping on maintenance of a small turboprop plane used by the Afghan air force, US defense officials said Friday. ... more
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Wrath of Khan: Netflix show Polo-rises Mongolians
The big-budget American series "Marco Polo", on the 13th-century Venetian explorer and his years at the court of the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan, is riddled with historical errors, say Mongolian viewers and experts. ... more
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Details of aid to Afghan army now secret: US
The US military will no longer divulge facts and figures about its costly effort to assist Afghan security forces, declaring the information top secret, officials said Thursday. ... more
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Pakistan military says killed 76 militants in air strikes
Pakistan's military said it killed 76 militants in two separate air strikes on Tuesday as part of a major offensive against the Taliban and other insurgents in a tribal region near the Afghan border. ... more
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Pakistan air strikes kill 35 militants in northwest: military
Pakistan's military said it killed 35 militants in fresh air strikes early Sunday as part of a major offensive against the Taliban and other insurgents in the northwest. ... more
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Police kill two Uighurs in south China: state media
Police in southern China shot dead two Uighurs trying to cross the border into Vietnam, state media reported Monday, with rights groups saying repression at home causes members of the ethnic minority to flee. ... more
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One killed in Kyrgyzstan border attack
One border guard was killed and two wounded in an armed attack close to Kyrgyzstan's volatile border with Central Asian neighbour Tajikistan, official said Saturday. ... more
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US funded Afghan training base that later crumbled: watchdog
The United States wasted nearly $500,000 on an Afghan police training center that began to fall apart only months after it was built due to shoddy contractor work, according to a watchdog report released Thursday. ... more
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Police kill six attackers in China's Xinjiang: govt
Police in China's far-western Xinjiang region shot dead six attackers Monday, a state-run news portal said, amid a security clampdown in the violence-torn, mainly Muslim area. ... more
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China denies retaliation against Uighur journalist's family
Beijing on Friday denied seeking to retaliate against relatives of a US-based journalist from the mostly-Muslim Uighur minority, one day after Washington voiced alarm about the case. ... more
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DynCorp to provide training support in Afghanistan
Another U.S. company has been contracted to provide support services for the training of security forces in Afghanistan. ... more
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Virginia company to help NATO train Afghan troops
NATO is to receive advisory and assistance services from a U.S. counterterrorism company in the training of Afghanistan's national security forces. ... more
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Xinjiang faces 'intense struggle' says region's top Communist
The top Communist Party boss in China's Xinjiang region said in an article published Wednesday that the restive mainly Muslim province faces a period of "intense struggle" against separatism. ... more
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31 militants killed in Pakistan airstrikes: officials
At least 31 militants were killed Saturday during airstrikes by Pakistani fighter jets in the country's restive northwest, the military said. ... more
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Opinion: No more terrorism and patronage under de facto military government in Pakistan
The notorious leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Mullah Fazlullah, was killed in an air strike in Afghanistan on Dec. 19. ... more
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Pakistani boat blows self up after India navy chase
The crew of a Pakistani fishing boat blew up and sank their vessel after trying to evade capture at the hands of the Indian navy in a high-speed chase at sea, officials said Friday. ... more
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Iran arrests 'terror' cell in southeast
Iran arrested a "terrorist cell" accused of killing soldiers in a flashpoint border area and detained in a separate incident three Afghans planning to fight in Iraq, media reported Monday. ... more
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Afghanistan faces economic timebomb as NATO war ends
The Taliban insurgency may still be raging but the poor state of the economy could pose a bigger threat to Afghanistan's long-term viability, and huge mineral reserves are unlikely to offer a quick fix. ... more
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Pakistan, India swap lists of nuclear facilities, prisoners
Pakistan and India on Thursday exchanged lists of their nuclear sites under an agreement barring them from attacking each other's atomic facilities in the event of war, officials said. ... more
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