U.S. to keep more troops in Afghanistan as violence surges

The United States will keep up to 1,000 more soldiers than previously planned in Afghanistan into next year, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday, in a recognition of the still formidable challenge from Taliban insurgents. Hagel, confirming a change in the U.S. drawdown schedule first reported by Reuters in November, said the […]

Suicide bomber kills 40 at volleyball match in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber walked into a crowd of spectators at a volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan and detonated his explosives vest on Sunday, killing at least 40 people, a provincial official said. Paktia provincial spokesman Mukhles Afghan said at least 50 more were wounded in the attack in Paktia province, where hundreds had gathered to […]

U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan to end this spring

President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai said today that most U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan would end this spring, signaling a quickening troop drawdown that will bring the decade-long war to a close at the end of 2014. “Our troops will continue to fight alongside Afghans when needed, but let me say it as […]

And the most corrupt nation this year is…

Corruption is a major threat across the globe, impacting citizen’s perceptions of their leaders and trust for their government, regardless of the level of development or economic ranking. Corruption can also play a role in political unrest, as seen around the world from the Middle East to China to Greece.

Syria crisis: bombs hit security complex

Dozens of people are reported to have been killed in two suicide bombings at an intelligence complex north-east of Damascus. The Islamist group the al-Nusra Front said it carried out the attack in the suburb of Harasta using suicide car bombs loaded with tonnes of explosives. Here is summary of other developments in Syria

9 Foreign Civilians Among 12 Killed in Kabul suicide bombing

A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a minivan near the airport in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul today, killing nine foreign civilians and three Afghans, police said in a statement. General Mohammad Zahir, the head of Kabul police’s crime investigation department, confirmed in a phone interview that foreigners had been the target of the attack.

Brahimi in Damascus as Assad forces pound rebels

International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Syria’s capital on Thursday as state forces pounded its eastern outskirts to flush out rebels trying to retain a foothold in Damascus. Brahimi’s mission is a challenging one as neither side in the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad seems ready to put down arms.