UK & World News

  • 25 February 2013, 1:48

US Forces Ordered Out of Afghan Province

Afghanistan's President has ordered US special forces to leave a restive province close to the capital Kabul, following allegations of torture and murder in the area.

During a national security meeing, Hamid Karzai said the troops must leave Wardak province within two weeks.

"The US special forces and illegal armed groups created by them are causing insecurity, instability, and harass local people in this province," presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told reporters.

He said armed individuals who had been identified as US special forces in Wardak "engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people".

A presidential office statement cited a recent example in which nine people disappeared in an operation conducted by this "suspicious force".

The Americans have rejected having carried out any such operation and the involvement of their special forces, the statement said.

The bulk of NATO's 100,000 troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

A US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) spokesman said he was aware of the reported comments by Mr Faizi.

"We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and go to great lengths to determine the facts surrounding them," he insisted.

A series of attacks in eastern Afghanistan earlier in the day showed Taliban insurgents remain on the offensive.

Suicide bombers targeted Afghanistan's intelligence agency and other security forces in four coordinated attacks in the heart of Kabul and outlying areas.

It was a bloody reminder of the insurgency's reach nearly 12 years into the war.

Wardak is viewed as a gateway to the capital and has been the focus of counterinsurgency efforts in recent years.

The Taliban have staged numerous attacks against coalition forces in the province.

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