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Afghanistan, US sign night raids deal

Landmark deal effectively gives Afghan authorities a veto over special operations raids.

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Soldiers in the 1/501st of the 25th Infantry Division file off the ridge of a mountain where they spent the night in a Taliban stronghold area. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

The Afghan government signed a landmark deal with Washington on Sunday on terms of night raids conducted by US special forces, the BBC reported.

Those raids, which have been the source of increasing tensions between the two countries will now come under Afghan leadership, while US forces will play a supporting role.

The US military says the raids are an important way for finding and detaining suspected militants, while Afghans say they violate people's privacy and disrespect women.

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The agreement comes in advance of a planned withdrawal in 2014 of US and other foreign troops from Afghanistan.

The decision gives Kabul a veto over the operations that have contributed to anti-Western sentiment, said Reuters and has been a point of contention in negotiations between the two countries over the planned pull out.

CNN reported, under the new agreement, an Afghan review group will have to authorize raids before they take place and the special ops forces will operate under Afghan law.

At the signing on Sunday, Gen. John Allen said "today we are on an important step closer to our shared goal of a secure and sovereign Afghanistan. Together we will realize this vision."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/120408/afghanistan-us-sign-night-raids-deal