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Karzai seeks to exploit ticking clock in US talks

President Hamid Karzai's shifting stance during security talks with the US has infuriated Washington and mystified many Afghans, but analysts say his tactics are driven by a belief that he is in a position of strength. Negotiations on a security pact allowing some US troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014 have seen the Afghan president at his most unpredictable -- adding new demands, reneging on promises and taunting his supposed allies.

Afghanistan rebuffs US demand on signing security deal

Afghanistan on Friday rebuffed a US demand to sign a highly anticipated security pact as soon as possible, insisting the document must wait until after next year's presidential election. Washington warned Kabul on Thursday to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) as soon as possible, with senior officials hinting that delaying beyond the end of this year could mean no post-2014 US troop presence.

Afghan security deal clouded by dispute over U.S. admission of 'mistakes'

By Hamid Shalizi and Lesley Wroughton KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Last-minute efforts to finalize a security pact between the United States and Afghanistan were clouded on Tuesday by differences over whether President Barack Obama had agreed to issue a letter acknowledging U.S. mistakes made during the 12-year war.

Will US troops stay in Afghanistan or go? Thousands of elders gather to decide

KABUL (Reuters) - Thousands of Afghan tribal and political leaders will gather in the Afghan capital this week to decide whether to allow US troops to stay after the 2014 drawdown of foreign forces. The fate of a US-Afghan security deal that will determine whether US forces stay or not is in the hands of 2,500 tribal chieftains and notables who will meet in a giant tent on Thursday for five days of deliberations.

Six killed in Kabul ahead of US security pact debate

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car in Kabul on Saturday, killing at least six people near a compound where a controversial security pact between Afghanistan and the US will be debated, officials said. Another 22 were injured when the vehicle blew up about 150 metres (500 feet) from a giant tent which will on Thursday host a meeting of elders on the future of US troops in the country after a NATO coalition pulls out in 2014.

Six killed in Kabul ahead of US security pact debate

A Taliban suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car in Kabul on Saturday, killing at least six people near a compound where a controversial security pact between Afghanistan and the US will be debated, officials said. Another 22 were injured when the vehicle blew up about 150 metres (500 feet) from a giant tent which will on Thursday host a meeting of elders on the future of US troops in the country after a NATO coalition pulls out in 2014.

Six killed in Kabul ahead of US security pact debate

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car in Kabul on Saturday, killing at least six people near a compound where a security pact between Afghanistan and the US will be debated, officials said. Another 22 were injured when the vehicle blew up about 150 metres (500 feet) from the giant tent which will on Thursday host a meeting of elders on the future of US troops in the country after a NATO coalition pulls out in 2014.

Afghan special forces commando defects to militants

A US-trained Afghan special forces commando has defected to an insurgent group, taking with him an armoured vehicle full of weapons and ammunition in the eastern province of Kunar, officials said Monday. "He left his base and drove to his home district to join Hezb-i-Islami," Kunar governor Shuja-Ul Mulk Jalala told AFP, referring to an insurgent group that fights alongside Taliban militants.

U.S., Afghans agree most of pact, elders to make final decision

KABUL — Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai extended talks on Saturday as part of a last-ditch effort to negotiate a security pact that would determine, among other things, how many US troops stay after 2014.

Afghan fans in cricket heaven as World Cup dream comes true

War-torn Afghanistan erupted in wild celebrations Friday as its cricket team beat Kenya to qualify for the 2015 World Cup, just 12 years after the game took hold in the wake of the Taliban's fall. About 3,000 fans packed onto the field at Kabul's only cricket stadium to watch the match on a big screen, with noisy chants and dancing marking each boundary as Afghan batsmen carried the side to an easy victory in Sharjah.
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