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NATO, Russia dispute over Crimea disrupts Afghan cooperation

By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO's decision to suspend cooperation with Russia will affect their cooperation in countering the flow of Afghan opium and keeping Afghan military helicopters flying, a NATO official said on Wednesday. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday that the alliance was suspending military and civilian cooperation with Moscow after its forces occupied Ukraine's Crimea region.

Afghan war movie probes German historical angst, self-image

By Gareth Jones BERLIN (Reuters) - Frustration with a lack of open discussion in Germany over its involvement in Afghanistan and over Berlin's treatment of Afghans helping its troops there spurred the making of the film "Inbetween Worlds" by director Feo Aladag. The movie's premiere on Tuesday at the Berlin International Film Festival coincided with signs that Germany - long wary of overseas military entanglements due to its Nazi past - is becoming keener to play a more active global role in keeping with its wealth and size.

Afghan army defuses 17 bombs within day

Afghan army defuses 17 bombs within day KABUL, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Afghan army specialists on Saturday defused 17 improvised bombs, said the Defense Ministry. "Afghan National Army bomb disposal teams discovered and defused 17 improvised explosive devices (IED) across the country," the ministry said in a statement. Two Taliban insurgent local leaders were wounded and one Taliban leader was arrested in western Farah and southern Kandahar province, it said.

6 Afghan soldiers killed in blasts

6 Afghan soldiers killed in blasts KABUL, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Six Afghan army soldiers were killed and six others wounded in separate roadside bomb attacks over the last 24 hours, said the country's Defense Ministry on Wednesday evening. "Four Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel were martyred and two others wounded in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack in Arghandab district, southern Zabul province," the ministry said in a statement.

Pentagon cancels plans to buy Russian helicopters

By Warren Strobel WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon no longer will buy Russian helicopters for the Afghan Air Force from Rosoboronexport, a state-owned arms exporter that also sells weapons to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. defense officials and a leading Senate opponent of such deals said on Wednesday. The switch in Pentagon policy appears to end, at least for now, its plans to buy an additional 15 Russian Mi-17 helicopters for $345 million, sources familiar with the matter said.

Afghan soldier opens fire on NATO partners

An Afghan soldier on Saturday opened fire on his NATO partners in Kabul, wounding a NATO soldier in the latest in a series of "insider" attacks on alliance forces, officials said. Attacks in which Afghan forces turn their guns on their international partners have killed scores of NATO-led troops, breeding mistrust and undermining efforts to train local forces before NATO combat troops withdraw next year. "An Afghan army soldier opened fire on NATO troops in Kabul, wounding a NATO soldier on his leg," defence ministry spokesman general Zahir Azimi told AFP.

Raw recruits on parade at new Afghan officer academy

Until a few weeks ago, Mohammed Naweid was a tailor, but now his days are filled with drill parade and marching practice after he won a prized place among the first students at Afghanistan's new army officer training academy. About 270 young men were selected from 10,000 applicants to join the course, which will knock raw recruits into military leaders as the Afghan army takes over the burden of fighting Taliban insurgents from the departing US-led NATO coalition.

US audit finds waste in spare parts for Afghan army

A US-led effort to supply spare parts to the Afghan army is plagued by waste and potential fraud because of Kabul's shoddy record-keeping, according to a report issued Wednesday. Much of the $370 million spent by the United States and its allies on spare parts for Afghan National Army (ANA) vehicles between 2004 to 2012 "cannot be accounted for," said a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Afghan in uniform shoots at U.S. soldiers in country's east

KABUL (Reuters) - An Afghan man wearing an Afghan army uniform shot at U.S. soldiers in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least one serviceman on Sunday, local officials and the NATO-led coalition said. The so-called "insider attack" in Paktika province is the fourth in less than a month and is likely to strain already tense ties between coalition troops and their allies, with most foreign troops scheduled to withdraw by the end of next year.

Shot killed British soldier in Afghanistan

A British soldier killed by a rogue member of the Afghan army as he played in a Remembrance Day football match died instantly from a gunshot wound to the chest, an inquest heard Tuesday. Captain Walter Barrie died when gunman Mohammad Ashraf fired around 10 shots at players competing in the match between British forces and members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) at a base in the restive Helmand province, Oxford Coroner's Court heard. Ashraf, who was wearing a full ANA uniform, used an M16 rifle during the attack, which took place on November 11 last year.
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