Taliban attack kills 5 Afghan police

In this file photograph Afghan security personnel take part in a patrol during an operation against Taliban militants in the Jaghatu District of Ghazni Province. (Zakeria Hashimi/AFP)
Updated 18 March 2018

Taliban attack kills 5 Afghan police

KABUL, Afghanistan: An Afghan official says the Taliban have attacked security positions northwest of the capital, killing at least five police.
Mohammed Zaman, the provincial police chief for Ghazni province, says the attack late Saturday set off a two-hour gunbattle.
The Taliban have stepped up attacks across Afghanistan since the US and NATO formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014.
In the western Ghor province, meanwhile, a roadside bomb killed a young shepherd and wounded five others. Police spokesman Iqbal Nizami says the Taliban planted the bomb in order to target security forces.
In the eastern Khost province, police spokesman Basir Bina says a roadside bomb killed two children and wounded another nine. Both bombs went off on Saturday.


UN rights chief ‘troubled’ by new Sri Lanka army chief

Updated 25 min 2 sec ago

UN rights chief ‘troubled’ by new Sri Lanka army chief

  • Shavendra Silva, 55, was promoted by President Maithripala Sirisena to commander of the Sri Lankan army
  • A UN report said Silva played a major role in orchestrating war crimes.

GENEVA: UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Monday she is “deeply troubled” by Sri Lanka’s appointment of an accused war criminal as army chief, as global concern mounts over the nomination.
Major General Shavendra Silva, 55, was elevated to the army’s second-highest position of chief of staff in January before his latest promotion by President Maithripala Sirisena to commander of the Sri Lankan army.
“The promotion of Lt. General General Silva severely compromises Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote justice and accountability,” Bachelet said in a statement.
Silva, who commanded an army division in the long-running civil war with Tamil separatists, has been accused by the United Nations of war crimes during the conflict’s final stages.
“I am deeply troubled by the appointment ... despite the serious allegations of gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law against him and his troops during the war,” Bachelet said.
The US embassy in Colombo, along with civil society groups, have also criticized the appointment as a move likely to undermine reconciliation efforts.
Sri Lanka’s armed forces crushed the separatist rebels in 2009 in a no-holds barred offensive that ended a 37-year war which killed 100,000 people.
There were mass atrocities against civilians in Sri Lanka’s predominantly Tamil north toward the end of the conflict, with rights groups saying some 40,000 ethnic Tamils were killed by government forces.
A UN report said Silva played a major role in orchestrating war crimes.