Taleban bomb kills Afghan top cop

Updated 11 December 2012
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Taleban bomb kills Afghan top cop

KANDAHAR: A Taleban bombing killed an Afghan provincial police chief and gunmen fatally shot an official in charge of women’s affairs yesterday — the latest victims of a campaign targeting government officials across Afghanistan.
The police chief for Nimroz province was traveling home from neighboring Herat province when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the morning hours, said the chief’s secretary Obaidullah, who only goes by one name.
The police chief, Gen. Mohammad Musa Rasouli, was seriously wounded and was rushed to the hospital, where he died of his wounds, said the secretary. Rasouli was returning to his job in Nimroz after a short break in Herat province, Obaidullah said.
Taleban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the insurgency had been tracking Rasouli and had specifically targeted him.
“We are continuing to target government officials,” Ahmadi said.
Also Monday morning, gunmen shot and killed the head of the women’s affairs department for the eastern Laghman province, said Sarhadi Zewak, a spokesman for the provincial government.
Najia Sediqi was on her way to the office from her home on the outskirts of the provincial capital when she was attacked, Zewak said. She had taken the job after her predecessor, Anifa Safi, died in a bomb attack in July.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for Sediqi’s killing. Police are investigating the incident, Zewak said. A statement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the killing of Sediqi as a “terrorist attack.” The latest attacks come after the attempted assassination of the country’s spy chief, Asadullah Khalid, on Thursday. He was seriously injured when a suicide bomber posing as a Taleban peace envoy detonated a hidden bomb.
In the Afghan capital, Kabul, about 200 women marched yesterday, carrying pictures of victims of war crimes for which they said the perpetrators have never been brought to justice. They called on the Afghan government to prosecute those accused of war crimes during more than 30 years of conflict in the country.



In the south, meanwhile, a NATO service member was killed in a bomb attack, the international military alliance said. The death brings to five the number of international service members killed so far this month.
Meanwhile, the Taleban say they will attend a meeting in France to discuss Afghanistan’s future but will not talk about peace and reconciliation.
Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said by telephone yesterday that two of the group’s representatives will attend next week’s meeting, which is being organized by a French think tank on the outskirts of Paris.
Representatives from the Afghan government’s peace council, political parties and the Hezb-e-Islami will also attend.
The meeting is not expected to produce results, but it will represent a rare-face-to-face gathering of Afghanistan’s major players.
French Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Vincent Floreani says an intra-Afghan conference will be held this month and organized by the Foundation for Strategic Research.


Russia says US building ‘visa wall’ after Bolshoi dancers denied entry

Updated 38 min 38 sec ago
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Russia says US building ‘visa wall’ after Bolshoi dancers denied entry

  • The Foreign Ministry expressed regret over the United States’ decision to refuse visas to Russian prima ballerina Olga Smirnova and soloist dancer Jacopo Tissi.
  • Russian Foreign Ministry: “They are trying to fence off Americans from Russians with a visa wall, as we’ve said before, making trips of our citizens to the USA practically impossible.”

MOSCOW: Russia said on Saturday the United States was trying to fence off Russians with a “visa wall” after two Bolshoi ballet dancers were refused visas to perform in New York.
The Foreign Ministry expressed regret over the United States’ decision to refuse visas to Russian prima ballerina Olga Smirnova and soloist dancer Jacopo Tissi, who were due to perform at a Lincoln Center gala.
“This did not happen even during the Cold War,” the ministry said in a statement on its website.
“But today, influential forces in the USA, preoccupied with trying to pressure Russia hard, do not stop at anything... They are trying to fence off Americans from Russians with a visa wall, as we’ve said before, making trips of our citizens to the USA practically impossible,” it said.
Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre said it could not comment because it did not organize the tour and had no information on the visa applications.
“Since the work visa was also not issued on time for Jacopo Tissi, an Italian national, we would like to think that this was related to procedural formalities and not to the current political tensions,” its press office said in emailed comments.
The US embassy in Moscow did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
On Friday, Kremlin said the United States was deliberately making it difficult for Aeroflot crews to obtain US visas, after the Russian foreign ministry said it could not rule out the possibility that flights between the two countries might have to be halted because of the situation.