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Karzai demands end to airstrikes, talks with Taliban

Afghanistan

Karzai demands end to airstrikes, talks with Taliban

Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded Sunday that the United States no longer carry out military operations or airstrikes and must jump-start peace talks with the Taliban before his country signs a security deal to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

He made the statement after being presented with the findings of an investigation into a joint Afghan-U.S. military operation last week that resulted in civilian casualties. Karzai's deepening anti-American rhetoric comes as the Taliban intensifies its assaults ahead of the planned withdrawal.

Americans identified: Two Americans who were among the 21 people killed in a Taliban attack on a popular restaurant in Kabul on Friday have been identified. Basra Hassan, 59, of Hamtramck, Mich., was working as a nutrition specialist for UNICEF. Lexie Kamerman, 27, of Chicago had worked since June as a student development specialist at the American University of Afghanistan.

New freeze expected for regions of U.S.

Much of the United States is about to get pretty cold again.

A huge dome of arctic air will send temperatures plummeting across parts of the Midwest and Northeast early this week in a deep freeze reminiscent of early January's polar vortex.

Temperatures are expected to go well below zero in Minnesota by Tuesday. Wisconsin, Michigan and upstate New York are expected to get some of the worst of the subzero temperatures through the earliest part of the week. Then the cold will move south, according to the National Weather Service.

Elsewhere

Iraq: Iraqi forces faced fierce resistance as they launched an offensive Sunday to vanquish pockets of al-Qaida-linked militants in the city of Ramadi in Anbar province. Militants also hold the nearby city of Fallujah.

Japan: A mayor who opposes moving a U.S. military base to his city in Okinawa won re-election Sunday, dealing a potential blow to hopes in Washington and Tokyo that the long-delayed plan would move forward

Thailand: Twin explosions shook an antigovernment demonstration site in Bangkok on Sunday, wounding 28 people as the increasingly bloody effort to oust the premier drags on.

Israel: The Israeli military said it carried out an airstrike in Gaza on Sunday aimed at eliminating an Islamic Jihad operative responsible for recent rocket fire against southern Israel. A Palestinian man who was riding a motorcycle was seriously wounded and a bystander — a 12-year-old boy — was also hurt, according to a Health Ministry official in Gaza.

Pakistan: A bomb exploded inside a vehicle at a Pakistani military compound in the country's northwest on Sunday, killing at least 20 paramilitary personnel and wounding 30 more, a security official said.

Times wires

Karzai demands end to airstrikes, talks with Taliban

01/19/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 20, 2014 12:04am]
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