- Timeline of Afghanistan (April 2003)
This is a
timeline of the history of Afghanistanin April 2003. The list is not complete and you are welcome to expand it.
April 1, 2003"
Afghan television, the Information and Culture Minister, Makhdum Rahin, said that the country was making progress in encouraging an independent media. He also encouraged Afghanistan's young journalists to criticize the government and himself personally, when mistakes were made.
Islamabad, Shaukat Azizannounced that Pakistanwould actively participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistanand undertake various development projects for the welfare of its people. Aziz said that a Pakistani private construction company has obtained a 25 million U.S. dollar contract to build a road link from Chamanto Kandaharand a 30 million US dollar sub-contract in other reconstruction projects.
Kandahar, Afghanistan, two rockets were fired at a U.S. base.
A rocket was fired toward a U.S. base at
Orgunin Paktika province, Afghanistan.
Afghan troops, following a trail in the
Dara-e-Noormountains north of Kandahar, stumbled on tents and mud huts that appeared to be a base for about 30 rebel fighters.
A patrol of U.S. soldiers investigating a rocket launch site near
Gardez, Afghanistancame under small arms fire from a walled compound. An investigation of the compound "revealed a group of Afghan militia force soldiers had fired at the U.S. soldiers inadvertently."
Afghan border guards and U.S. special forces soldiers apprehended two men attempting to cross a checkpoint near
Khost. The men were escorting a donkeycarrying two anti-tank mines, 10 pressure plates for the mines, 10 rocket-propelled grenade rounds and high-explosive rounds.
April 2, 2003"
A deminer from U.S. military contractor
Roncolost his right foot after stepping on a mine near the Bagrambase in Afghanistan.
U.S. soldiers called in
B-1 Lancerbombers and A-10 Thunderbolt IIaircraft after three explosions apparently caused by rockets shook a U.S. military post in the Asadabad, Afghanistan. The planes did not strike.
Afghan forces mounted an operation near
Spinboldakagainst 50 to 60 suspected terrorists. Two government soldiers were killed and one wounded in the fighting. Seven suspected terrorists were captured.
April 3, 2003"
United Nationsextended a ban on travel for its staff in southern Afghanistanto give local authorities time to improve security in the area where a foreign aid worker was murdered a weak earlier.
U.N.special investigator for human rightsin Afghanistan, Kamal Hossain, told the United Nations Human Rights Commissionmeeting in Genevathat insufficient funding for Afghanistan could jeopardize the development of such groups as the army and police, which are important to ensure stability. He added that the absence of enough security forces would embolden warlords around the country to harass different ethnic tribes and to roll back educational opportunities for women and girls. To date, Afghanistan had received almost $2 billion out the $4.5 billion pledged by the international community.
The humanitarian projects board of the U.S.-led coalition approved 19 assistance and reconstruction projects valued at $722,000. The projects included water improvement and the construction of medical clinics and schools in 10 provinces.
Afghan militia soldiers (number about 250) and U.S.-led coalition plane-strikes killed eight suspected
Talibanfighters in the Tor Gharmountains near Spinboldak, Afghanistan. One Afghan militia member was killed and three others were injured. Fifteen suspects were taken into custody. In the cleanup the soldiers also found and confiscated light machine guns, bomb-making materials, improvised explosive devices, two trucks, two motorcycles and ammunition. More than 35,000 pounds of ordnance were dropped or fired from five types of aircraft — Harrier jets, B-1 bombers, A-10 Thunderbolts and helicopter gunships — on the rebel positions. Haji Gilaniand his nephew were killed outside their home in Deh Rawood, Afghanistanby six gunmen. According to witnesses, one of the gunmen was Mardan Khan, whose brother was a Talibancommander, but no arrests were made.
April 4, 2003"
Two explosions occurred in
Spin Boldak, Afghanistanat a shop and a public baths, but no one was hurt.
An Afghan agricultural department official
Aibakannounced that an international aid organization had sent experts to Samangan provinceto train hundreds of people in anti- locustmeasures and had supplied spraying equipment to eliminate the pest. Locusts were threatening the crops of the region for a second year running.
April 5, 2003" KandaharGovernor Gul Agha Sherzaigave Talibanloyalists in his province 48 hours to leave Afghanistan. The warning came hours after his soldiers killed two Taliban fighters and captured seven others with bombs and ammunition near the town of Spinboldak.
Two men were caught with remote control explosives near the U.S. base in
Afghan officials announced their forces had killed more than 50 suspectd
Talibanrebels in fighting in Badghis province, and captured Mullah Badarand Juma Khan.
An explosion rocked an Afghan military headquarters in
Jalalabad, wounding six people including a deputy military commander.
April 6, 2003"
Officials announced a
U.N.-sponsored program to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate an estimated 100,000 fighters across Afghanistan over the next three years, starting in July. Former fighters would be provided with vocational training, employment opportunities and access to credit. Others would be given the chance to apply for positions in the national army. Funded by Japan, Canada, Britain and the United States, the program has a three-year budget of $157 million.
United Nationsremoved a ban on the movement of U.N. personnel in southern Afghanistan, however the International Committee of the Red Cross, with 150 foreign workers in Afghanistan, suspended operations indefinitely. The U.N. ban had been imposed ten days earlier when Ricardo Munguia, of the International Committee of the Red Cross, was pulled out of his car and shot dead.
United Nations Children's Fundwarned that millions of Afghan women and children continued to face major health and nutrition problems, with maternal and infant mortality in Afghanistanamong the worst in the world. To day, Afghanistan's infant mortality rate was 165 per 1,000 live births, and its maternal mortality ratio was 1,600 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. In its report, UNICEF also said it had received 65 percent of its $35 million budget for Afghan programs in 2003 and called on donors to fill the shortage.
Nearly 50 suspected
Talibanfighters attacked an Afghan government checkpost in the Shingaidistrict of Zabul province. Three Afghan government troops were wounded. The fighters fled after a brief gun battle, but government troops captured 20 of them a day later during raids on several villages in the region.
April 7, 2003"
A U.S. special forces soldier was slightly wounded when he was hit in the
ribs by shrapnelduring a military training exercise in the town of Shkinin Paktika province, Afghanistan.
April 8, 2003"
U.S. soldiers began a house-to-house for suspected
Talibanin the Sangeendistrict of Helmand provincein Afghanistan. The search focused on locating Mullah Dadullahand Mullah Akhtar Mohammed. Both had been reported in the area only a few weeks prior.
Afghan security forces found 50
BM-12 missiles in an abandoned house in Sarobi, just east of Kabul. Afghanistan's first computer networking class, consisting of six women and eleven men, graduated from the University of Kabul. The university's Networking Academy was jointly launched in October 2002 by the United Nations Development Programmeand Cisco Systems.
A major new operation,
Resolute Strike, was launched in Helmand province, Afghanistan, involving 500 soldiers as well as attack and assault helicopters.
A rocket landed about 500 meters from
International Security Assistance Force Camp Warehousein Kabul, Afghanistan.
April 9, 2003"
Eleven Afghans were killed and one wounded when a stray U.S. laser-guided bomb hit a house on the outskirts of
Shkinin Paktika province. The bomb was fired by U.S. Marine Corps AV-8 Harrier IIair support that had been summoned by coalition forces in pursuit of two groups of five to 10 enemy personnel. The enemy attackers had attacked an Afghan military post checkpoint, wounding four government soldiers. Amnesty Internationalpromptly called for an investigation.
April 11, 2003"
On a one day visit from
Doha, Qatar, Head of the U.S. Central Command General Tommy Franksvisited the U.S. military headquarters at Bagram Air Basein Afghanistan. Franks then traveled to Kabulto meet Afghan President Hamid Karzaiand the U.S ambassador to Afghanistan.
Authorities and humanitarian organizations began an emergency relief operation to assist over 200 vulnerable families affected by the
April 10 earthquakein Yaka Baghiand Sag Baghi. Organizations participating in the relief operations included the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan, the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Relief International, Mercy Corpsand the World Food Programme. Kabul Radioreported that the quake-hit families in the two villages were in poor condition. It quoted a local source as saying the villagers lacked shelter and needed urgent assistance from the government and international organisations working in Afghanistan.
April 12, 2003"
A taxi packed with explosives exploded in
Karwan Sarui, four miles east of Khost, Afghanistan, killing four people who apparently were planning a terrorist attack. Two of the killed were unidentified Pakistani nationals and one man was from Yemen. The fourth, the driver, was identified as Bacha Malkhuiin one report and Zarat Khanin another report, a former intelligence officer for the deposed Talibangovernment. The blast destroyed a two-story home and injured a nearby woman.
International Committee of the Red Crossannounced it had resumed most of its operations in Afghanistanafter a two-week suspension following the murder of Ricardo Munguia. However, travel for ICRC employees outside many major cities remained off-limits, and, in remote areas considered insecure, some programs were postponed indefinitely or canceled. As a consequence of the heightened dangers, the ICRC also announced that it would its permanent expatriate staff in Afghanistan by about 25 people, to around 120. To date, the ICRC employed 1,500 Afghans. Zabul provinceofficials announced that Orfeo Bartolini, an Italian tourist, had been shot to death, Afghanistanby suspected Talibangunmen.
Unidentified attackers threw hand-
grenades at Italian troops on patrol near Khost, Afghanistan. No Italians were injured. Italian troops detained one person after the incident.
April 13, 2003" Mohammed Sharif Sherzai, a brother of Gul Agha Sherzai, the governor of Kandahar province, escaped unhurt from an assault by gunmen on motorcycles near the Pakistani border town of Chaman, Afghanistan. However, a cousin and another relative, Qasim Khan, were killed and two Afghan guards were wounded. The gunmen escaped. Afghan border officials accused Pakistan of involvement.
A blast caused by a device containing around five kilograms of explosives left a two-meter crater at the side of the main
Kabul- Jalalabadroad in Afghanistan.
A rocket was fired toward a U.S.-coalition base in
Orgunin Paktika province, Afghanistan. No damage or casualties were reported.
Afghan authorities brokered a cease-fire between the
Hezb-e-Wahadatand Harakat-e-Islamiparties in the town of Surk Dehin Samangan province, Afghanistan. The fighting began April 10and resulted in at least five deaths, including four civilians, one of which was a 6-year-old child.
April 14, 2003" Pamphlets distributed in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistanurged Afghans to revolt against the United Statesand the government of President Hamid Karzai.
April 15, 2003"
While driving to
Mazari Sharif, Afghan Commander Shahi and two of his bodyguards were killed in an ambush in the Char Bolakarea. Shahi had served for more than 15 years as a commander for General Abdul Rashid Dostum. The assailants were not caught, but it was alleged that they were members of the Jamiat-e-Islamigroup led by Ustad Atta Mohammad. UNICEFbegan a three-day polio immunizationcampaign aimed at reaching every child in under 5 years old Afghanistan. An estimated 30,000 vaccinators and volunteers from the Afghan Ministry of Health, the World Health Organizationand UNICEF were expected to administer two drops of oral polio vaccineto more than 6 million children.
International Organization for Migrationannounced that, due to factional fighting in the region that began in March, it was delaying the return of hundreds of internally displaced persons to Faryab provincein Afghanistan.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugeesannounced that the pace of repatriating Afghan refugees slowed due to the security situation.
April 16, 2003" NATOagreed to take command in August of the International Security Assistance Force(ISAF) in Afghanistan. The decision came at the request of Germanyand the Netherlands, the two nations leading ISAF at the time of the agreement. It was approved unanimously by all 19 NATO ambassadors. This marked first time in NATO's history that it took charge of a mission outside the north Atlantic area. Canadahad originally been slated to take over ISAF in August.
A blast damaged the
UNICEFoffice in Jalalabad, but there were no casualties. The office was empty at the time. Security commander Haji Ajab Shahsaid the explosion appeared to have been caused by an improvised explosive device made from automatic rifle bullets.
The U.S. Task Force Devil found 271 rocket-propelled grenades, four RPG launchers, 40 mortar rounds and hundreds of cases of ammunition for heavy machine guns in the village of
Khar Bolahin Ghazni province, Afghanistan, 50 miles south of Kabul.
Over 100 Afghan and U.S. soldiers crossed into
Pakistanalong the Durand Lineallegedly without realizing it to conduct a survey to supply water to tribesmen. They had been invited by a local tribal leader, but were forced to leave the area after Pakistan forces challenged them. Coalition forces claimed that no direct firing took place, but machine gun firing took place. Hundreds of troops were then deployed by Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghan forces moved tanks, heavy weaponry and reinforcements to the area.
April 17, 2003"
Afghan border forces clashed with alleged Pakistani militiamen who intruded into border village of
Gulam Khan, south of the town of Khost. However, Pakistani officials denied that any of their militia had crossed the border, saying Afghan soldiers had merely traded fire with tribesmen living in the border region.
A blast occurred on a highway that was being reconstructed by the Afghan government in Sabiqa, Timanee district, in
Kabul, but did not cause any damage or casualties. A second bomb nearby was defused. Kabul Radioin Afghanistansaid that TalibanMaulawi Mohammed Qalamuddinhad been arrested by Afghan security agents and was being detained in Logar province.
107mm rockets were fired on the U.S. base in
Urgan-ein Paktika province. The closest rocked landed about 400 meters from the base. There were no casualties or damage.
Shkin, Afghanistan, on the border with Pakistan, U.S.-led coalition forces detained two people trying to smuggle into Afghanistan mines concealed in three televisionsets.
Operation Carpathian Lightning, over two days, Romanian troops found three caches of weapons in two caves near the town of Qalatin Zabul province, Afghanistan. The caches included 3,000 107mm rockets, 250,000 rounds of 12.7mm machinegun ammunition, about 1,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition and other ammunition and mines.
April 18, 2003"
Dana Rohrabacher, a senior member of the U.S. Congress foreign relations committee, met with rival faction leaders
Abdul Rashid Dostumand Ustad Atta Mohammadin Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan. After the meeting, Rohrabacher told the media that, if bloody ethnic feuds were to be resolved in Afghanistan, regional autonomy was essential.
At least 30 people died from powerful floods that washed away houses in the Sha Gho valley of
Helmand province, Afghanistan. 25 others were missing.
On the Shomali plain just north of
Kabul, Afghanistan, three children were missing and 200 families were evacuated by helicopterdue to flood waters.
April 19, 2003"
United Nationsannounced that it would not investigate two mass graves in Afghanistancontaining hundreds of war victims unless international troops protect the operation. The graves may contain Talibanprisoners killed in the Dasht-i-Leili massacreof 2001 and victims of the Jaghalkani-i-Takhta Pul massacresof 1998.
April 20, 2003 "
An emergency meeting was held in
Kabul, Afghanistanat the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development with U.N.agencies and NGOs for the coordination of relief efforts for the 200 families displaced by flooding on April 18.
Afghanistan, a two-day national military meeting, that brought together regional commanders, government leaders and commanders of U.S.-led forces for the first time, came to a close.
On a road near a U.S. base in southern
Kandahar province Afghanistan, a man blew himself up trying to plant a landmine.
A man standing on the roof of a building in an Afghan army compound shot at a vehicle as it left
Bagram Air Base; there were no injuries. Later, another man fired rounds near the base's south gate.
A man blew himself up as he tried to plant a
land mineon a road near a U.S. basein southern Kandahar, Afghanistan.
April 21, 2003"
The Rabia Balkhi Women's Hospital in
Kabul, Afghanistanreopened after the completion of a six-month renovation project supported by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Servicessecretary Tommy Thompsontook part in the dedication.
A U.S. Special Forces soldier was treated in
Orgun, Afghanistanfor a gunshot wound to the thigh.
Afghan authorities announced that they had arrested five men on suspicion of murdering four foreign journalists at
Tangi Abrishumon November 19, 2001.
Pakistangovernment announced that it had released 50 Afghan prisoners as a gesture of goodwill, a day before Afghan President Hamid Karzaiwas to arrive for meetings.
The cabinet of Afghan President
Hamid Karzaiapproved a law allowing cable television networks in Kabulto resume broadcasting programs. Cable broadcasts had been banned by the supreme court Chief Justice Mawlavi Fazl Hadi Shinwariearlier in the year for being obscene and un-Islamic.
In a southern Afghan raid aimed at catching those responsible for the
March 27murder of Ricardo Munguia, U.S. special forces killing one man and detained seven others. Weapons were also seized by the U.S. forces.
A U.S. soldier from the Charlie Company of the
27th Engineers Battalionlost part of his left foot and broke his right foot in several places after stepping on a land mineexplosion near Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, rebels fired rockets at an Afghan patrol, killing two. Afghan forces returned fire, killing three rebels and wounding three others.
April 22, 2003"
The highest ranking Afghan officials, including President
Hamid Karzaiarrived Islamabad, Pakistanto discuss border disputes, terrorism, trade, and exchanges of prisoners. Tensions between the two nations had recently flaired up along the ill-defined Durand line, each side accusing the other of intrusion. Many in the Afghan government still viewed Pakistan, which nurtured and supported the Talibanregime, with suspicion. Accusations had been made that Pakistan was harboring Taliban fugutives. Pakistan had concerns about Afghanistan's failure to fulfil promises in March to release up to 800 Pakistani prisoners. In the course of the day, Karzai met separately with Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamaliand President Pervez Musharraf.
Eleven rockets were fired at the U.S. base near
An Afghan army post in
Khost, Afghanistanwas attacked, wounding one soldier.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugeesreported that, to date, more than 19,000 Afghans had been processed through voluntary repatriation from Iranin 2003.
Two deminers were shot and wounded on the road from
Kabul, Afghanistanto Pakistan.
April 23, 2003"
After a meeting in
Islamabad, between Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah and Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmud Kasuri, the two nations announced an agreement to hold political consultations twice a year in Islamabad and Kabulalternatively. The purpose of the meetings was to monitor progress in the promotion of bilateral cooperation and to take follow-up actions.
During a joint meeting between
Pakistani and Afghan Ministers at the finance ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan Finance minister Shaukat Azizoffered Afghanistan the chance to establish a free industrial zone near the Torkhumand Chamanborder. Also peat dide during the meeting it was the sadest thing in i the meating that day, Afghanistan identified over 3,000 projects and invited the private sector to invest in them.
Using rockets and automatic weapons, rebel fighters attacked a government office in
Chapanin Zabul province, Afghanistan. Two Afghan soldiers and three assailants were killed in the four-hour shootout. Talibanforces seized the headquarters of the Deh-i-Chopandistrict of the province, capturing its officials, including Mohammad Nawab. Government forces then retook the district.
Two Afghan soldiers were killed when their vehicle struck a
land minewhen they were traveling between Jalalabadand Tora Bora. A third soldier died April 23.
Authorities seized four anti-aircraft missiles in a house in
Dera Said Mian, 15 miles southeast of Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
April 24, 2003"
A spokesman for the
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizationreported that they are investigating whether the unidentified illness killing off Afghanistan's sheep population was Foot and mouth disease, pasteurellosisor goat plague. The fatality rate of newborn lambs in the country was over 80%. Yunis Qanuni, the Afghan Minister of Education, appealed for donors to provide more funds for schools. To date, the ministry had received US$86 million in 2003, leaving the budget short US$114 million.
April 25, 2003"
Shkin, in Paktika province, Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border, two U.S. soldiers were killed and several other U.S. and Afghan soldiers were wounded in a clash with unknown attackers. The U.S. estimated that at least three of the attackers were killed. Two F-16 Fighting Falcons, two USAFA-10 Thunderbolt tankbusters and two AH-64 Apache attack helicopters responded. Two days later, two rebel corpses were discovered near the site. One of the U.S. soldiers killed was identified as Airman first class Raymond Losanoand PFC Jerod Dennis Bco 3/504 PIR.
Kabul, Afghanistan, "the Irish Club" shut itself down after warnings that it could be the target of a terror attack. The nightclub had originally opened on March 17. It was frequented by aid workers, diplomats and journalists. Afghanis were not allowed to patronize the club because the sale of alcohol was against the law.
April 26, 2003"
April 27, 2003"
U.S. Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeldpostponed a scheduled visit to Afghanistan, where he was to meet with Afghan leaders and coalition troops.
In a statement released to the
Afghan Islamic Press, Gulbuddin Hekmatyarsaid the U.S.-led war on Iraq triggered widespread Islamic hatred toward the U.S. that will be hard to wipe out. He also said the U.S. victory in Iraq was the start of U.S. attempts to control the entire Middle East.
Close air support was called in by U.S. forces after men were spotted near the U.S. base at
Shkin, Afghanistan. The men were apparently trying to retrieve a body of one of the opposing fighters killed a clash there on April 25. Pakistani forces across the nearby border were contacted and conducted an operation that led to the arrest of two people.
The United Nations and the
Afghan Independent Human Rights Commissionaccused fighters in Badghis province, Afghanistanof violating human rightsduring clashes in March between rebel forces and soldiers loyal to the local governor, Gul Mohammed Khan. The human rights delegation confirmed that at least 38 civilians, including three women and 12 children, were killed as homes and shops were looted in Akazi. In the same area, local forces pursing Juma Khan, executed 26 prisoners, whose hand were tied behind their backs.
April 28, 2003"
At least 15 rebel fighters and 15 Afghan soldiers were killed in battles in the
Chopandistrict of Zabul province, Afghanistan.
U.S. special forces discovered 204 tons of explosives in 17 caves near
Maymana, the capital of Faryab province, Afghanistan. Amnesty Internationalcondemned a United Kingdomdecision to forcibly return a group of asylum-seekers to Afghanistan. An Amnesty International mission earlier in April concluded that conditions were still not conducive to the promotion of voluntary and forced returns.
teleconferencebegan between Afghan officials and the United Statesregarding markets for Afghan goods, the Generalized System of Preferences, rules of origin requirements, and tariffs.
April 29, 2003"
Rebel forces attacked military posts, an ammunition depot, the district commissioner's office and other government installations in
Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, killing three Afghan soldiers and injuring two.
A Belgian court opened and immediately adjourned the trial of 12 suspects linked to the
September 9, 2001murder of Afghan rebel Ahmad Shah Masood. The presiding judge ruled that the trial would resume May 22. Also, Afghan President Hamid Karzaiappointed a commission to track down those who ordered the murder. Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalaliwas named to lead the commission.
U.S. Maj. Gen.
John Vines, commander of 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, handed control of combat missions to Lt. Gen. Dan McNeill, the overall commander of coalition troops in Afghanistan. Vines stated "I think there are renegade elements in Iranwho have an interest in controlling a portion of Afghanistan....I think there are elements in Pakistan— not the government — that have an interest in creating instability....In certain parts, the country is stable. In other parts, it's terribly dangerous....That has not changed and that probably won't change in the foreseeable future....If you had to design an area to support an anti-government movement, you might describe an area like this....Multiple borders, extreme distances, lack of road infrastructure, high mountains, weak central government, areas where there are religious or tribal (conflicts)....It applies absolutely right here."
April 30, 2003" Pakistani officials announced they had apprehended six al-Qaedasuspects in Karachi, Pakistan. One of the men, Waleed bin Attash(aka Khalid al-Attash, was a Yemeni national wanted in connection with the USS Cole bombing. The other five suspects were Pakistanis. The six suspects were allegedly planning to carry out a series of terrorist attacks in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan.
Afghan Interior Minister
Ali Ahmad Jalaliinaugurated an Afghan Human Rights Departmentaimed at curbing abuses by Afghan police forces. As a branch of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, the department opened offices across the country.
Abdullah Shirzai, the policy director of the Afghan Health Ministry, said that the Afghan government would take steps to reduce maternal and child mortality in the country. To date, 16 women in every 1,000 pregnancies died, and one child in four died before the age of five. Such rates were said to be among the worst in human history. The ministry planned to employ more than 20,000 health workers, mostly women nurses and midwives, over the span of a year.
Timeline of the War in Afghanistan:
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