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    Daily Security Brief: February 20, 2012

    HERAT: Two people, including a policeman, were shot dead and as many civilians injured by unidentified motorcyclists in the Shindand district of western Herat province, an official said on Monday.

    The incident happened in the Azizabad area late on Sunday when two men riding a bike opened fire on a walking policeman, the district garrison commander, Mohammad Salim, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    He said the policeman and a civilian were killed and another two civilians sustained injuries in the attack. The assailants managed to flee.

    A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, said a local police commander was shot dead by one of their fighters in the area.

    --Ahmad Quraishi

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    KABUL: Security forces in eastern Kunar province arrested four human traffickers for smuggling 41 Afghan children to Pakistani seminaries for terrorist attacks, a Ministry of Interior official said on Monday.

    The detainees, involved in terrorist activities, had deceived residents of Watapur district by telling them their children would receive Islamic education in Pakistan, Ghulam Sadiq Siddiqui, the ministry spokesman, told a news conference in Kabul.

    He said: “The detainees wanted to brainwash the children and train them in terrorist activities against the Afghan government,” The children, between the ages of 6 and 11 years, were reunited with their families after being rescued by police.

    Siddiqui asked parents to be careful while allowing aliens to take their children for education in Pakistanis seminaries. “Parents should not be deceived by the people who want to train children for terrorist activities.” he said.

    --Khwaja Baser Ahmad

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    KANDAHAR: Four US soldiers, charged in connection with last year’s death of an infantryman, are scheduled for an Article 32 hearing on the Kandahar airfield headquarters on Monday, the ISAF regional command (south) said.

    An Article 32 Investigation is a thorough and impartial probe into charges and specifications before they may be referred to a general court-martial. The purpose of this pretrial investigation is to inquire into the truth of the matter set forth in the charges.

    The process is also aimed to consider the form of the charges and secure information to determine what disposition should be made of the case in the interest of justice and discipline, a statement from ISAF said.

    Staff Sgt. Andrew Van Bockel, Sgt. Jeffrey Hurst, Sgt. Adam Holcomb and Spc. Thomas Curtis are charged in connection with the October 31, 2011 death of Pvt. Danny Chen, an infantryman assigned to C Co., 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Combat Outpost Palace.

    Chen was found in a guard tower with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The four soldiers are infantrymen assigned to C Co., 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in Kandahar.
    The investigation also serves as a means of pretrial discovery for the accused and defense counsel in copies of the criminal investigation and witness statements are provided and witnesses who testify may be cross-examined, it said.
    --Pajhwok Report

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    NANGARHAR: A man was sentenced by the provincial appellate court to 16 years in jail for killing his spouse in eastern Nangarhar province, officials said.

    The man killed his wife eight months ago over immoral acts, said Syed Kamin, a court official, during the proceedings. Since the accused had no proof his wife’s involvement in immorality, he was handed down the jail sentence, Kamin added.

    However, the convict insisted he killed his life partner after seeing her in an objectionable situation with his brother, who managed to escape.

    On the other hand, the victim’s mother said her daughter was innocent of the charge and if she really had bad moral character, she should have been handed over to her parents.

    Defence counsel Samad Sirat prayed the court his client had seen his wife involved in immoral acts, and his punished should be softened under Article 398 of the Penal Code of Afghanistan.

    Article 398 says: “A person, defending his honour, who sees his spouse … in the act of adultery or being in the same bed with another and immediately kills or injures one or both of them, shall be exempted from punishment … but shall be imprisoned for a period not exceeding two years.” 

    Sirat requested the court to uphold the punishment of two years’ imprisonment, as handed down by the primary court. But Judge Fazal Hadi Fazil sentenced the accused to 16 years of imprisonment.

    --Abdul Mueed Hashimi

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    TRINIKOT (PAN): The newly-elected head of the provincial council in central Uruzgan province on Monday accused his predecessor of misappropriating the elective body’s funds.

    Ibrahim Akhunzada, who replaced Amanullah Hotaki last month, told Pajhwok Afghan News his predecessor was involved in misappropriating the council’s budget during his two years stay in office.

    “Hotaki received cash from individuals and companies. Now that he in Kabul, people are demanding their money back from us,” the official said, calling for a resolution of the issue.

    But Hotaki rejected the allegation, saying he was ready to face an inquiry. He claimed taking stringent measures to curb corruption during his tenure and arresting several people on graft charges. “Why would I commit irregularities?” Hotaki asked.

    The council deputy head, Jan Muhammad Popalzai, also said the allegations against Hotaki were baseless. As a member of the council, he had no evidence against his former boss, Popalzai concluded.

    --Ajmal Wisal

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