Thirteen NATO-Led Troops Killed in Afghanistan

A roadside bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan has killed four U.S. soldiers.

The NATO-led ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) confirmed the report Sunday.

Also Sunday, another ISAF soldier was killed by an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan. The nationality of that soldier has not been disclosed. It is ISAF policy not to release the nationality of any casualty prior to the relevant national authority doing so.

A total of 13 ISAF and Afghan soldiers were killed on the weekend.

Taliban insurgents reportedly claimed responsibility for the roadside bomb that killed the four U.S. soldiers. The attack occurred as a convoy was traveling in the province of Nangarhar.

On Saturday a French soldier and five Afghan troops were killed in a …

Muslim Protest Arrests Over Army Homecoming

Gordon Brown has condemned anti-war protesters who shouted insults at a parade to honour soldiers returning from Iraq.

Two people were arrested after a protest against the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment as they paraded through Luton yesterday.

The Prime Minister said in a statement: “The whole country is proud of our brave servicemen and women who serve their country with great distinction and courage.

“That pride in our Armed Forces was shown once again today when thousands turned out to welcome the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment. It is therefore disappointing that a tiny minority tried, but ultimately failed, to disrupt today’s event.”

The battalion were returning from their second six-month tour in Iraq in two years. …

Taliban Rule Returning to Kandahar Province

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — They mete out justice in their own courts, ban schools and even organize large religious gatherings, like one that drew thousands of people just outside Kandahar city recently.

As Canadian Forces continue to fight and die throughout Kandahar province, the Taliban have quietly set up parallel governments only kilo-metres away from the provincial capital, local residents say.

Large swaths of the province for which Canada is responsible have fallen under the control of the insurgents, they said, and out of the grasp of a national government villagers consider corrupt and weak.

The three farmers, interviewed this weekend by a Canwest News Service translator, painted a fascinating picture of life under the unofficial Taliban administrations. And while they …

Alone in The Dark

This action-survival game challenges players to investigate shadowy conspiracies that surround Central Park in New York City.

Things do not start off well for Edward Carnby in the latest incarnation of Alone in the Dark, as we found out rather quickly after heading over to see Atari for our first chance to spend hands-on time with his latest adventure.

Alone in the Dark opens with the protagonist waking up in a drug-induced stupor, with no memory of who he is, where he is, or what is going on around him. The first hint of sinister goings-on comes from a conversation that starts to slowly bring you around, before the people who are talking realise you’re awake and promptly march you …

Hellboy: The Science of Evil Hands-On

We venture into Romanian graveyards to smash everything in sight with our giant, red fist.

Last night, we had the opportunity to attend Konami’s Gamer’s Night event here in San Francisco. After focusing on the big guns during its opening presentation, Konami gave us the chance to play a number of other upcoming games. Among the selection was Hellboy: The Science of Evil, a tie-in to the upcoming Hellboy film sequel subtitled The Golden Army. Scheduled for release June 24 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PSP, this brawler features a stylized look reminiscent of the graphic novel and a combat system where the line between enemies and weapons is often blurred. Have you tried the Hellboy-themed slots games? …

Call Of Duty 5 – World Exclusive Hands On!

In the meagre nine months since its release, Call Of Duty 4 has bagged no less than eighteen industry awards, notching up perfect scores from anyone fortunate enough to review it. And with more than 30 million man-hours of online play still taking place every single week, Modern Warfare remains one of the most popular games of all time.

The good news is that sequel is due out this November. The bad news? It’s being made by a completely different development team. The people behind the decidedly duff Call Of Duty 3, no less. And you can forget AK-47s and C4 booby-traps – CoD5 flings you back into the muddy trenches of World War II. As sequels go, it’s …

Iron Man

Ten years ago, Stan Lee was frustrated about the inability to get impressive versions of Marvel Comics super heroes to the movie screen.

“It seemed as if so many of them were tied up with contracts here and copyrights there,” Lee said during a recent phone interview.

Obviously, all the obstacles were eventually worked out, because Lee has seen many of his co-creations become successful films since the 21st century began. None have been better than “Iron Man” (Paramount, 2008, $39.99), which tops the list of Blu-ray releases this week.

Except, perhaps, for the first Spider-Man film, “Iron Man” is arguably the best Marvel super hero movie to date. Its special effects are first rate, its story unfolds crisply and …

US Military Deaths in Iraq War at 4,155 Monday, According to Associated Press Count

At least 4,155 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
The figure includes eight military civilians killed in action. At least 3,375 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military‘s numbers.

The AP count is the same as the Defense Department’s tally, last updated Monday at 10 a.m. EDT.

The British military has reported 176 deaths; Italy, 33; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 21; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Denmark, seven; El Salvador, five; Slovakia, four; Latvia and Georgia, three each; Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand, Romania, two each; and Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, South Korea, one death each.


The latest deaths reported by the …

US Has Spent $100 Billion On Private Contractors Since Iraq Invasion

The United States this year will have spent $100 billion on contractors in Iraq since the invasion in 2003, a milestone that reflects the Bush administration’s unprecedented level of dependence on private firms for help in the war, according to a government report to be released Tuesday.
The report, by the Congressional Budget Office, according to people with knowledge of its contents, will say that one out of every five dollars spent on the war in Iraq has gone to contractors for the United States military and other government agencies, in a war zone where employees of private contractors now outnumber American troops.

The Pentagon’s reliance on outside contractors in Iraq is proportionately far larger than in any previous conflict, …

British and US Special Forces in Basra Raids

London/British and US special forces are engaged in operations in Basra in southern Iraq against Shia militiamen, the BBC reported Wednesday citing a Western military source.

In the past two weeks, up to 1,000 US soldiers have been deployed to Basra from other parts Iraq and the Middle East to support the 4,100 British troops there.

The aim of the operation is to detain senior figures in the Mehdi Army and other Shia militias, and members of a local tribe, according to the BBC.

For the past four weeks, fighting between militias and Iraqi security forces have intensified and spread from Basra to other parts of the Iraq, killing hundreds of people.…

U.S., Iran Agree: al-Sadr’s Out

BAGHDAD — In the Iraqi government’s fight to subdue the Shiite militia of Muqtada al-Sadr in the southern city of Basra, perhaps nothing reveals the complexities of the Iraq conflict more starkly than this: Iran and the United States find themselves on the same side.

The causes of this convergence boil down to the logic of self-interest, although it is logic in a place where even the most basic reasoning refuses to proceed in a straight line. In essence, though, the calculation by the United States is that it must back the government it helped to create and take the steps needed to protect U.S. troops and civilian officials.

Iranian motivations appear to hinge on the possibility that al-Sadr’s political …

Afghanistan: Why Canada Should Withdraw Its Troops

The Afghanistan Canada Research Group was formed in 2006 by a group of York University graduate students concerned with the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan. The focus of our work over the past two years was to document Afghan opinions of the international intervention in Afghanistan.

In June and July of 2007, I spent five weeks travelling in Afghanistan with another researcher Hamayon Rastgar. Based out of Kabul, we travelled to Bamiyan and Yawkawlang in the central region of Afghanistan, north into Parwan province, and as far south as the city of Ghazni. During Hamayon’s three month visit, he travelled further north to Mazar-e-Sharif and Konduz and as far south as Kandahar City.

The purpose of our visit was to ask …