The New York Times November 25, 2012
KABUL, Afghanistan — For the replacement Afghan security guards, their new posting — an established traffic checkpoint in a heavily guarded Western enclave in Kabul — would seem to be a decent one, other than the fact that three of their predecessors had just been killed by a Taliban suicide bomber.
The site itself told the story: the blast crater from the attack, on Wednesday, had been covered by two rows of green sandbags stacked 10 feet high, and ball bearings from the bomber’s vest pockmarked the neighboring walls. An excavator shoved dirt loosened from the blast into tidy mounds along the edges of the street, which sits a few blocks from the American Embassy in the city’s Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood.
The new arrivals, private guards who work for a foreign security contractor, forlornly bear the assignment. Among the dead were friends and co-workers, including a 36-year-old guard named Shamsuddin, a father of two, and Mohammed Homayoun, 28.
The replacements are jittery, clutching their assault rifles as a supervisor stands nearby, scanning the street.
“They’re deeply hurt because they lost their colleagues,” said the supervisor, who would not give his name. “They were like members of the same family.”
The guards may well have the most thankless job in Afghanistan, serving as the first line of defense against bombings and bullets meant for Westerners and high-profile Afghan government officials. In countless cases, such private security guards are the ones killed by thwarted attacks. On Wednesday, the bomber detonated his vest after the guards demanded his identification, police officials said.
Private security companies have had a troubled and controversial history in Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai has called for them to be banned, concerned that the armed companies, about 50 in all employing about 40,000 guards across the country, were becoming de facto militias. The president eventually made exceptions for embassies and international organizations, but required the firms to be licensed. Mr. Karzai remains committed to handing over security to Afghan government forces.
Three suicide bombers raided a guesthouse frequented by foreigners in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz on Tuesday, killing four Afghan security guards employed by a German company, a senior police detective said.
One insurgent detonated a car bomb at the gates of the guesthouse. The other two made it inside the building where they fought Afghan forces for a couple of hours before detonating their explosives, said senior Kunduz police detective Abdul Rahman.
Ten people, including civilians and a police officer, were wounded in the early morning attack, said Rahman. It was not immediately clear if any foreigners were among the wounded.
Rahman said the slain Afghan security guards were employed by German development agency GTZ. (Reporting by Mohammad Hamed in KUNDUZ and Hamid Shalizi in KABUL, writing by Michelle Nichols, editing by Jonathan Thatcher
Press TV June 18, 2011
Militants in Afghanistan targeted convoys carrying supplies to NATO troops, killing nine Afghan security guards and torching 15 fuel tankers on Saturday.
Two of the attacks targeted private guards escorting supply trucks to a base for Polish troops in the eastern Ghazni province. A third attack happened along the border between Herat and Farah provinces in the west.
Afghan militants say their assaults are in retaliation for non-UN-sanctioned US strikes on Afghanistan’s tribal regions.
Fuel and other vital supplies for the US military and NATO forces in Afghanistan are mostly transported from Pakistan through a route in tribal regions on Pakistani-Afghan border.
Kabul – A NATO airstrike killed four guards working for a private security company in southern Afghan province of Helmand, officials said Wednesday.
One more guard was injured in the strike in Gerishk district on Tuesday, said Mohammad Hakim Andar, provincial police chief. The men were providing security for a road construction firm in the region, he said.
Major Michael Johnson, spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said a joint investigation with Afghan officials was underway into incident.
The military engaged a group of suspected militants in the area after an ISAF ground patrol was attacked, Johnson said.
‘Following the engagement we heard allegations that four security guards were killed,’ he said.
‘Friendly fire’ casualties are not rare in southern Afghanistan. where the militants often operate in the vicinity of local forces. Please see the original here
New York Times Asia KABUL — Taliban fighters in a rural area near the Helmand River staged an audacious nighttime raid early Thursday, swooping down on several hundred sleeping Afghan private security guards who were securing a road construction project, and killing at least 21, according to guards who escaped.
The attack was striking not only for its scale and viciousness but because it took place in the Helmand River Valley, where thousands of British troops have been stationed for the past three years and now American troops have entered to try to rout the Taliban.
News of the Taliban raid emerged Friday, as Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, met with President Hamid Karzai for the second time in four days to discuss corruption among members of the Afghan government, some of whom have been implicated in several major cases. Support for the nine-year war, and for Mr. Karzai, is ebbing in the United States, while General David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, has signaled that, if anything, the troops would need more time on the ground to accomplish their mission.
Mr. Kerry said in a statement that he hoped to see anticorruption agencies strengthened and said “the work of these entities must be allowed to continue free from outside interference or political influence, including with respect to ongoing cases.”
He was referring to Mr. Karzai’s sharp criticism of the work of the American-mentored Major Crimes Task Force and Sensitive Investigative Unit after a top Karzai aide, Mohammed Zia Saleh, was detained on graft charges. Mr. Karzai questioned the legality of both units and set up a commission to review their work. Read the entire story here