KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan forces are preparing to take the lead in safeguarding more parts of the country in line with plans to assume full responsibility for security when most foreign troops withdraw by the end of 2014, President Hamid Karzai’s government announced Monday.
The next phase of the hand-over of security duties from NATO-led troops to Afghan soldiers and police will begin in two months and will give the national forces primary responsibility for defending 87 percent of the population, said Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who heads a transition commission set up by the government.
Attacks across Iraq kill at least 23
BAGHDAD – Insurgents launched a wave of attacks across Iraq on Monday, primarily targeting Shiite communities and pilgrims and killing at least 23 people, officials said.
The attacks appeared aimed at undermining security and confidence in the government by fomenting sectarian conflict.
The deadliest blasts on Monday were in the town of Musayyib, about 40 miles south of the capital, where militants planted bombs around two houses, one belonging to a police officer. Two women, two children and three men were killed in the pre-dawn explosions, a police officer said.