From European royal palaces to impoverished African townships, anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela was remembered Friday for his tireless fight against injustice and racism and celebrated for the better world he left behind.
Former South African President Frederik W. de Klerk, with whom Mandela negotiated an end to the brutal racist regime in his homeland, recalled the man who succeeded him as head of state as "a force for reconciliation and social justice" to the end.
"It was an honor for me to have been able to work with Mr. Mandela in the process that led to the adoption of the interim constitution and our first democratic elections in April 1994," De Klerk said in a statement of condolence.
"Although we were political opponents, and although our relationship was often stormy, we were always able to come together at critical moments to resolve the many crises that arose during the negotiation process."
Despite Mandela's death Thursday, the last white leader of South Africa declared...
BEIRUT — Syrian rebels are demanding the release of 1,000 female government detainees in exchange for the freedom of a group of Greek Orthodox nuns being held by opposition forces, according to an account published Friday in a pan-Arab newspaper.
The proposed swap indicates that the nuns are now hostages -- contradicting earlier opposition assertions that the sisters were evacuated for their own safety during heavy fighting early this week in Maaloula, a Christian landmark town outside Damascus.
Hostage-taking and kidnapping, often with sectarian overtones, have become defining characteristics of Syria’s more than 2-year-old civil conflict. The fate of two kidnapped Christian bishops, believed seized by opposition forces in April, remains publicly unknown.
A spokesman for a rebel group identified as the Ahrar al-Qalamoun Brigade told the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the nuns would not be released until the fulfillment of several demands, most importantly the liberation of...
LONDON -- Britain began flying in military supplies for French forces in the Central African Republic on Friday as residents of the strife-torn country looked to international peacekeepers to stave off further sectarian killings.
The need for increased international intervention grew more acute this week because of a deadly spate of violence between Christian and Muslim groups in the capital, Bangui. About 100 people were reported killed in clashes Thursday during raids by Christian militias on Muslim neighborhoods, part of the deepening chaos in the country since Muslim rebels toppled President Francois Bozize in March.
The British government said it would dispatch three cargo flights to the CAR this month to help France transport equipment for use by the 1,200 soldiers it has pledged to try to restore calm. About 600 French troops are already in the CAR, alongside 2,500 African peacekeepers.
Earlier this week, the United Nations Security Council authorized expanding the French and...
JERUSALEM -- U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, concluding his latest effort to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on Friday, sounding encouraged about progress despite ongoing tension between the parties.
"We are closer than we have been in years" to bringing peace to the region, Kerry told the press Friday morning before departing Israel for Washington.
After arriving in Israel on Wednesday night, Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu three times and once with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
He said he was encouraged by the "continued commitment of both leaders," and advised observers to be patient. "The fact that there is no information doesn't mean the talks are not productive," Kerry said, reminding that the parties agreed to refrain from publicly discussing the negotiations.
Despite sharp disagreements, Kerry insisted both leaders have the "same endpoint in their sights: two nations for two peoples, living side by side in peace and prosperity."
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- From the glitzy shopping malls of upscale suburban Sandton, north of Johannesburg, to a trash-strewn corner in a crowded Soweto street, South Africans rich and poor, influential and jobless, black and white, united Friday to mourn the man they knew simply as "Tata," or father.
After months of illness marked by fervent prayers that Nelson Mandela would miraculously recover, South Africans of all backgrounds and races, by the end, were reconciled to his release Thursday from the suffering of his sickbed.
As Mandela united the nation in great moments, such as the first democratic elections in 1994, a feeling of unity swept the nation Friday, bringing South Africa closer to elation than grief.
"I felt sad, but also a little relieved, because he was struggling with this illness for some time. So he has peace," said Annelice Govender, 30, an unemployed mother of two who learned of Mandela's death when she heard the...
MOSCOW -- Former Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov was charged with negligence Friday in a case involving the construction of a road to a building that has been identified as the lavish dacha of his brother-in-law.
Serdyukov, 51, a former furniture salesman in St. Petersburg, was the first first civilian defense minister of Russia, appointed to the position by President Vladimir Putin in 2007 to undertake sweeping reforms of the nation's armed forces. He is now the first current or former member of Putin's government to be charged with a crime, officials said.
Serdykov's actions resulted in losses of $1.75 million to the state, according to Vladimir Markin, Russia's Investigative Committee spokesman who also implied that in the course of the ongoing investigation, more serious charges could still be pressed.
“Serdyukov gave an oral order to his subordinates to build at the defense ministry's expense a highway from the village of Krasa in the [southern] Astrakhan region...
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- After 10 days of national mourning, anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela will be buried on Dec. 15 in a private service in his home village of Qunu, President Jacob Zuma told journalists Friday.
The former president, who died Thursday, will be accorded a state funeral in Pretoria after lying in state in the Union Buildings, the seat of government, for three days beginning next Wednesday, Zuma said.
Huge crowds are expected as South Africans and visitors try to see Mandela for a last time and pay respects to the man who peacefully negotiated an end to the brutal system of apartheid.
Zuma declared Sunday a day of prayer and reflection. Somber prayer meetings are to be held in churches across South Africa.
The major memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday at Soweto's 90,000-seat Soccer City stadium, where Mandela made his last public appearance, at the final of the World Cup in 2010.
Smaller memorials are expected in...
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- On a street corner in Soweto, David Mohale sat in the warm summer sun Friday, remembering the life of the man who brought him freedom, the hero of the nation's anti-apartheid struggle, Nelson Mandela.
He also thought of his youth, and his own mortality.
"You see what I am. I'm old too. I can can go any time myself," said Mohale, 86. "He's waiting for me there.
"I feel so much sorrow because he was a good man, who learned the people how to live together. He want everybody must be free, you see, and respect each other.
"I respect and I like what he done to get the people together, not fighting like other countries."
In another part of Soweto, on Vilakazi Street, outside Mandela's former home, evangelical church bishop Madela Mashinini, 47, sheltered from the sun under a large purple umbrella, watching young people dancing, singing and chanting as they paid tribute to Mandela. He said it reminded him of his childhood,...
The boy was snatched by the girl in the building’s elevator Nov. 27 as the boy’s grandmother tried to maneuver his tricycle out of the closing elevator doors at the ground floor, apparently planning to take him outside.
Closed-circuit television showed the girl, her hair in pigtails and wearing a backpack, throwing the small boy repeatedly onto the floor and kicking him.
The 18-month-old later either fell or was thrown from the girl’s 25th-floor balcony.
The toddler survived the fall, which was broken by bushes in the lawn of the apartment complex. The boy is listed in critical condition with multiple fractures and a pulmonary hemorrhage. He is supposed to undergo surgery next week.
The boy’s father, a migrant construction worker, wrote on a blog posting...
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- As many South Africans woke up to the news that Nelson Mandela had died, it was Mandela's fellow Nobel laureate who provided the most comforting words.
Mandela's legacy, Desmond Tutu said Friday, would carry on. The sun would continue to rise.
"The sun will rise tomorrow, and the next day and the next. ... It may not appear as bright as yesterday, but life will carry on," the retired Anglican bishop said in a statement.
"To suggest that South Africa might go up in flames -- as some have predicted -- is to discredit South Africans and Madiba's legacy," Tutu said, using Mandela's clan name, a term of affection and respect.
Crowds gathered outside Mandela's home in suburban Houghton and the house where he lived in Soweto to mourn the loss of the former president and to celebrate his life.
The nation's newspapers ran dedication pages, and the South African presidency had its own tribute page.
The political party that...
WASHINGTON — A somber President Obama paid tribute Thursday to the man he credits with his political awakening, saying Nelson Mandela’s dignity and sacrifice “transformed South Africa and moved all of us.”
“He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today he has gone home,” Obama said in brief remarks at the White House shortly after South African officials announced Mandela’s death. “We have lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.”
The first black president of South Africa played a significant role in the coming-of-age story of the first African American U.S. president. Obama credits Mandela’s fight against apartheid for sparking his political consciousness.
Speaking before reporters Thursday, Obama recounted that “the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or...
Logan Gentry said his friend Ronnie Smith, who was fatally shot while jogging in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday, did not fear his experience abroad.
Smith, 33, joked with everyone, while also caring for others and looking for ways to serve them, Gentry said.
“He didn’t like the heightened violence [in Libya] at all, but he wasn’t afraid,” Gentry said in an email. “Part of me wonders, ‘Why were you out running in that environment?’ But he would probably say, ‘Why not?’ He enjoyed life and feared very little. It is what made him so great.”
Smith was shot by an unknown assailant or assailants as he jogged in an affluent central neighborhood of Benghazi, not far from the U.S. Consulate where an attack in September 2012 killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf confirmed that teacher Ronald Thomas Smith II was shot and killed in Benghazi and offered condolences to his...
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Some came in what they were wearing when they heard that Nelson Mandela had died -- their pajamas. Some draped themselves in South African flags. Others brought candles, flowers and pictures of him.
Hundreds of people gathered outside his house in the early morning Friday, in a gathering striking for the absence of weeping and tears. It was more of a spontaneous celebration of the man's life and the gifts he left South Africa.
A few vuvuzelas -- the South African trumpet normally found at football matches and celebrations -- blasted into the night. A group of candles on his lawn, united to form a small blaze, carefully watched by police.
Susan Radebe, 46, a bank administrator, cried when she heard on the late-night television news that the country's first black president had died Thursday at age 95.
"It was just unbelievable, but at the same time I was like, 'Let me let him go because it's time. I have to accept it...
WASHINGTON -- At the South African Embassy in Washington, mourners left bouquets of roses in front of a statue of Nelson Mandela that was unveiled in honor of the revered civil rights champion just three months ago.
Although the statue was shielded by a chain-link fence because of construction in front of the embassy, part of the cordon was opened to allow visitors to place bouquets and candles in memory of Mandela after word of his death Thursday reached the U.S. capital.
"I see his death as a sad time for all of us," said Peter Boyce, 50, a political consultant and Barbados native who lives in Washington. "But yet still in his death I see a rebirth because it gives us an encouragement to remember his work and add to his work, add to his legacy -- don't be marred with anger, but to forgive and to move on and to work harmoniously together as a people."
FULL COVERAGE: Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela dies
Tears streamed down Jan Smart's face as she spoke of Mandela's legacy and...
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — An irritable man who got cross when he couldn’t have his favorite brand of mineral water? A fusser who obsessively folded his daily newspapers just so, who got annoyed if things weren’t lined up in their precise order? An aloof man who nonetheless flirted with any pretty young woman he met?
Could these accounts really tally with one of the world’s most beloved men, Nelson Mandela?
In his lifetime, Mandela always insisted that he wasn’t a saint, and by all accounts was quite irritated with the gilded view of him as an almost mystical figure.
He even asked the Nelson Mandela Foundation to avoid using images of his face, which had become a kind of trademark, and focus on other things, such as his hands. He ordered them to make room for other people’s voices and memories. But the idolatry endured.
The myth had a price, said Verne Harris, project leader at the Nelson Mandela Center of...
WASHINGTON -- The death of former South African President Nelson Mandela brought swift and heartfelt reaction from members of Congress, many of whom had personally interacted with the anti-apartheid leader, and others who were inspired in their own public service by his life from afar.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) called Mandela "an unrelenting voice for democracy."
"Mandela led his countrymen through times of epic change with a quiet moral authority that directed his own path from prisoner to president,” Boehner said. “He passes this world as a champion of peace and racial harmony."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, the Democratic minority leader, said Mandela’s long life was “a story of courage, a triumph over fear, a whole-hearted faith in the power, promise and possibility of the human spirit.”
“May his story long remind us to always look forward with optimism to the future,” she said.
The man who battled apartheid, spent decades in prison and emerged to become the first black president of South Africa died Thursday. As the world remembers Nelson Mandela, here are some of his most famous moments, as well as some that are lesser known:
The clip below shows Mandela upon his release from prison Feb. 11, 1990. Then-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is seen walking with him hand- in-hand as they greet television cameras and shouting crowds:
Mandela told the court at his 1964 sabotage trial that he hoped to see the realization of "the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. ... But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” This audio clip of his words was distributed via YouTube by broadcaster David Tereshchuk, who credited the British Library for saving the recording for posterity:
Independent Television News billed this clipas the first televised interview with...
"We've lost our greatest son," South African President Jacob Zuma said in announcing Mandela's death, which occurred at 8:50 p.m. at Mandela's home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton.
At the White House, President Obama praised Mandela as an inspiration and a paragon of moral strength "that all of humanity should aspire to."
"Like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set. And so long as I live, I will do what I can to learn from him," Obama said of the man whom he met only once, in Washington in 2005. Mandela was too ill to receive visitors during the president's June visit to Africa.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Mandela "a singular...
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – President Jacob Zuma appealed to fellow South Africans to live up to Nelson Mandela’s ideals and realize his vision of a united country as he announced the death Thursday of the country’s beloved former leader at the age of 95.
"Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together, and it is together that we will bid him farewell," Zuma said in a somber late-night televised address to the nation.
In recent days, Mandela's daughter, Makaziwe, appeared to prepare the nation for this moment. On Tuesday, she said Mandela was on his "deathbed" at his home in Houghton, a Johannesburg suburb.
Zuma said Mandela would have a state funeral and all the flags in the nation would be lowered to half staff until he was buried.
"Let us express each in our own way the deep gratitude we feel for the life spent in the service of this country," Zuma said.
He said South Africa had "lost its greatest son."
"Although we knew that...
WASHINGTON -- President Obama on Thursday paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, saying the former freedom fighter and barrier-breaking president “transformed South Africa and moved all of us.”
"He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today he has gone home,” Obama said in brief but emotional remarks at the White House shortly after South African officials announced Mandela’s death. “We have lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages."
Obama referred to his own distant connection to Mandela and the fight for racial equality. The president noted that his first experience with political activism -- “the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or policy or politics” -- was a college protest against apartheid.
“I would study his words and his writings. The day he was released from prison it gave...
MEXICO CITY -- Authorities sought at least two thieves on Thursday who had seized a truck with radioactive material in central Mexico, while a family who found and took home the exposed stolen container was under medical observation, officials said.
The truck was hijacked Monday by gunmen who intercepted it north of Mexico City. It was transporting a large amount of highly active cobalt-60, a radioactive substance used in the treatment of cancer, from a hospital in Tijuana to a nuclear waste storage dump near the capital.
The substance can be used in the making of dirty bombs, a fact that raised alarm here and abroad, especially given the presence in Mexico of violent drug trafficking and extortion gangs who might be eager to get their hands on such a valuable product.
With a six-state search underway, the thieves apparently abandoned the truck north of Mexico City on Wednesday but made off with the lead box containing the radioactive material. For unknown reasons, they ditched it in a...
BENGHAZI, Libya -- Relatively few Americans remained in this eastern Libyan city as street battles raged and Islamic militants made ever-bolder forays in recent weeks. But Ronnie Smith, a chemistry teacher at an English-language school, stayed on, planning, colleagues said, to return soon to the United States for the Christmas holidays.
Smith, 33, from Texas, was gunned down Thursday by an unknown assailant or assailants as he jogged in an affluent central neighborhood of Benghazi, not far from the U.S. Consulate where an attack last September killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Shaken colleagues at the International School, which has an American-style curriculum, said they were told by school administrators that Smith had been shot multiple times as he was taking a run -- part of his regular routine, they said -- in the Fuweyhet district. There was no immediate claim of responsibility in the attack, and it was not known whether Smith was targeted as an...
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Nelson Mandela, South Africa's beloved first black president and anti-apartheid hero, has died after suffering recurring lung infections that were the legacy of tuberculosis contracted in prison during his long fight against oppression, President Jacob Zuma said in a televised address late Thursday. He was 95.
Although out of the limelight in recent years because of the infirmities of age, Mandela, or Madiba, the clan name by which he was affectionately known to many South Africans, remained a revered symbol of the fight he led against the nation's apartheid regime.
Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital in June for the fifth time in two years. Although he was sent home three months later, family members said he had been living in a sterilized bedroom rigged as an intensive care unit with doctors tending to him around the clock.
Even on what his daughter, Makaziwe, termed his "deathbed," Mandela remained an...
ROME -- Pope Francis is forming a commission of experts to advise the Holy See on protecting children from abusive priests, keeping pedophiles out of the priesthood and caring for the victims of abuse, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley said Thursday.
The initiative is Francis’ first concrete step in response to the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church in recent years, costing millions in legal fees and sparking a steep decline in church attendance.
It remains unclear, however, whether the commission will address complaints by victims groups that the Vatican has failed to make bishops accountable for covering up for abusive priests.
Although Francis has won plaudits for reinvigorating the Catholic church, he has been criticized for not coupling his strong appeals for mercy and charity with equally firm admonishments of abuse.
“Pope Francis has massive power and many options. But he’s choosing to not use that power to protect children,&...
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may be a national embarrassment, but his scandalous behavior -- smoking crack cocaine, threatening murder and making lewd remarks on live television -- is the biggest international news story out of Canada this century, Canadian Press reported Thursday.
If the foreign media coverage of Ford's antics were sold as advertising space instead, it would have generated at least $1.1 billion in revenue, the news agency said of analysis by Influence Communications of Montreal.
News stories about Ford in the month of November would have filled nearly four years of airtime if read out consecutively on television or radio, the media-monitoring company calculated.
And the global coverage, if run in a single daily newspaper, would have filled every issue for six consecutive years, Influence said.
"No story in the 21st century has given Canada this much exposure," the media company's president, Jean-Francois Dumas, told the National Post.
"It’s not just the tabloids. It&...
TOKYO -- Although she is a seasoned traveler who frequently flies the route between Tokyo and Hong Kong, Kazuyo Ito confessed to some preflight anxiety as she checked in Thursday for Japan Airlines Flight 29.
"It is a little scary," said the 59-year-old housewife, when asked about China’s threat to stop aircraft that refuse to identify themselves when flying through a large swath of the East China Sea.
FOR THE RECORD:
China air defense: An article in the Dec. 5 A section referred to a travel agency sales director as Koki Nakamori. Nakamori's first name is Koji.
The situation in effect puts ordinary airline passengers at the front lines of the dispute over China's declaration of an air defense identification zone over islands Japan administers.
"They wouldn’t do something to a commercial airline," Ito said uncertainly, before turning to her 29-year-old daughter, Kaori, who piped in with more confidence, "I don’t think it will affect regular passengers like us."
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- With dozens reported dead Thursday in clashes in the capital of the Central African Republic, the U.N. Security Council authorized the deployment of more French and African peacekeepers to contain the spiraling violence.
The unanimous French-sponsored Security Council resolution authorized additional peacekeepers mandated to use force to protect civilians. African forces in the Central African Republic are expected to increase from around 2,500 at present to 3,600 by year's end; the French force is expected to expand from 600 to about 1,200.
The crisis in the Central African Republic has worsened sharply in recent months, with sectarian attacks between rival Christian and Muslim groups, and warnings the country could descend into sectarian warfare or genocide.
Fighting between rival militias broke out in the capital, Bangui, early Thursday, according to news agency reports, as the shock waves of a rebel coup in March continue to reverberate. Witnesses and...
SANA, Yemen -- In a strike that bore the hallmarks of Al Qaeda, assailants in military uniforms staged a brazen daytime assault Thursday on Yemen’s defense ministry, setting off a daylong battle that killed at least four dozen people and left scores injured, with some foreigners believed to be among the dead.
The attack, which terrorized residents of a crowded district in the capital’s old city, began with a thunderous car-bomb blast at the compound’s gate, and a separate push by fighters on foot and armed with assault weapons. Their target was a hospital within the ministry complex where some foreign aid workers were based. A Supreme Court judge and his wife were reported to have been killed.
Officials said the attackers wore military garb, apparently stolen, which fueled confusion among those trying to defend the ministry, which is the headquarters of Yemen's military. The assailants also may have used stolen government license plates on their vehicles, officials...
BENGHAZI, Libya -- An American chemistry teacher was shot to death while out jogging Thursday, according to colleagues and officials at the English-language school where he taught.
The shooting took place not far from the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi where Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens died, along with three other Americans, in an attack in September 2012.
Administrators at the International School identified the teacher as Ronnie Smith, 33, from Texas, who had arrived in Libya late last year. Libyan hospital officials cited by the Associated Press said he died from gunshot wounds after being attacked in an affluent central district.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the killing, which follows a weeks-long surge in violence in Benghazi. Militia groups have been battling security forces and one another, and assassinations have been a regular feature of the fighting.
The city was the nurturing ground for the uprising against longtime dictator Moammar Kadafi, who was...
JERUSALEM -- Secretary of State John F. Kerry launched his latest round of meetings in the Middle East on Thursday aimed at encouraging Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and discussing negotiations about Iran's controversial nuclear program.
Speaking after a two-hour meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the first of three sessions scheduled, Kerry emphasized the U.S. commitment to Israel's security in context of both issues on the agenda.
"I cannot emphasize enough that Israel's security is at the top of the agenda in these negotiations," Kerry said of talks the U.S. and five other major powers are holding with Iran, which recently resulted in an interim accord. The U.S. will do everything to make sure Iran's "plan of weaponization of nuclear capabilities is terminated" in a final agreement, Kerry said.
Responding to Netanyahu's urge for steps to prevent "further erosion of sanctions" against Iran, Kerry promised the fundamental sanctions on oil and...
KABUL, Afghanistan — A federal watchdog agency on Thursday accused the U.S. military in Afghanistan of failing to conduct an adequate risk assessment for managing and accounting for $3 billion in military aid spent by U.S. taxpayers on Afghan security forces in their fight against Taliban insurgents.
The U.S. military command in Afghanistan responded immediately with a statement saying the watchdog, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, had acknowledged steps taken by the U.S. military to "mitigate financial weaknesses" regarding U.S. money for the Afghan military.
The battling statements were the latest in an ongoing public relations struggle between SIGAR and the military and other U.S. government agencies regularly targeted by the watchdog's reports alleging waste, fraud or abuse. SIGAR was established by Congress to monitor taxpayer-funded reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, which have totaled $96.5 billion so far.
SIGAR emailed its latest...
SANA, Yemen -- Assailants in military uniforms Thursday crashed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gates of the Defense Ministry, causing multiple casualties, security sources said.
The strike, in a crowded and bustling part of the capital, then set off a chaotic firefight involving heavy weapons and at least one secondary blast, according to officials and witnesses.
Military and hospital officials put the death toll at 25.
Windows were shattered for blocks around in the district, which is also home to the country’s central bank.
Army vehicles and ambulances converged on the scene. The attack came as many people were on their way to work.
The brazen daylight attack bore the hallmarks of Al Qaeda, whose fighters have staged similar assaults, using assailants wearing military uniforms to cause momentary confusion when hitting military installations.
Yemen, whose longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was ousted in 2011 during the uprisings that spread throughout the Arab world,...
In a statement released on his presidential website late Wednesday night, Karzai condemned the United States for an alleged drone strike that he said killed seven civilians, including women and children, in Nuristan province on the border with Kunar province near the Pakistan frontier.
Karzai has cited U.S. and coalition attacks that inadvertently kill civilians as justification for refusing to sign a proposed 10-year security agreement that would define Afghanistan’s relationship with the United States after combat troops withdraw next year. Though the United Nations blames insurgents for three-quarters of civilian casualties here, Karzai rarely condemns the Taliban for suicide bombings and roadside bomb attacks that...