AFGHANISTAN

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a landlocked country in South-Central Asia. It is variously described as being located within Central Asia, South Asia, or the Middle East. It is bordered by Iran in the west, Pakistan in the south and east, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast.

The geographic entity now known as Afghanistan has a very long history, and has been an ancient focal point of the Silk Road and migration. It is an important geostrategic location, connecting East and West Asia or the Middle East. The land has been a target of various invaders, as well as a source from which local powers invaded neighboring regions to form their own empires. Ahmad Shah Durrani created the Durrani Empire in 1747, which is considered the beginning of modern Afghanistan.

Its capital was shifted later from Kandahar to Kabul and most of its territories ceded to neighboring empires. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in "The Great Game" played between the British Empire and Russian Empire. On August 19, 1919, following the third Anglo-Afghan war, the country regained independence from the United Kingdom over its foreign affairs.

Since the late 1970s Afghanistan has experienced a continuous state of civil war punctuated by foreign occupations in the forms of the 1979 Soviet invasion and the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban government. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) did not authorize the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom). In late 2001 the United Nations Security Council authorized the creation of an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) composed of NATO troops. The country is being rebuilt by international support, while dealing with a strong insurgency. In November, 2009, UNICEF described Afghanistan as the most dangerous place in the world for a child to be born.

Google Blocking Access To ‘Innocence Of Muslims’ In Middle East, India

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), the No. 1 search engine, said it’s blocked access to the controversial “Innocence of Muslims”on YouTube in countries with large Muslim populations, including India, Libya and Egypt. But Afghanistan's government blocked all access to YouTube, claiming the video is offensive.

'Innocence of Muslims' And 5 Other Western Depictions Of Mohammed That Inflamed The Islamic World

The depiction of the prophet Mohammed in the Western media has long been a sore point among Muslims, who view the artistic expressions as blasphemous and highly offensive. "Innocence of Muslims," the anti-Mohammed film that gained YouTube notoriety and spurred the Benghazi, Libya, attack that killed Ambassador, is hardly the first Western media reference to the prophet to incite religious backlash.

Taliban Threaten To Kidnap Or Kill Prince Harry

The Taliban on Monday threatened to kidnap or kill British royal family member Prince Harry who has begun serving his new deployment in Afghanistan as an Apache attack helicopter pilot, four years after his first term was cut short because of untoward publicity.

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Taliban Denies Claims It Will Negotiate Ceasefire

The Taliban has denied claims that it is willing to negotiate a ceasefire with U.S.-led NATO troops, rejecting an analysis by a group of Western academics who sat down for private discussions with former Talban officials.
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