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China holds mine-sweeping training for Afghanistan

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Xinhua

NANJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- International humanitarian mine-sweeping communication and training for Afghanistan, started Monday in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province.

Ninteen Afghani trainees, from military and civil mind-sweeping organizations will be trained as a part of trust building measures under the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan. After training, participants will play an active role in sweeping mines and promoting post-war reconstruction in Afghanistan.

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Taliban militants kill 3 civilians in N Afghanistan

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Xinhua
KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Taliban militants killed three civilians on charges of spying for government and the NATO-led forces in Kunduz province, north of Afghanistan, provincial police chief Abdul Razaq Yaqubi said Saturday.

"The militants shot dead two civilians in Gur Tepa area and another in Chardara district on Friday on charges of spying for Afghan and international troops," Yaqubi told Xinhua.

However, Yaqubi added that the victims were ordinary people and had no links with the government.

Taliban militants who often target government

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Pakistan + 1 other
Pakistan: Illegal immigrants get two weeks to leave Karachi: minister

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Xinhua
ISLAMABAD, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik Friday asked Afghans and other immigrants living in the southern city of Karachi to leave in two weeks or face a major crackdown.

Officials say that thousands of Afghans, Bengalis and immigrants from several other countries are living illegally in Karachi, the country's commercial center.

Malik said that a major crackdown will be launched against illegal immigrants in Karachi after two weeks.

"There would be no mercy on illegal immigrants," the interior minister told reporters after he appeared

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Afghanistan + 3 others
Global Fund to award grant to fight HIV, AIDS among MSM in South Asia

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Xinhua
NEW DELHI, Nov 25, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved in principle a landmark 47 million U.S. dollar grant for a community-strengthening program aimed at reducing the rapid and alarming spread of HIV and AIDS among men who have sex with men and among transgender people in South Asia, said the United Nations Development Program (UNPD) sources here on Wednesday.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an international financing institution, which has so far

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Sri Lanka + 2 others
Sri Lanka, Australia to join hands in curbing human trafficking

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Xinhua
COLOMBO, Nov 07, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lanka and Australia will commence discussions in Colombo on Monday to strengthen maritime security to curb human trafficking to the Australian soil, Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry sources said on Saturday.

The high profile Australian delegation, including Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and John McCarthy, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's special envoy, will discuss with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama the issue of illegal migration.

Officials from Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry

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Colombia + 6 others
Universal Children's Day: Feature - Former child soldiers struggle to lead normal lives

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Xinhua
BEIJING, Nov 07, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- For children living in peace, war is the stuff of fast-paced action movies or high-adrenaline computer games. Yet today, an astounding figure released by UNICEF shows that more than 250,000 children are fighting in wars and armed conflicts worldwide and witnessing atrocities.

From the "little bees" of Colombia to the "baby brigades" of Sri Lanka, boys and girls, some as young as six, have been transformed into small but highly efficient killing machines.

But what happens to child soldiers when

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Bangladesh + 7 others
Bangladesh advises South Asian countries to set up food bank

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Xinhua
DHAKA, Oct 26, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Bangladeshi Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith Monday advised the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders to set up the proposed SAARC Food Bank to control rising prices and meet the ever increasing food demands.

Giving priority to ensuring food security, chiefs of central banks of SAARC nations on Monday brainstormed strategies in Bangladesh to fight against hunger through adopting a long-term regional approach, national news agency BSS reported.

Bangladesh Bank organized the seminar

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Afghanistan + 1 other
China launches mine-clearing training course for Afghanistan, Iraq

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Xinhua
BEIJING, Sep 15, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- A humanitarian mine-clearing training course for Afghanistan and Iraq sponsored by the Chinese government was inaugurated here Tuesday in Nanjing, capital of the eastern Jiangsu Province.

About 40 military officers from Afghanistan and Iraq are on the two-month course at the University of Science and Technology of the People's Liberation Army in Nanjing, said China's Foreign Ministry.

The ministry said in a press release that the course was a concrete measure of China to actively taking part

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Construction of first railway in Afghanistan to begin within 4 months

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Xinhua
KABUL, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Work for the construction of first Afghan railway to begin within the next four months, a local newspaper reported Thursday.

The essential project, costing 120 million U.S. dollars, would connect Uzbekistan to Mazar-e-Sharif city in north Afghanistan, the daily Rah-e-Nejat quoted a press release of Ministry for Commerce and Industries as reporting.

Afghanistan's border town Hairatan is connected with Uzbekistan and the work for 60 km railway would begin from Hairatan possibly in this December, the newspaper further said.

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Afghanistan + 1 other
Indonesia to hold meeting on refugee this month

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Xinhua
JAKARTA, Jul 03, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Indonesia will hold a meeting in Bali this month to discuss the issue of refugees who have been flooding to Asia Pacific region on their way to find a rich country to stay, an official told reporters here on Friday.

The meeting called "the Bali Process" will try to discuss the root cause of the refugee flood and to find solution. "The forum will view Myanmar and Afghanistan as the origin countries of the most refugees, among other, to talk about the root cause of the

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Roadside bomb kills security guard, wounds 3 others in S. Afghanistan

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Xinhua
KABUL, Apr 21, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- One Afghan security guard was killed and three others sustained injures as their car struck a roadside bomb in southern Afghan province of Zabul Monday, official said on Tuesday.

"The gruesome incident happened in Shinki district on Monday evening, all the victims are Afghans working with a local road construction firm," senior police officer Ghulam Jilani told Xinhua.

He blamed the enemy of Afghanistan for the incident, a term used for Taliban insurgents.

In another incident, a roadside bomb

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Afghanistan + 2 others
Australian PM, Indonesian President agree to stem flow of boatpeople

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Xinhua
CANBERRA, Apr 19, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono agreed to work together closely to stem the flow of boatpeople arriving in Australian waters after a phone talk on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister's office said in a statement that Rudd and Susilo agreed the recent influx of boatpeople was due to conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the global financial crisis.

"They discussed the increasing number

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China pledges $75 mln in aid for Afghanistan

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Xinhua
THE HAGUE, March 31 (Xinhua) -- China announced on Tuesday that it would provide 75 million U.S. dollars of aid to Afghanistan in the next five years.

The pledge was announced by China's Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Dawei at an international conference on Afghanistan in The Hague.

Wu said China will continue to provide assistance in areas like capacity building at the request of the Afghan government and will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to take part in Afghan reconstruction.

He also stressed the need to fight terrorism and to support the Aug. 20 presidential elections.

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China calls on int'l community to cooperate on Afghanistan

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Xinhua
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has devoted itself to safeguarding regional peace and stability, and is ready to cooperate with Afghanistan in solving its problems, Deputy Chinese Foreign Minister Song Tao said in Moscow on Friday.

The international community has paid great tribute to the SCO in view of its increasingly important role in regional affairs, said Song, who was attending the Moscow conference on Afghanistan.

It takes the efforts of the Afghan government and people, as well as support from the international community, for the

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Ensuring durable security in Afghanistan requires neighbors' support

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Xinhua
By Abdul Haleem

KABUL, Mar 26, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Continued instability in Afghanistan over the past three decades and international community's failure to pacify the war-torn country underscores the role of neighboring states in resolving the prolonged crisis in this part of the world.

With over 70,000-strong U.S.-led Coalition forces and the NATO- led ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) here since late 2001, however, the world has seen the post-Taliban country being bogged down by escalating violence and riots.

Military failure to ensure stability

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Afghanistan + 6 others
Canada limits number of foreign aid recipients

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Xinhua
OTTAWA, Feb 23, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Canada on Monday announced it will focus foreign aid to a smaller number of countries or regions, slashing seven Afraican countries off the list of its bilateral aid recipients.

International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda told a press conference in Ottawa that Canada now will provide aid to about 20 countries, down from 25.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he wants to target more Canadian aid to countries in its own geographic backyard, namely in Latin America.

Bilateral aid programs account for just

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Afghan, U.S. military agree on further coordination to avoid civilian casualties

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Xinhua
KABUL, Feb 14, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) - The government of Afghanistan and the U.S.-led Coalition forces have agreed to work in harmony in order to avoid harming non-combatants, a joint press release issued here Saturday said.

"In an ongoing endeavor to increase partnered operations and develop Afghan capability to defeat terrorists and adversaries the officials have agreed to include more Afghan representatives in the planning and execution of counter-terrorism missions, with more attention to night operations, actions in populated areas and searches,"

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Norway to provide financial support for Afghanistan election

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Xinhua
STOCKHOLM, Feb 14, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) - Norway will provide financial support for the Afghanistan presidential election to ensure there is a larger degree of independence, according to reports reaching here from Oslo on Saturday.

The Norwegian contribution will be 70 million kroner (about 10.3 million U.S. dollars). It will be coordinated by the U.N., and will among other things, be used toward setting up an independent election commission and an independent complaints commission, the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said.

The Afghanistan presidential election

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Afghanistan: More coordination needed for halting civilian casualties - ministry

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Xinhua
KABUL, Jan 29, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- The Afghan Defense Ministry on Thursday described civilian casualties as a "huge challenge" laying ahead of the Afghan government and international troops and called for more coordination to overcome the problem.

"The biggest challenge laying ahead us is the civilian casualties as harming civilians discredits both the Afghan government and the international troops," Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said at a press conference attended by NATO and the U.S. military.

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Harming civilian not to serve the war on terror: Afghan gov't

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Xinhua
KABUL, Jan 27, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Afghanistan's Presidential spokesman Hamayon Hamidzada on Tuesday stressed that harming civilians during the military operations against terrorism would not serve the war on terror.

"The government of Afghanistan once again emphasizes that inflicting casualties on civilians would not only erode the trust of people in the war against terrorism, but also damage the support to the government of Afghanistan," Hamidzada told newsmen at a press briefing here.

He made the remarks in the wake of reported