The British and American governments attempted to bolster public support for the next stage of the war in Afghanistan on Thursday, publishing a list of 22 "examples of Taliban and al-Qaeda atrocities." \nWith the former Afghan regime preparing for a last stand at Kandahar, the coalition information center (CIC) has gone on the offensive. The catalogue of massacres, rapes and mutilations is aimed at stiffening resolve in the West for what may be the costly task of defeating Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden. \n"Al-Qaeda and the Taliban told us at their press conference that it is time to `forget' their murder of thousands of innocent people from more than 80 countries on September 11," the five-page document declares. "As president Bush has said: `We will never forget all the innocent people killed by the hatred of a few.' Presumably al-Qaeda and the Taliban would like the world to forget about their atrocities against the innocent." \nThe document was drawn up by the CIC -- a transatlantic cooperation involving press offices in Whitehall and Washington -- to counter anti-Western propaganda. \nLondon's contributions are sourced from British newspapers and TV stations, some American extracts are from the US State Department and the department of defense, and others are from Human Rights Watch. \nAmong cases reported in the document are: \n -- The "castration" of the former Afghan president, Najibullah in 1996. The Taliban "dragged his body behind a jeep for several rounds of the palace and then shot him dead." \n -- The 1998 massacre of 600 Uzbeks in the province of Faryab. "Western aid workers ... said civilians were dragged from their homes, lined up and shot." \n -- After the capture of Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998 the Taliban indulged in the "frenzied killing of shop owners, cart pullers, women and children shoppers." Women and girls were raped, and 2,000 to 5,000 civilians were massacred. \n -- The public execution in Yakaolang of at least 170 civilians, mainly from humanitarian organizations. "According to Amnesty International, eyewitnesses reported the deliberate killing of dozens of civilians hiding in a mosque." \n -- Other reports include accounts from refugees and human rights groups of the beating of infants, killing of children and hanging of bodies from lampposts. \nThe report does not mention the actions of other Afghan factions during the 20-year civil war.
ONGOING PROBE: A former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel, major general and another colonel, as well as five other people, have been questioned by prosecutors The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) calling himself Taiwan’s “first special agent” be detained and held incommunicado as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former bureau officials. The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office was seeking to detain former MIB colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his alleged involvement in introducing retired agents to Chinese national security authorities and passing confidential documents to China. Chang’s actions, if proven, would contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), which carries a prison term of three to 10 years, and the National Intelligence
The US House of Representatives’ China Task Force, launched by Republicans earlier this year, yesterday proposed the China task force act, a package of 137 pieces of legislation, seven of which involve Taiwan, in the hope of getting it passed before the 117th US Congress convenes on Jan. 3. The act encompasses a wide range of issues, including combatting Beijing’s influence around the globe, establishing the US’ dominance in determining 5G network standards and means for bringing UN members to task for abusing their influence within the UN system. The seven acts involving Taiwan address concerns such as the Taiwan Assurance Act
Chinese health authorities investigating a COVID-19 outbreak have said that they discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging, a finding that suggests the virus can survive in cold supply chains. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday said that it had found traces of live COVID-19 on the outer packaging of frozen cod in the eastern city of Qingdao, marking the first time that live coronavirus has been detected on the outside of refrigerated goods. Researchers were investigating the source of a cluster of cases linked to a hospital in Qingdao. Genetic traces had previously been found in samples of
A Chinese soldier apprehended earlier this week by the Indian Army after he strayed across a tense de facto border was on Tuesday night handed back to China, an Indian government source in New Delhi said yesterday. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier had on Monday been captured in the Demchok area of eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army said in a statement. The Chinese military also released a statement, saying that Corporal Wang Yalong was handed over early yesterday. New Delhi on Monday said that it had detained Wang after he crossed into Indian-controlled territory, while China announced that Wang had gotten