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Afghanistan

Afghan leader seeks expulsion of US special forces

Afghanistan is accusing US special forces and Afghans associated with them of conducting operations that have led to deaths. They have been given their marching orders from one province.

Complaints of reported abuses and misconduct by US special forces in Afghanistan on Sunday culminated in the Afghan National Security Council deciding that US special forces must leave the Maidan Wardak province.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday ordered the forces out of the central province because of allegations that Afghans working with them are torturing and abusing other civilians.

The eviction notice came on the heels of four coordinated suicide attacks that killed at least two Afghans on Sunday.

Aimal Faizi, the spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said Karzai took the decision on Sunday to order the ministry of defense to kick US special forces out of the province. They have been given two weeks' notice to vacate.

The Wardak province is centrally located and strategic for its highway linking Kabul to southern Afghanistan. The area has been rife with counterinsurgency attacks in recent years.

Complaints of wrongdoing

The allegations are that individuals "named as US special forces" in Wardak "engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people," according to a statement from the presidential office.

The statement referred to a recent incident in which nine people disappeared in an operation conducted by this "suspicious force."

"Afghan national security forces are duty-bound to take the security responsibility for the province and put an end to these violations," Faizi said.

He also said Afghan officials have asked the US and NATO forces to "prevent the illegal activities of the US special forces."

A US Department of Defense official said it was investigating the allegations.

"We are aware of the spokesman's comment today," Jamie Graybeal, a US official in Afghanistan, according to the dpa news agency.

Suicide bombers strike

As officials lashed out at US special forces, suicide bombers targeted Afghanistan's intelligence agency and other security forces on Sunday in four coordinated attacks in and around Kabul.

The worst of the attacks was a suicide car bombing at the gate of the National Directorate of Security compound in Jalalabad, 78 miles (125 kilometers) east of the capital. Guards shot and killed the driver, but not before he detonated his explosives, which killed two intelligence officers and wounded three others.

Sunday's bombings were the latest in a string of attacks aimed at Afghan forces, who are suffering more casualties this year as a result of having taken on more responsibility for national security, allowing US and other foreign troops to gradually minimize their role in the country.

The bulk of NATO's 100,000 troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

More than 3,200 NATO troops, mostly Americans, have died in Afghanisan since the US invasion in 2001.

tm/kms (AP, dpa, AFP)