President Hamid Karzai said police will arrest members of a family accused of torturing and illegally detaining their son’s teenage wife Sahar Gul for the past six months while trying to force her into a life of crime, and that whoever used violence against the 15-year-old in northeastern Baghlan Province must be punished.
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan were enraged by a video which shows U.S. marines urinating on three corpses, believed to be insurgents, and some said they did not understand their leadership's relatively measured response to the tape; meanwhile U.S. General John R. Allen, who commands international troops in Afghanistan, accused the Taliban's one-eyed leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, of having "lost all control" of his frontline fighters after several suicide bombings in the restive south killed almost 20 people, mostly civilians.
French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said the four French soldiers killed and 16 wounded at the Gwan military unit in Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan, were shot by Taliban "infiltrated for a long time" in the ranks of the Afghan army; the killings prompted France to suspend work with Afghan counterparts and consider an earlier timeline for withdrawal. Subsequently, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, accompanied by Hamid Karzai, announced that French forces would withdraw from Afghanistan a year ahead of schedule, in 2013, and that France would urge other NATO countries to do the same. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense identified six Marines who were killed in Afghanistan when their helicopter crashed; the Taliban claimed credit but there was no report of enemy activity in the area.
America's special envoy to the region Marc Grossman talked peace and reconciliation with Hamid Karzai in Kabul, though the Afghan president made it clear that Afghans should be in the driver's seat; Grossman will meet again with Karzai in discussions aimed at achieving a peaceful resolution to conflict with Taliban insurgents. Hours before the meeting, Karzai said he personally held peace talks recently with the insurgent faction Hizb-i-Islami, appearing to assert his own role in a U.S.-led bid for negotiations to end the country's decade-long war.
The burning of Qurans at a NATO base in Afghanistan advanced the Pakistani-controlled Taliban's cause and any repeat of similar "negligence" by Western forces would be disastrous, according to the Afghan army chief of staff; "The enemy (Taliban) will enlarge it and make use of it in such a way to instigate everybody," General Sher Mohammad Karimi said in an interview.
An American soldier left his base and went from house to house in Alokozai and Barakzai in Kandahar Province, killing 17 people in their homes, Afghan officials told CNN; the dead include nine children and three women, plus five wounded, leading Hamid Karzai to say "The murdering of innocent people intentionally by an American soldier is an act of terror that is unforgivable." ISAF commander Gen. John R. Allen said the "deeply appalling incident in no way represents the values of ISAF and coalition troops or the abiding respect we feel for the Afghan people."
Afghans "have run out of patience" with foreign troops, the country's MPs have warned, after a US soldier killed 16 Afghan civilians. The strongly-worded resolution came as US officials issued an alert, fearing reprisals after the Kandahar rampage. Nine children were among those killed. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the act was "unforgivable" and Taliban militants have vowed revenge. The soldier is being questioned. Nato has promised to deliver justice. The killings could further fuel calls for a more rapid withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. They come amid already high anti-US sentiment in Afghanistan following the burning of Quran at a Nato base in Kabul last month. US officials have repeatedly apologised for that incident.
11 April: Afghan President Hamid Karzai raised the possibility to hold presidential elections in 2013, instead of 2014 as scheduled. He issued the concern that having the complete security handover and a presidential election take place in one and the same year could be a problem. Karzai said, "This is a question that I've had and I've raised it in my inner circle. I've not had a final decision yet, but it will not be soon."
2 June: SAS and US Delta force conduct joint operation which successfully rescues 5 foreign aid workers from a gang of insurgents in Shahr-e-Bozorg district near the Afghan - Tajikistan border. SAS and Delta Force arrived by helicopter and took part in "long march" to a cave where the 5 aid workerswere being held in a maze of caves. The two teams then engaged insurgents in a firefight and overpowered the heavily armed kidnappers, and the hostages were rescued in the cave assaulted by the SAS. 11 insurgents were killed in the assault and there were no SAS fatalities or injuries.
On 30 July 2012, a bomb placed inside a mosque exploded in Tarinkot city, the provincial capital for Uruzgan province, during the morning prayer. The mullah of the mosque and the provincial judge, was killed and four other people present there were injured.