US-Afghanistan sign deal on night raids

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By V.Tiwari
Date  09 April 2012
The United States and Afghanistan have signed a deal on the controversial night raids carried out by the US-led forces in the southwest of the Asian country.

The deal was signed by the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, and Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, AFP reported.

The Afghan government said that it had been given authority over the raids in line with the agreement.

Under the deal, the newly-formed Afghan Special Operations Unit will take the lead in searches of houses and private compounds.

The deal gives Kabul veto power over the raids carried out on its soil by the US-led forces.

It requires all special operations to be reviewed and approved by a panel consisting of the Afghan military, government, and intelligence services, Afghan officials said.

In December, the Afghan government said it would sign a strategic deal with the Western military alliance of NATO on the condition that all the nighttime raids be carried out by the Afghan forces.

The nighttime operations by the US-led forces have resulted in many civilian casualties and increasing tension between Washington and Kabul. Afghan officials have repeatedly condemned the attacks.

The rising number of casualties of the US-led foreign troops has increased opposition to the Afghan war among NATO member states such as the US and Britain.

Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan, despite the presence of some 130,000 US-led forces in the country.

The recently clinched agreement follows a memorandum signed on another controversial issue transfer of authority over detentions to Afghan forces

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