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See also: 2007 in Afghanistan, other events of 2008, 2009 in Afghanistan and Timeline of the War in Afghanistan (2001-present).

Events from the year 2008 in Afghanistan



  • February 17: 2008 Kandahar bombing kills 100 people, the deadliest suicide bombing of the war.
  • February 26: a Danish Leopard 2 was hit by an explosive device, damaging one track. No one was injured and the tank returned to camp on its own for repairs.[1]


  • The U.S. government suspended, on March 27, 2008, AEY Inc. of Miami, Florida, a company hired by the U.S. military, for violating its contract. The company is accused of supplying corroded Chinese surplus ammunition made from 1962–1974, instead of the higher-quality Hungarian-made ammo from MFS 2000 Inc, to the Afghan National Army and police. United States Army-documents showed that since 2004 the company entered agreements with the U.S. government that totaled about $10 million. The papers also revealed the company received much larger orders in 2007 with contracts totaling more than $200 million to supply ammunition, assault rifles, and other weapons. Army criminal investigators were sent to look at the packages in January 2008. The House Oversight Committee announced plans to hold a hearing into the matter on April 17, 2008,[2] at which the 22-year-old international arms dealer Efraim Diveroli and president of AEY Inc would face a congressional inquiry.[3][4] The committee reported in June 2008.[5]


  • On April 27, Karzai escaped another attempt on his life: gunmen opened fire during a military parade celebrating the 1992 victory of the Mujahideen over the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan communist government. The firefight lasted about a quarter of an hour, with 3 dead and over 10 wounded.[6]
  • On April 29, 2,300 U.S. Marines assaulted the town of Garmsir in Helmand province, a region of Afghanistan where the Taliban had a stronghold.[7]



  • June 10: Gora Prai airstrike in Pakistan kills 11 Pakistani paramilitary troops.
  • June 13: Sarposa Prison attack. Taliban attack the Sarposa Prison, freeing up to 1,000 prisoners.


  • July 5: A Danish Leopard 2A5 hit an IED in Helmand Province, resulting in the driver's death. During the same contact with Taliban forces, a second tank was caught in an explosion but none of the crew were wounded.[9]
  • July 6: The Deh Bala wedding party bombing refers to the killing of a large number of Afghan civilians mostly women and who were walking the bride of a wedding ceremony to the groom's village in Dih Bala district of Nangarhar province.
  • July 7: The 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul kills 58, including four Indians. India blames the Pakistani ISI for the attack.
  • July 13: Battle of Wanat. Taliban fighters attack a NATO base, killing nine American soldiers.



  • September: United States-Pakistan skirmishes.
  • September 3: Angoor Ada raid by US special forces into Pakistan.


  • In October 2008, the Washington Post ran an editorial by former Navy Secretary John Lehman:

What made the Afghan campaign a landmark in the U.S. Military's history is that it was prosecuted by Special Operations forces from all the services, along with Navy and Air Force tactical power, operations by the Afghan Northern Alliance and the CIA were equally important and fully integrated. No large Army or Marine force was employed.[10]

  • On October 1, 2008, the top American general in Afghanistan, David McKiernan, warned that the situation in Afghanistan could get a lot worse. The international forces within Afghanistan have not been able to hold territory they have cleared because of the lack of troops. For this reason the general called for an extra three combat brigades (roughly 20,000 troops). Without this urgent rush of troops the Taliban would be able to get back into the communities that were once cleared by international troops. The general went on to say that things could get a lot worse before they get better.[11]
  • On October 1, 2008, a suspected U.S. drone fired a missile against militants inside Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province near the Afghan border. It is believed that six people died in the incident. Attacks of such have drawn a stiff response from Islamabad, accusing the United States of violating their airspace.[12]



  • December 11: start of Operation Red Dagger
  • December 19: US vows to send 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
  • On December 30, 2008, Pakistani security forces shut down the supply line when they launched an offensive against Taliban militants who dominate the Khyber Pass region.[13] After three days of fighting, they declared the Khyber Pass open.[14]


  1. Lohse, Eckart (March 16, 2008). "Leopardenjagd am Hindukusch" (in German). Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. p. 6. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2008. 
  2. "Committee Announces Hearing on Arms Contract". House Oversight Committee. Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2009. 
  3. U.S. suspends supplier of arms to Afghanistan, CNN, March 27, 2008
  4. Arms dealer's dad wanted 'nice' doctor son, CNN, March 28, 2008
  5. "Committee Holds Hearing on AEY Contracts with the U.S. Government". House Oversight Committee. Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2009.  (retrieved from
  6. Nick Meo (April 27, 2008). "Hamid Karzai escapes as Taleban target military parade – Times Online". The Times. London. Retrieved October 2, 2008. 
  7. "Marines launch assault in Afghanistan". Retrieved December 20, 2009. 
  8. Telemark Battalion in new combat with Taliban, Aftenposten, May 27, 2008
  9. "Status over fredagens begivenheder – Afghanistan: Alle danske soldater er nu tilbage i deres respektive lejre i Helmand provinsen" (in Danish). Royal Danish Army. July 25, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2008. 
  10. Washington Post Editorial, John Lehman former Secretary of the Navy, October 2008
  11. Miami Herald: International. 'Afghan war could get worse, top U.S. commander warns' [1] Retrieved on 2008-10-03[dead link]
  12. Ahmad, Munir (October 1, 2008). "Suspected US missile strike kills 6 in Pakistan". The Guardian. London.,,-7842018,00.html. Retrieved March 26, 2009. [dead link]
  13. Move against Taliban shuts US supply line, NYT, December 30, 2008
  14. Pakistan Reopens Supply Route, NYT, AP wire story, January 2, 2009[dead link]

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