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Jalalabad: Center for Taliban Abuse & Terror in Afghanistan (VIDEO)Tim King, in Afghanistan, for Salem-News.com
DISPATCHES FROM AFGHANISTAN
(KABUL, Afghanistan) - Afghanistan has been at war for more than 30 years. After the Russian invasion of 1979 that lasted for more than a decade, the country was locked into years of combat with the Taliban. Tim King visited a base that is used by the Afghan National Army, but as he tells us in this next report, signs of the Taliban's cruelty are far from gone.
In a country that is often freezing and cold, the Afghanistan military base called Jalalabad has weather reminiscent of Southern California.
Trees cast shade and birds sing in the sunlight.
But not long ago, this peaceful setting was a nightmare- during the years the Taliban were here, when this place that is full of life had a mission that was organized around death and oppression.
"This was a Taliban military prison where they would hold people- execute people, here, right there," 1st Lt. Sean Hammond of the Oregon Guard 41st Combat Brigade.
It was a place of sorrow for people considered enemies of the fanatical regime known as the Taliban.
Not only were Afghan men imprisoned here, they were also put to death at what is only remembered as the execution tree.
Soldiers like Specialist Daniel Barker say their mission to help rid Afghanistan of the Taliban presence is advancing, and that he and his fellow soldiers would like to return to a peaceful Afghanistan some day as visitors, so for now they are working with a high degree of confidence.
"I don't know, we've got a mission to do and we are going to go out there and get it accomplished," said Spec. Daniel Barker of the Oklahoma National Guard.
He and other soldiers say the prison building is a clear indication of the vast cruelty that the Taliban symbolize. But even as they continue to terrorize parts of Afghanistan, strongholds like this seemingly haunted place are broken.
Now the light again finds its way inside, illuminating bullet holes that snuffed out the lives of men who once lived in the surrounding areas but refused to cower to their oppressors and for that... paid the ultimate price.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.
Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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