9 Apr 2012

US signs deal with Afghanistan on controversial raids

7:49 am on 9 April 2012

The Afghan government has signed a deal with the United States under which Afghanistan will take over responsibility for special-forces night raids against insurgents.

The controversial raids have been a source of tension between the two countries, the BBC reports.

The US military says night raids are a valuable way of finding and detaining suspected militants but many Afghans say they violate privacy and disrespect women.

Analysts say the deal paves the way for the US and Afghanistan to define what role the US will play after most of its troops leave in 2014.

A spokesperson for American forces in Afghanistan, John Kirby, says Afghans have mostly been in the lead in special operations over the past few months so the deal is building on practices already in place.

The deal will also allow Afghan judges to review the operations and decide whether to hold detainees after the raid.

Afghan officials told the BBC that last-minute discussions were still taking place over interrogation of detainees.