Monday, June 18, 2007

Afghanistan : 10o Killed In Three Days Of Attacks, Bombings

Suicide Bombers Kill More Than 30 In Kabul

US Air Strikes Kill Dozens Of Children, Civilians At Religious Schools

The war in Afghanistan grows more deadly, more confused, more convoluted as the current joint Taliban-Al Qaeda offensive unfolds.

It seems all but a certainty that military elements of Pakistan's dictatorship will seep through the border states and join in the fighting. Or to join those who have already crossed into Afghanistan to take on NATO. Clearly, some in Musharraf's military have, but it's only a matter of time before many more of the jihadist elements of Musharraf's clique decide to take on NATO and the forces of the Afghanistan government.

Musharraf can only push back so hard, and the US can only push Musharraf so far. He has already told President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that if they continually pressure him, and embarrass him in the world's media, he will rein in his current efforts to hold back Pakistan jihadists.

The time when a greater regional conflict breaks out across the borders will be hastened by a furtherance of attacks by American elements in NATO like that of yesterday, where missiles believed to have been fired by a US-controlled drone slammed into a Warziristan madrassa, killing and wounding dozens of teachers, students and locals in a small village.

Earlier in the week, at least seven children were killed, and many more wounded when US air strikes hit a mosque and religious school in the eastern Afghanistan province of Paktika.

US military spokesmen claimed that Al Qaeda fighters were sheltering at the mosque-school complex, and used the children as "human shields." Such claims may play well to the Western audience, but they are dismissed mostly as lies, even if they are true, in Taliban-friendly regions of the border lands.

The belief that the 'War on Terror' is a mere Western-friendly title for what is actually a War On Islam is already a widespread belief across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and most of Muslim dominated countries. Such attacks on religious schools, while presumably killing Al Qaeda fighters, also ratchet up civilian casualties and supply endless propaganda material for Al Qaeda and the Taliban to capitalise on. And capitalise they do.

In three days of fighting
in southern Afghanistan, more than 100 people have been killed, including Taliban militants, police and dozens of civilians :
Mullah Ahmidullah Khan, the head of Uruzgan's provincial council, said clashes in Chora district had killed 60 civilians, 70 suspected Taliban militants and 16 Afghan police.

An official close to the Uruzgan governor, who asked not to be identified because he was talking about preliminary estimates, said 70 to 75 civilians had been killed or wounded, while more than 100 Taliban and more than 35 police had been killed.

Police said Monday they had detained a suspect in connection with the deadly suicide bombing that destroyed a bus full of police instructors at Kabul's busiest transportation hub, killing 35 people and wounding 52.

Sunday's enormous blast didn't leave much of the bus and it didn't leave much left of the notion that the renewed Taliban insurgency is being contained in Afghanistan...

The attack wasn't only deadly, it made several points: the Taliban attacks are becoming bolder, more frequent and are spreading across the country...

The bombing raised the specter of an increase in Iraq-style bombings with heavy casualties. It was at least the fourth attack against a bus carrying Afghan police or army soldiers in Kabul in the last year. The bomb sheared off the bus' metal sidings and roof, leaving a charred frame.

The explosion was the fifth suicide attack in Afghanistan in three days, part of a sharp spike in violence around the country.

Afghan officials have recently said that civilian deaths are the main concern of Afghans, and President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly called for foreign troops to do more to prevent civilian casualties.

Insurgency-related violence has killed more than 2,400 people in Afghanistan this year, mostly insurgents, according to an AP count based on figures from U.S., NATO, U.N. and Afghan officials.
More on the Sunday suicide attack on Afghan police trainers from the UK Independent :

The deadliest attack by militants since the ousting of the Taliban killed 35 people and wounded at least the same number yesterday when a bomb destroyed a bus packed with police recruits in Kabul.

One of the wounded recounted how the bomb had exploded when the bus was close to the station. Khalid Mohammed Ali, who suffered injuries to his stomach and legs, said: "There were lots of policemen in the bus and the bomb was near the front. The top of the bus blew off and there were people screaming and shouting. I felt something hot and a pain in my stomach. Then I saw blood on my right leg and there was a hole there."

Amir Nasrullah, 38, a shopkeeper said: "I first heard a roaring noise then I saw the bus was on fire. I saw one man with his arm hanging off but he was still alive. There were two others who looked dead."

Officials said at least 22 of the dead were police recruits and that two Pakistanis, two Japanese and one Korean national were among the wounded.

Last Saturday, suicide bombers hit targets in Kabul and killed four people :

A suicide car-bomber attacked a military-civilian convoy in Kabul on Saturday morning, killing at least three civilians and wounding five others, government and police officials said.

Hours later, two bombers riding a motorcycle attacked a military convoy in Mazar-i-Sharif, killing at least one Afghan civilian and wounding 15, a local security official said.

A spokesman for the Taliban, waging an insurgency against the Afghan government and its foreign allies, said the group was behind the attacks, which included two suicide blasts on Friday in south and central Afghanistan.

"Our many Taliban suiciders are present in the all cities in Afghanistan," Taliban spokesman Zabi-u-llah Mujahid told Reuters by satellite phone. "We will increase our suicide and guerrilla coming days," he added.

The Taliban and their al Qaeda allies have adopted the tactics of Iraq's insurgency over the past two years, using suicide bombings, mostly aimed at foreign troops, to try to dispel the notion that foreign and Afghan forces are in control.

In Mazar-i-Sharif, seen as one of the most peaceful Afghan cities, the motorcycle bombers blew up as the convoy swept past on a stretch of road near a crowded vegetable market. It was the first suicide bombing in Mazar-i-Sharif in three years
The Taliban promised earlier this year that it had more than 2000 fighters willing to become suicide bombers and they had been sent out to every city and every major town and village to wait for their moment to attack NATO forces and their allies in the Afghanistan government, police and military forces. When a wave of suicide bombings failed to appear in April, US commentators, and some US government military and government spokespersons, adopted mocking tones claiming the Taliban had conned the world's media into repeating its propaganda as fact.

The last week has proved that the Taliban's claim of having 2000 suicide bombers in reserve may not have simply been propaganda.

A remarkable confession from a former British ambassador to Washington on why the UK felt such an urgent need to join the United States in the War On Afghanistan, following the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Prime Minister Tony Blair was afraid that if he didn't join the US, and the US went in alone, President Bush would have "nuked the shit" out of the Taliban dominated country :

Christopher Meyer said that fear explained why Prime Minister Tony Blair chose to stand with US President George W. Bush in his decision to invade Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks -- to temper his aggressive battle plans.

"Blair's real concern was that there would be quote unquote 'a knee-jerk reaction' by the Americans ... they would go thundering off and nuke the shit out of the place without thinking straight..."

Finally, David Ax, writing for, has an essential read : Anatomy Of A Suicide Bombing. It takes you through the process of how investigators piece together the trail that leads up to a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. It's a very important story, the kind that is rarely reported in the mainstream media, and Ax has done a remarkable job.

3 American Troops, Afghan Interpreter Killed By Roadside Bomb In Southern Afghanistan

US/NATO Air Strikes Killing Civilians Seriously Erode Afghan Goodwill Towards Coalition, Build Grassroots Support For Taliban-Al Qaeda

3 Canadian Soldiers, 5 Afghans Killed In Roadside Bombings In Southern Afghanistan

BBC : Can The War In Afghanistan Be Won?

The Iranian Influence In Afghanistan

The Misery Of Heroin In Afghanistan Spreads Amongst Poverty, Trauma, High Unemployment