Posts Tagged ‘suicide bomb’

A bang outside

July 7, 2008

I thought at first it was a window slamming shut in the wind. Alas not. Sometimes I hear a door slam and wonder for a second if it is a bomb. Sometimes, I hear a bang and know it was not a door slamming.

It was a suicide car bomb driven into the Indian embassy in Kabul as two diplomatic cars were entering. At least 30 people killed or wounded. 41 people killed and 140 wounded according to the latest reports.

The embassy is on a busy road in the centre of the city. There’s always a crowd of people outside queuing up to get visas.

Of all the countries represented in Kabul, India seems like a strange one to target. They fund some large infrastructure projects but their biggest influence is probably through television. Maybe less strange if there is a Pakistani element behind the attack. Or it was just opportunistic, on a relatively soft target.

Then a US military convoy shoot at some random people as they rushed through the city shortly afterwards, killing two. If a vehicle ever accidentally gets too close to a convoy, that’s how they tend to react.

Our drivers don’t always get this, and respond to the angry gestures of soldiers swivelling round and pointing a machine gun at our car by grinning and waving back as they contentedly drive closer.

People don’t always understand the (understandable) paranoia, or security measures, of military convoys, and certainly don’t understand whatever it is the foreign soldier is shouting at them. But the soldiers don’t always seem to understand that

Needless to add, all this, on top of the alleged (I write alleged, but for most people here it is a fact) bombing of a wedding party in the east yesterday by US forces, this will further endear both the US and ISAF, and the Taliban, to the local population. How’s that for some insightful analysis.

Update: For some proper analysis, and the regional Afghanistan/Pakistan/India dynamics, have a look at Barnett Rubin’s post here.

Blood sport

February 18, 2008

More than one hundred people were killed in a suicide attack in Kandahar yesterday. Another hundred or so were wounded.

They’d been watching a dog fight.

When I heard that I thought of the evening last year when I went to the dogs at Walthamstow in London with some friends. Of the carnage there would have been if a bomb had gone of there.

Still I can’t imagine the horror of it, and hope I never really have to.

The press are saying it was targeted against Abdul Hakim Jan, described either as the leader of a local militia or as a police chief.

Such a huge blast to kill one man. The Taliban are the usual suspects but have not claimed responsibility. They are unlikely to given the number of civilians killed. That sort of thing doesn’t tend to endear local people to them. But then people will make of it what they will anyway.

“I doubt the Taliban would do such a thing,” Tooryalai told a Reuters reporter during a mourning ceremony in Arghandab.
“This was the work of foreigners in order to give a bad name to the Taliban and to justify their presence here in Afghanistan by saying ‘security is bad and we can’t leave’,” he said. Others nearby nodded in agreement.

If the numbers killed are confirmed it will be the worst attack since 2001. Not that that particularly matters to the families of those who have died.

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