Taliban suicide team strikes in Kandahar
A pair of Taliban suicide bombers launched an attack on the district center of Spin Boldak in Kandahar earlier today, killing five people and wounding 15 more. A Taliban spokesman claimed credit for the bombings. Pajhwok Afghan News provides the details of the attack:
One tribal elder, a police coordinator and a child were among the dead, the provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Razzaq, told journalists.`
One of the insurgents crashed his explosives-packed vehicle into the government building around 12.00 noon, the district chief told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Mohammad Hashim Agha said the second attacker entered the office complex and blew himself up inside the building where a meeting of the local council was in progress.
The roof of the meeting hall collapsed, killing a tribal elder and injuring 15 others, he added.But the governor's spokesman, Javed Faisal, said three tribal elders were killed and 15 others, including three policemen, injured.
Today's attack, like previous complex suicide operations carried out by the Taliban in Kandahar, was likely carried out by the Mullah Dadullah Mahaz, or the Mullah Dadullah Front, a radical Taliban subgroup closely linked to al Qaeda.
The Mullah Dadullah Front is a wing of the Taliban in the south that has adopted al Qaeda's tactics and ideology, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal in December 2010. The Mullah Dadullah Front is led by Mullah Adbul Qayoum Zakir, the former Guantanamo Bay detainee who has since been promoted as the Taliban's top military commander and co-leader of the Taliban's Quetta Shura.
The radical Taliban wing is known to be behind numerous complex attacks in the south, including last summer's suicide assault on Camp Bastion that destroyed a Marine Harrier fighter squadron, and a suicide attack on Jan. 8, 2011 in Spin Boldak that killed 17 people, including a senior police commander allied with Razzaq, Kandahar's police chief. Razzaq himself has been the target of multiple assassination attempts in both Spin Boldak and Kandahar City.
Just a few miles from Spin Boldak but across the border, Zakir and other Taliban leaders operate out of the Pakistani city of Chaman in Baluchistan, as the location shields them from US and NATO operations. The Taliban maintain a command and control center in Chaman, but the Pakistani military and intelligence services have refused to move against the Taliban there.