Suicide bombers kill over 90 in Afghan north


Afghanistan UN Security Accessability Map (as of June 20, 2006).Click to view map, .PDF, approximately 1 Megabyte.

The Taliban have pulled off the largest suicide attack in Afghanistan since the US overthrew the Taliban government in late 2001. A pair of suicide bombers targeted a parliamentary delegation as it visited a sugar factory in the northern province of Baghlan. Over 90 were reported killed, including five members of parliament, and over 50 have been wounded. A local doctor said the casualties may well rise.

A large number of children and civilians were killed in the strike. Among those killed were Sayed Mustafa Kazimi, the leader of the parliamentary delegation and member of the opposition. Kazimi was also the head of the national economy commission of Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament.

“All of the slain lawmakers were members of the parliament’s National Economic Committee, which is tasked with overseeing reconstruction efforts in the country,” RFE/RL reported. “A deputy agriculture minister and prominent woman parliamentarian Shukria Barakzai were among the wounded,” Reuters reported.

The Taliban/al Qaeda ceremony. Click image to view. [ABC News]

The suicide attack threatens to destabilize the security situation in the north as the fractious political parties have used the threat of the Taliban to rearm. “Illegal ethnic-Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara militias in the north appear to be using the threat of a resurgent Taliban as an excuse to hoard weapons and more forcefully protect their interests, such as ruling over land they have controlled since the Taliban’s collapse or defending drug export routes that are a major source of income,” RFE/RL reported earlier this month.

The Taliban have ramped up the suicide campaign over the past year. Over 200 civilians have been killed in over 130 suicide bombings this year. “Statistics show that this year alone, Afghanistan was hit by more suicide attacks than in all past years combined,” the Jamestown Foundation noted in a report discussing the ideology of suicide attacks in Afghanistan.

In June, the Taliban released a video of a graduation of suicide teams assigned to strike in the US, Canada, and Europe. “Some 300 recruits, including boys as young as 12,” were in attendance, according to video obtained by ABC News.

Pro-Taliban supporters shout slogans during a rally in Killi Nalai [AP]. Click to view.

Taliban military commander Mansoor Dadullah, the successor of recently slain Mullah Dadullah who was killed in Helmand province in May, addressed the graduation and “congratulated each team as they stood.” “These Americans, Canadians, British and Germans come here to Afghanistan from faraway places,” Dadullah says on the tape. “Why shouldn’t we go after them?”

The attacks in Afghanistan are directed from the Taliban and al Qaeda’s safe havens in northwestern Pakistan. The Taliban/al Qaeda camp where the graduation ceremony was held is believed to be inside Pakistan. In the spring the Taliban held a major rally of upwards of 10,000 gatherers in Baluchistan to mourn the death of Mullah Dadullah. Pakistan’s Islamist political parties hosted the event.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the – Web Reconnaissance for 11/06/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.

  • DrIrish123 says:

    Another set of people who dont understand that Jihad is an internal struggle.

  • Neocon News says:

    Taliban kills almost 100, including children.

    Bill Roggio over at The Long War Journal has the details of the largest Taliban/terrorist attack in Afghanistan.
    The Taliban have pulled of the largest suicide attack in Afghanistan since the US overthrew the Taliban government in late 2001. A pair of …

  • Neo says:

    Unfortunately, I think we will be seeing more well planned mass casualty attacks in Afghanistan. With Al Qaeda and Taliban training camps reestablished in Pakistan we can expect both the quality and quantity of their fighters to gradually improve. They can also start putting more resources into planning and logistics than in previous years.

  • Fight4TheRight says:

    I thought the most poignant part of Bill’s writing was this:
    “All of the slain lawmakers were members of the parliament’s National Economic Committee, which is tasked with overseeing reconstruction efforts in the country,”
    At what point in time, do the Afghan people wise up to the true intentions of the Taliban? At what point do the Taliban outlwear their welcome much as Al Qaeda has caused the Iraqi citizenry to turn against them?
    Fear is one thing. Being duped is another. If the Afghan people would start calling in the tips, we’d see Taliban blood knee deep in the streets.
    I hate to say this, but the best news that Afghanistan could get right now would be a further collapse in Pakistan that would bring NATO and American force into the NW Pakistani territories.

  • Rhyno327/lrsd says:

    Well, maybe this will FORCE the Germans to fight. There ridiculous caveats and ROE’s are making NATO look like a paper tiger. The other 3 are Spain, Italy, to a lesser degree, France. If those 4 sent a Brigade apiece, NATO would have a more robust, lethal force. 4 BCT’s, thats 16,000 men. 4 Batts. of 800 is 3,200. Would that make a difference? YES. We could crush them. Only 4 members are conducting combat ops.


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