Suicide bomber strikes in western Afghanistan


Mullah Hayatullah, the Taliban commander in Farah province. He runs suicide training camps in the western province.

Taliban suicide bombers struck for the second day straight throughout Afghanistan.

Today a suicide bomber driving a motorcycle detonated his explosives in a market in Farah City, killing 17 people and wounding 29. A second suicide bomber killed five bodyguards of a member of parliament in an attack north of Kabul.

Provincial officials in Farah said a senior police official, who was killed in the explosion, was the target of the suicide attack. Two of the senior police official’s bodyguards were also killed in the attack.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf denied responsibility in a phone call to Reuters.

But the governor of Farah province said the Taliban back down from taking responsibility for suicide attacks when large numbers of civilians are killed.

“Whenever there are civilian casualties, the Taliban deny responsibility,” Governor Rohul Amin told Reuters. “This attack was definitely carried out by the Taliban.”

In July of this year, the Taliban issued a rulebook with guidelines requiring that suicide attacks be carried out only against military and government targets, and that civilian casualties be avoided.

Mullah Hayatullah is the Taliban commander in Farah province. He runs suicide training camps and also serves as a spokesman for the group.

The second suicide attack took place in the Paghman district north of Kabul. A suicide bomber targeted Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, a former mujahideen leader and now a member of parliament. Five of Sayyaf’s bodyguards were killed in the strike, but Sayyaf survived the attack unharmed. Sayyaf, a Pashtun warlord, backed the Northern Alliance during the civil war with the Taliban from 1996 to 2001.

Just yesterday, the Taliban carried out another suicide attack in nearby Uruzgan province. The suicide bomber was targeting a Coalition convoy as it moved through a crowded area in the southern province. Before he could reach the convoy, the bomber detonated, killing 10 civilians and wounding 13 more.

Also, yesterday in Zabul province, a Taliban suicide bomber killed two US soldiers during an attack just outside of a US outpost in the Shah Joy district. Two US soldiers were also wounded in the attack.

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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