Afghan security forces inspect the site of a blast in Kabul on Tuesday. Photo: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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Taliban suicide bombers kill 48 in Afghanistan

19 Comments

Taliban suicide bombers killed 48 people in two separate attacks in Afghanistan on Tuesday, the deadliest taking place near an election rally by President Ashraf Ghani, though he was unhurt.

The attacks happened 11 days before Afghanistan's presidential election, which Taliban commanders have vowed to violently disrupt, and follow collapsed peace talks between the United States and the insurgent group.

Ghani, who is seeking a second five-year term in voting on Sept. 28, was due to address a rally in Charikar, the capital of central Parwan province, when a suicide bomber attacked the gathering.

The blast killed 26 people and wounded 42, said Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the interior ministry.

"When the people were entering the police camp, an old man riding a motorcycle arrived on the highway and detonated his explosives, causing casualties," said Parwan province's police chief Mohammad Mahfooz Walizada.

In the wake of the attack, bodies littered the dusty ground as smoke rose from the site of the explosion, a giant blue billboard bearing the face of Ghani's running mate Amrullah Saleh looming over the scene.

With sirens wailing, rescuers rushed to lift the wounded into the backs of pick-up trucks for evacuation.

"Women and children are among them and most of the victims seem to be the civilians," said Abdul Qasim Sangin, head of Parwan's provincial hospital.

The president was nearby but unharmed, and later took to Twitter to condemn the bombing at the rally.

"Taliban tried to break this unity by targeting innocent civilians," he wrote. "They shamelessly accepted responsibility at a time when they're cloaking acts of terror as efforts for peace."

In a separate incident, a man on foot blew himself up in the centre of the capital Kabul, sending ambulances and Afghan forces rushing to the blast site.

"I was waiting at the entrance of the recruitment centre," said Mustafa Ghiasi, lying on a hospital bed after being wounded in the explosion. "I was behind two men in line when suddenly the blast struck."

Twenty-two people were killed, and 38 were wounded, said Rahimi, the interior ministry spokesman. Most of the dead were civilians, including women and children, though six were security force members.

The Taliban said it carried out the two attacks, and a statement issued by a spokesman for the insurgents said they were aimed at security forces.

"People were given warning," the statement said.

"Do not take part in the puppet administration's election rallies, because all such gatherings are our military target," said the statement. "If, despite the warning, someone get hurt, they themselves are to blame."

Addressing the Kabul attack, Afghanistan's president lashed out at the Taliban as the "coward enemy" for targeting civilians.

"I offer my heartfelt condolences to victims of today's tragedies in Kabul and Parwan and pray for speedy recovery of those who were wounded," Ghani wrote on his official Twitter account. "We stand united in this hour of grief."

Pakistan, which denies accusations that it shelters the Taliban, also condemned the attack.

"We offer our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families," it said in a statement.

Security at rallies across the country has been tight following threats by the Taliban to attack meetings and polling stations. The group has vowed to intensify clashes with Afghan and foreign forces to dissuade people from voting in the upcoming elections.

Last week, peace talks between the United States and the Taliban collapsed. The two sides had been seeking to reach an accord on the withdrawal of thousands of American troops from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees from the insurgents.

The negotiations, which did not include the Afghan government, were intended as a prelude to wider peace negotiations to end more than more 40 years of war in Afghanistan.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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So, yeah. The US could leave Afghanistan.

And then the Taliban would take it over. Again,

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And people wonder why trump cancelled a meeting with the taliban leaders

2 ( +6 / -4 )

And people wonder why trump cancelled a meeting with the taliban leaders

I wonder why he scheduled one in the first place.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The Great Orange Idiot was going to bring these terrorists to Camp David and fete them like kings - just like he'd do if he invited Kim Jong Un or Putin.

Meanwhile, our friends and allies who have shed blood with us are insulted or ignored.

Putin's and his Puppet's plan at work...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This is a really awful problem, and probably not one the US can solve. The Taliban are not going to go away. And foreign troops are not going to eliminate them. So we have this endless war.

There is a good case to be made for the US pulling out. But that would mean death and worse for many decent people in Afghanistan, especially young women.

Yet, if the US stays, these sorts of attacks will continue, and the drain on US resources and lives will continue as well.

There just is no easy answer.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The Taliban said it carried out the two attacks, and a statement issued by a spokesman for the insurgents said they were aimed at security forces. "People were given warning," the statement said.

This is the exact same sort of statement you get from the Pentagon when civilians die in their bombings. I don't see how its worse when the Taliban does it. Is it because the U.S. military is happy to give you numbers when the Taliban does it? Cause they have clearly said they don't do body counts when they themselves do it.

And then the Taliban would take it over. Again,

Despite what the media would have you believe, the Taliban never controlled all of Afghanistan. That said, the fighting and bombing would probably have been over over a decade ago if the U.S. military industrial complex was not so keen on endless war profits and getting involved in wars for profit.

Maybe praying is not the most efficient thing to do in such situation considering those guys were motivated by "god".

Their motives are clearly political. They wish to control their own country. They see their U.S. backed countrymen as puppets and traitors. Perversion of religion is used for recruitment, but that is NOT the primary motivation for the Afghan Civil War.

But that would mean death and worse for many decent people in Afghanistan, especially young women.

Nothing but pure gender bias with a lean toward modern feminism. Decent people of all ages and genders ARE dying and worse right now. The Taliban wants women in traditional roles, and that is very far from beaten, broken or dead. Plus peace changes things. They will lose their hard line on certain issues when peace makes them soft.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Their motives are clearly political. They wish to control their own country. They see their U.S. backed countrymen as puppets and traitors. Perversion of religion is used for recruitment, but that is NOT the primary motivation for the Afghan Civil War.

I completely agree, I was mostly pointing out that praying won't help much...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Norman

For the Taliban, there is no difference between politics and religion.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Oh look those trucks are made by ford what a shock.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Everyday more Afghans are killed than in Yemen and Syria combined.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

An average of 74 men, women and children were killed every day in Afghanistan throughout the month of August, the BBC has found. We confirmed 611 security incidents in which 2,307 people died. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49662640

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Nothing but pure gender bias with a lean toward modern feminism.... The Taliban wants women in traditional roles, and that is very far from beaten, broken or dead. 

You are wrong. The Taliban concept of traditional roles for women is not far at all from beaten, broken or dead. Women, in particular, will suffer - that is fact, not bias. You either lack any understanding of the situation or you support the aims of the Taliban to some degree. I don't know which.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If anyone is comparing this to Yemen, a recent UN report states that over 230,000 have died in that conflict, mostly due to starvation caused by our allies, the Saudis.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You know, it would make sense actually why Trump would end peace talks with the Taliban. I mean not only because the fact that they would be willing to do this when peace talks break down, but also because of the fact that I heard that there were at least one or two or attacks by the Taliban, before Trump decided to cancel.

I mean I’m not exactly the biggest fan of him, but I can understand why he canceled, considering the circumstances. That’s all I’m saying.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Great Orange Idiot was going to bring these terrorists to Camp David and fete them like kings - just like he'd do if he invited Kim Jong Un or Putin.

Meanwhile, our friends and allies who have shed blood with us are insulted or ignored.

Putin's and his Puppet's plan at work...

You need to wake up from cryo sleep, this has nothing to do with Putin or his Puppets. Do some homework, Taliban was created by the jihad oriented pakistani army, and is controlled and managed by them, every single attack is planned and executed by them, Trump or whoever advised him, finally realized what they were dealing with and rightly called off the talks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You either lack any understanding of the situation or you support the aims of the Taliban to some degree.

Oh, I think its you who lacks the understanding that our so-called allies in Afghanistan, the former Muhadhijeen now known as the Northern Alliance, are not so far off from the Taliban on that score. If they seem a tad progressive now, try to keep in mind how desperate they are. They are losing. Even with unprecedented rights for females they are losing. Even with a female Brigadier General, they are losing. Even with constant control of Kabul, horrific incidents are happening right in their own capital.

And if they miraculously won I bet the female rights would be slowly rolled back. But yeah, after decades of watching what women have done with their power in our so-called progressive countries, I am beginning to see the wisdom of limiting female rights, you bet.

Anyway, have a look at Vietnam. The commies took over and now they are practically an ally. Peace will do the same to the Taliban once they win. They will change once the men in control don't have bombs and bullets flying their way every day.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Great Orange Idiot was going to bring these terrorists to Camp David and fete them like kings - just like he'd do if he invited Kim Jong Un or Putin.

Meanwhile, our friends and allies who have shed blood with us are insulted or ignored.

Putin's and his Puppet's plan at work...

You need to wake up from cryo sleep, this has nothing to do with Putin or his Puppets. Do some homework, Taliban was created by the jihad oriented pakistani army, and is controlled and managed by them, every single attack is planned and executed by them, Trump or whoever advised him, finally realized what they were dealing with and rightly called off the talks.

And you need to drop the daily dose of Fox and Friends....

Putin and his Poodle in the White House are doing their best to wreck our Alliances and partnerships... Insult the French, the German, the Australians, the Canadians, NATO, etc. yet fly off to meet Kim the Killer and have a bro-fest with Putin...now invite the Taliban who shielded Al Queda to Camp David.

That's what happens when a portion of the US electorate falls for a Russian influence operation and puts a Russian asset in the White House...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Mrtin

The Taliban were created after the CIA funded the how to spell.... Mujahadden (oh so wrong) to fight against the Russians. Double or triple your sources CNN and fox don't count.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Taliban are from Pakistan and moved into Afghanistan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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