Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another Bloody Day in Our Pretend 51st State of Afghanistan

According to ISAF: "[T]he three incidents today included a vehicle-born improvised explosive device detonating in Kabul, causing a number of Coalition and civilian casualties; an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform apparently turned his weapon on Afghan and Coalition forces in southern Afghanistan, killing three ISAF service members and wounding several others; and a teenage girl carried out a suicide attack on a National Directorate of Security building in the eastern province of Kunar, killing herself  and wounding several NDS personnel."

Danger Room's Spencer Ackerman provides more details:
At least five U.S. troops and eight U.S. civilians in Kabul are dead on Saturday after a Taliban bomber targeted the lightly-armored bus transporting them through the Afghan capitol.
While details are still sketchy, the Taliban attack shows sophistication. The bus, known colloquially as a “Rhino,” is a slow transport vehicle built to withstand small arms fire. Its hull is V-shaped, like a Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected (MRAP) vehicle, so it can survive driving over a homemade bomb.

But insurgents evidently spotted two vulnerabilities with the Rhino. First, unlike troop convoys or patrols, Rhinos travel along a set, predictable route. Second, as ABC News notes, the buses are not built to survive a suicide car bomb detonating along its side. And the Rhino was reportedly escorted by a convoy of thickly-armored MRAPs, which indicates that the insurgents understand it to be the less-secure vehicle.
In the second incident, ISAF makes it sound as if the individual just put on an ANA uniform then proceeded to turn his weapon on Coalition forces.  The casualties were mostly Australian troops. The Australian has more details:
AFGHAN troops at a forward base have been disarmed and confined to barracks after a rogue Afghan soldier killed three Australians and wounded seven.

Australia's 1550 personnel in Afghanistan are on higher alert with concerns greatest among hundreds of instructors mentoring their Afghan counterparts in remote patrol bases.

The soldiers, a captain a corporal and a lance corporal whose names have not yet been released, and an Afghan interpreter were shot down during a parade at a patrol base at Shah Wali Kot in northern Kandahar Province yesterday morning, Afghan time.
The killer was wearing an Afghan National Army uniform.

Those who fired back at him included some of the wounded Australians. The killer was shot dead.

The local Afghan Army commander, General Abdul Hameed, said the rogue Afghan soldier had been in the army for three years.

"At around 8.30 this morning (3pm AEDT), an ANA soldier named Darwish who had been serving as an ANA soldier for the past three years opened fire on a group of Australian military officers, killing three of them,'' said Hameed.

In the third incident, another suicide bombing by a female teenager in Kunar province:
At least one civilian Afghan was killed and 7 others including five Afghan national police forces were killed after a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives near the Afghan National Directorate for Security building in eastern Kunar province on Saturday.

The incident took place around 11:00 am local time in Asadabad district, center of eastern Kunar province.

According to an Afghan security official speaking on a condition of anonymity said, at least two female suicide bombers were involved in today’s bombing, out of which one of them managed to detonate her explosives and the other one managed to escape the scene.
US Embassy Kabul released a statement to the media:

“We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the ISAF soldiers and civilians and Afghan citizens who died during the suicide bombing attack in Kabul this morning. We mourn their loss but will continue their dedicated work on behalf of peace in this country and region. We also remember those lost or injured today in other incidents in Kunar and southern Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”

It looks like traffic is still the biggest problem in Kabul or, Afghanistan for that matter. Why, if that bus was not on the road, and if those people were not congregating at a parade or in their office, there would be no road/foot traffic; and if there were no road/foot traffic, there would not have been any attacks. 

So -- traffic is still the biggest problem. I'm sure I won't have nightmares tonight. I'm sure of it ... goddammit!

Meanwhile, our go-to guy in It's Always Sunny in Kabul nudges us to see the big picture:

"Sure, some are going to argue that today’s incident in Kabul that killed 13 US troops is an indication of an escalating insurgency, but those sorts of people just don’t grasp the big picture: the insurgents are in Kabul because their freedom of movement is restricted everywhere else."

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