Friday, September 08, 2006

Suicide bomber kills 16 in Afghanistan

Reading Paul Garwood's AP story right now: A car bomber rammed into an American Humvee outside the U.S. Embassy on Friday, killing 16 people, including two U.S. soldiers. It was the Afghan capital's deadliest suicide attack since the 2001 toppling of the Taliban. A purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the privately run Pajhwok Afghan News Agency.

Afghan president Karzi said "today's heinous act of terrorism is against the values of Islam and humanity."

Among the victims was Bibi Omayra, in her 70s, who had been sitting with her granddaughter in a small yard outside the apartment building when the car bomb exploded, spraying shrapnel over a 150-foot radius. "My mother just went to the park for some fresh air with my daughter when the explosion happened," said the woman's son, Farid Wahidi, 40. "Shrapnel hit her in the chest and killed her."

Karzai, in an interview with Time magazine, acknowledged his government has enemies.
"The same enemies that blew up themselves in London, the same enemies that blew up the train in Madrid or the train in Bombay or the twin towers in America are still around," he said. "Before September 11 they were the government in Afghanistan. Today they are on the run and hiding and they come out from their hiding and try to hurt us when they can manage it."

American and NATO troops are fighting the Taliban primarily across vast desert plains in southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces, also center of the country's massive opium trade which provide drug lords and Taliban fighters with an enormous income.

"The fighting is extraordinarily intense. The intensity and ferocity of the fighting is far greater than in Iraq on a daily basis," Brig. Ed Butler, the commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, told British ITV news. He echoed NATO commander Gen. James L. Jones' call Thursday for at least 2,000 more troops. Jones, who said the next few weeks would be decisive in the fight against militants, is in Poland pressing officials from the 26 NATO member states for more soldiers and air support.

I'm listening to Metallica's "Sad But True" as I'm typing this. How fitting.


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