Monday, June 18, 2007

Afghanistan: Bomb Attack On Busload Of Police Instructors Kills 35

An enormous bomb ripped through a police academy bus at Kabul's busiest transportation hub yesterday, killing at least 35 people and wounding dozens in the deadliest insurgent attack in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

The thunderous explosion in Kabul sheared the metal siding and roof off the bus, leaving only a charred skeleton.
According to an AP report in the Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) Record:
The death toll of 35 in the Kabul blast included 22 police officers, said Ahmed Zia Aftali, head of the city's military hospital.

Unidentifiable body parts littered the blast site up to 30 metres away. Hundreds of police and investigators -- with some pulling bodies from the wreckage -- ordered civilians to leave the area, an outdoor bus station normally teeming with people.

At a nearby hospital, a large plastic garbage bin overflowed with victims' bloodied shoes.
Suicide attacks are becoming a regular occurrence in Afghanistan. And whenever such an attack occurs, we can expect to see politicians trying to spin it to their own advantage. In this case, a report in the International Herald Tribune quotes Afghanistan's puppet president:
Hamid Karzai said the "enemies of Afghanistan" were trying to stop the development of Afghan security forces, a key component of the U.S.-NATO strategy of eventually handing over security responsibilities to the Afghan government, allowing Western forces to leave.
Ha ha ha. Who are Hamid Karzai and the AP kidding? Western forces never leave! So one is left to wonder: Was this attack perpetrated by "enemies of Afghanistan" or "enemies of the foreign occupiers"?

The Record goes on to say:
A purported Taliban spokesperson, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, called an Associated Press reporter by satellite phone from an undisclosed location and claimed responsibility on behalf of the Taliban, saying it had been carried out by a suicide bomber.

Despite the Taliban claim, officials were trying to determine if the explosion, which went off in the front of the bus, was caused by a suicide attacker or a bomb that had been planted. If the Taliban claim is true, it would be the fifth suicide attack in Afghanistan in three days.

Afghan government officials, police and army soldiers are commonly targeted by insurgents trying to bring down the western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

At least 307 Afghan police, army or intelligence personnel have been killed in violence so far this year through June 15, according to an Associated Press tally of figures from the U.S., UN, NATO and Afghan authorities.
In this context, the message appears very clear: Those who collaborate with the foreign occupiers and their puppet government are considered targets and liable to be attacked.

Who will be surprised by the next such attack?

"Not I," said the cold blogger.