Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Successive Attacks in Afghanistan

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Successive Attacks in Afghanistan

On contrary to the white hopes, 2017 is commencing with multiple terror attacks in Afghanistan. The day before, Afghan large cities were shocked by successive deadly attacks thereby dozens of people were killed and injured. The first event rocked Kabul with twin blasts near the Afghan Parliament in a crowded area in which at least 50 people killed and more than 100 wounded including Rahima Jami, a member of parliament from Herat province. According to reports a suicide bomber blew him up first at the entrance to parliament’s offices and then a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives. The number of victims increased when the second bomb, which was planted in a car, exploded minutes later after security forces had rushed to help the victims.
The second attack in southern Afghanistan, at a guesthouse belonging to the governor of Kandahar province killed 11 people and wounded 18. According to reports, the ambassador from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other UAE diplomats were among the wounded including the governor of Kandahar province. The UAE foreign ministry said envoy Juma Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi and other UAE diplomats were wounded in the ‘terrorist attack’. Governor of Kandahar province was also injured in the attack, who is said to be in a critical condition reportedly.
The Taliban, who have been waging a 15-year war against the U.S.-backed Afghan government, claimed the attack in the capital. Following the June 2015, it seems that the parliament complex has been the prime target for Taliban. In June 2015, the group attacked the old parliament building, sending politicians running for cover in chaotic scenes relayed live on television. However, they (Taliban) said the attack targeted a minibus carrying staff from Afghanistan's main intelligence agency, killing or wounding as many as 70 people.
Another two attacks, in two succeeding days, occurred in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand province. The earlier one had claimed by Taliban leaving behind dozens of victims. Among various terrorist groups in Afghanistan Daesh and Taliban are more active in Afghanistan. Taliban militants lost their grip over Afghanistan in a 2001 US-led invasion, but security has never taken hold in the country despite the presence of foreign troops. They are conducting constant bomb attacks across the country, with several international efforts to hold peace talks with the group ending in failure. The Daesh group is competing with the Taliban in acts of terror. Daesh has claimed responsibility for several earlier attacks in Kabul, Balkh and recently in Baghlan on minority group aiming to ignite sectarian conflicts.
The latest attacks in Kabul, appeared to be the deadliest attack in Kabul since July, when two suicide bombers struck during a demonstration, killing more than 80 people. That attack was claimed by a local affiliate of the Daesh group.
On the other hand, the attack inside the heavily guarded compound would represent a major breach of security. President Asharf Ghani strongly condemned the bombings in a serious statement from the presidential palace. He emphasized that the killers of Afghans would not be allowed to have tranquility and will be pursued to any parts of the country.
Many countries like US,UK, India, Pakistan and Iran strongly condemned the terror attacks. The White House said bombings in the capital: "An attack on parliamentary buildings and lawmakers is clearly an assault on Afghanistan's efforts to build democratic institutions." Indian Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, said India stands with Afghanistan in its fight against terrorism. Also the Iranian Foreign Ministry has decried the recent deadly twin terror attacks in Kabul, reiterating Tehran’s negative stance against any manner of violence for any cause. The Iranian official went on to call on all nations in the region to come together to help eradicate the scourge of terror and violence.
Pakistan reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all forms and manifestations and reaffirms its commitment for continued efforts and cooperation for eliminating this menace.
Likewise, Amnesty International said the bombings indicate that “the Taliban are pressing ahead with a gruesome campaign of violence that makes no effort to spare civilian lives.” “Targeting first responders in a car bomb that killed many people that were on the street shows a chilling contempt for human life,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s South Asia director.
The successive attack comes just two weeks before Donald Trump is sworn in as US president. Considering the new stances and critical situation, it seems that Afghanistan need to be an urgent agenda for the new US president, even though Afghanistan issues’ got scarcely a passing mention in the bitterly contested presidential election. President-elect Trump has given few details on his expected foreign policy, with even fewer specifics on how he will tackle the war in Afghanistan.

Repeated bids to launch peace negotiations with the Taliban have failed and a fierce new fighting season is expected to kick off in the spring. Afghanistan last week welcomed the Pentagon’s decision to deploy some 300 Marines to Helmand, where American forces engaged in heated combat until their mission ended in 2014. It is said that The Marines will head to the poppy-growing province this spring to assist a NATO-led mission to train Afghan forces, in the latest sign that foreign forces are increasingly being drawn back into the worsening conflict.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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