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Yet one more “last gasp” from the Taliban…

October 1, 2012

By Tim Foxley

Summary: Another suicide attack in Afghanistan demonstrates that ideas about conflict resolution are still lacking

This is the breaking news today:

Nato forces in Afghanistan say that a bombing in the country’s east has killed at least 10 people, including three international service members and their translator.

There were conflicting reports about casualties and injuries. Nato and Afghan officials said a bombing in eastern Khost killed at least 10 people, including three international service members and their translator.

There were also unconfirmed reported that a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform killed at least 13 people, including three police officers and three NATO soldiers in Khost. The reports cited unnamed ISAF and local officials.

More than 58 people were also injured in the blast, according to hospital officials.

Witnesses said the target was a joint convoy of NATO Afghan security forces near the police headquarters on Monday.

“It was a suicide attack on foot,” Colonel Yaqub, the deputy provincial police chief, told the AFP news agency.

An ISAF spokesman said details of the incident were unclear on Monday morning.

The deaths take coalition fatalities to at least 347 this year. The dead included a NATO-contracted interpreter and six civilians, Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith reported from Kabul.

The explosion came a day after Nato announced that a firefight between coalition troops and their Afghan allies killed an ISAF soldier, a civilian contractor and three Afghan army troops. The incident was variably described as a suspected “insider attack” or insurgent fire or a verbal argument between the troops.

I don’t have any particular comment, except to observe that these sort of attacks WILL continue and that there doesn’t yet appear to be any kind of backlash against them from the Afghan population, the media or the international community as a whole that has undermined the Taliban’s resolve to keep employing and benefitting from suicide atacks.  Over the last few years, say half a decade, ISAF and the media have tried to suggest that this sort of attack demonstrates categorically that the Taliban have run out of:

  • ideas
  • resolve
  • capabilities
  • regard for the Afghan people

and are therefore losing (or have lost).  Leon Panetta’s “last gasp” comment, was but the latest version of this style of commentary.  But if the Taliban have run out of some of the above, the same can perhaps be said for the international community.

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