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The first spoiler attack…

March 6, 2020

Summary: The first spoiler attack in the post-peace deal era…?

In the immediate aftermath of the peace deal signed between the Americans and the Taliban, comes what looks to be the first spoiler attack.  On 6th March, 2020 a terrorist attack was been launched today against civilians and government representatives attending the ceremony commemorating the death of the Shia Hazara leader, Abdul Ali Mazari at the hands of the Taliban in 1995.  This ceremony has been attacked in previous years.

Shooting erupted during the ceremony and went on for several hours.  One report says 27 have been killed and many wounded.

New York Times, 6 March 2020: Mr. Abdullah escaped injury in the attack in Kabul, his aides confirmed. A senior security official said 27 people had been killed. Dawod Danish, head of the main hospital nearby, said 26 bodies and 20 wounded people had been brought to his facility alone.

Shooting was still being heard in the area nearly two hours after the attack began, as security officials said they had cornered the assailants in a nearby building.

Government officials attending included Dr Abdullah Abdullah, who is believed to have survived.

The perpetrators are unknown at present and may remain so.  Many groups (Islamic State, Al Qaeda, hardline Taliban, warlords, TTP, neighbouring countries, etc) might have an interest in disrupting or collapsing what little fragile progress has been made thus far.  The Taliban have denied any involvement.  The government itself is in a bitter internal dispute over who has won the presidential election.

We’ll see – but expect recrimination, rumour, accusation and mis/dis-information in the aftermath.

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