Diary from Afghan War Zone: Taliban’s Strategy of Civilian Mass Murders

Diaries, Exclusive, Featured
February 21, 2011 14:25
afghanistan suicide bombing civilian deaths

Bodies of the dead carried away from the scene after a suicide bombing hit Kabul's Fine Supermarket that is frequented by foreigners and rich Afghans. Photo - Massoud Hossaini

At the eve of the New Year 2011, many people in Afghanistan were expecting more attacks on military targets in Kabul and around the country, but the first attack in Kabul this year was a bomb explosion under a bridge in the old city. It was not a military or government target at all.

The attack on Finest super market in Kabul and killing of 8 civilians, including a whole family with children. Another attack on a shopping mall in the city centre claimed the lives of two people and injured several others. An attack in Khost city killed nine civilians and injured several others. There was another suicide attack in Kandahar in which 18 civilians were killed and many others injured. Yesterday, there was an attack on a bank in Jalalabad, in which 40 people lost their lives and more than 70 sustained injuries. And in the last few minutes while I was writing this post, reports coming from Imam Sahib district in Kunduz say another suicide attacker blew up himself amidst a crowd of civilians, killing at least 28 and injuring 40 till now. Imam Sahib is a small town which has no military target. All these attacks happened within a month…

Question is, why Taliban have started to target just the civilians and not the military?

1) Taliban are hardly under pressure in the southern war zone and are defeated by the US troops. Therefore, they try to keep their movement alive by targeting civilians to put pressure on Karzai and US in Afghanistan. As they are in a hurry to show some activities this year, they can not manage military targets so they choose the easiest way i.e. killing civilians!

2) Taliban think that the first part of their “Jihad” which was against the foreign troops is complete as the international community has already announced they will start pulling out by the end of 2011. Therefore, they started the second part of Jihad which is changing the system from democracy to Shariah-based “Islamic Emirate” again and for this purpose they started killing civilians to put pressure on Karzai and all the system. Mujahideen, specially Gulbuddin Hekmatiar, did the same to put pressure on Najibullah regime in 90s.

People in Afghanistan do not protest to condemn these attacks, but unfortunately they shout in the streets of Kabul against the Iranian government or support the Palestinians. Can this nation find its way and realise what its benefits are?

Police and Army are highly corrupt institutions and in a video which one of my colleague has shot recently in Helmand they did not open fire on Taliban as they had no bullets!!!

The young generation in Afghanistan is very disappointed and most of them are trying to leave the country in any way possible. After the attack on Imam Sahib district one of my friends, Mohammad Qais Aqaee, wrote this on my Facebook wall: “Taliban think that if they commit a suicide, they are in Jannat!!! which is totally wrong. I really feel sorry. What is going on in Afghanistan? Everywhere there are suicide attacks and ……. and we are happy that we have a government!!!!! No action has been taken for the last 9 years by the Government.”

Facebook in Afghanistan is getting depressed day by day which shows that the educated young generation is not happy at all and for sure a huge percentage of all people are not happy with this situation.

More civilian casualties are on the way and more sadness and depression for all of us. It would be a big mistake if the international community leaves us again as they did in the 1990s. :(

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