The American Bear


Two Bombings Kill 18 As Hagel Arrives in Afghanistan | Informed Comment

The Taliban appear to have strategized embarrassing new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. As he arrived in Kabul on his first visit to Afghanistan, a suicide bomber on a bicycle detonated his payload in front of the Ministry of Defense, killing nine civilian bystanders. This was obviously a purely symbolic act, since it did no damage at all to the Ministry of Defense or the Afghanistan National Army.

A second bombing, in Khost, killed another 9 persons, including several children and a policeman.

Hagel arrives in Kabul as relations between the government of Hamid Karzai and the US are strained. Karzai has recently expelled US special forces from Wardak Province next to Kabul, on the ground that they were deploying Afghan death squads as a auxiliaries.

At least 20 killed in Afghan funeral blast | Al Akhbar English

A suicide bomber targeted an Afghan government official at a funeral on Tuesday, killing at least 20 people and wounding dozens more near the Pakistan border in one of the deadliest attacks of the year. The local administration said up to 25 people had died and other officials warned the toll could rise after the devastating blast in the remote district of Dur Baba in the eastern province of Nangarhar. District governor Hamisha Gul was the target and was wounded in the blast. One official said one of the governor’s sons had been killed in the attack, which happened at around 2:30 pm (1000 GMT).

And yesterday:

Afghan clashes leave 20 civilians dead | Al Akhbar English

Twenty civilians were killed and 18 wounded by members of the Afghan police force in Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, local news agency Bakhtar reported.

Conflicting reports emerged over the incident.

Witnesses said that police attacked residents of Kunam, a suburb of Kunduz, over a long standing argument.

Police, however, said the clash took place after an attack by armed militiamen killed three officers.

And a security official said that police opened fire on a village after accusing some residents of killing a police officer.

Deputy governor of the province, Hamidallah Danishi confirmed what happened but did not reveal any details about the victims, although he did add that clashes continued.

The incident comes after unconfirmed reports of the killing of ten policemen in an explosion in Kunduz.

A white [terrorist] who killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after he was shot by a police officer, the FBI said on Wednesday. Authorities originally said Wade Michael Page was killed by police, but federal officials now say he took his own life after being injured during an exchange of gunfire with officers. Wisconsin temple gunman terrorist died of self-inflicted wound after shot by police

Twin Suicide Attacks Rock Afghanistan | The AfPak Channel

Two suicide bombings in Afghanistan targeting government facilities on Tuesday killed at least 22 people and wounded two-dozen more (CNNReutersAPTel,AFPWSJPostNYTAJE). Suicide bombers in an SUV killed 14 people in the first attack on a provincial official’s office in western Herat Province, and three suicide attackers on foot killed eight police officers when they attacked the office of a district police chief in southern Helmand Province.

In spite of this:

NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobsen told Reuters Tuesday that the coalition has yet to see signs of a Taliban spring offensive like the one last year, which the insurgent group termed “Operation Badr” (Reuters). The traditional summer fighting season is expected to begin in the next few weeks, and NATO forces are bracing for the Taliban’s possible stepped-up attacks.

Suicide attack on Afghan NATO base where Korans burned | Reuters

(Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed at least two civilians Monday after detonating explosives at the gates of the NATO base where copies of the Koran were burned, Afghan officials said.

The bomber targeted a vehicle belonging to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said district governor Kabir Ahmad Rahil, adding there could be foreign casualties, although a NATO spokeswoman said no coalition troops had been harmed in the attack on Bagram airfield.

Four more civilians were wounded in the attack, Rahil said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was “revenge” for the Koran burning, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a text message to media.