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3 Dead In Taliban Attempt To Kill Karzai

From a disappointed AFP:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai salutes just before the gun firing which he survived during a celebration in Kabul April 27, 2008.

Afghan president escapes deadly parade attack, three killed

by Sardar Ahmad

KABUL (AFP) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai escaped unharmed Sunday after militants attacked a high-profile military parade with rockets and gunfire, killing three people including an MP and wounding a dozen.

The extremist Taliban movement claimed responsibility for the daring attack, denying however that it was an assassination attempt on Karzai.

Bullets struck into the back of a stage where the president and Afghan leaders, including the most senior international representatives here, were seated to review the country’s most important annual military parade.

There were also several large explosions, with one — likely from a rocket-propelled grenade — landing just in front of the platform, Health Minister Mohammad Amin Fatimie told AFP.

Bodyguards sprang to cover the president and then whisked him away as other dignitaries fell to the floor or fled, said Fatimie, who was just metres away from Karzai.

The health minister later told AFP that an MP, Fazl-Ul Rahman Samkanai, suffered severe bullet wounds to his stomach and liver and died on the operating table.

The roughly 3,000 police and troops preparing for the parade broke from their formations and fled as security guards stationed across the area returned fire.

The leader of a minority tribe who had been sitting on the stage was killed in the attack in which the gunmen appeared to be positioned in derelict buildings about 400 metres (1,300 feet) from Karzai.

About a dozen other Afghans, including a parliamentarian and several security men, were wounded, officials said.

A 10-year-old boy living in the area was also killed, apparently in return fire, they said.

A Taliban spokesman who called media to claim the attack as it was unfolding said three of his group’s men were killed. He did not say how and this was not immediately confirmed by authorities.

Shortly after the incident, which was broadcast live on television, the president appeared on camera to reassure the public and announce some of the attackers had already been caught.

“Fortunately Afghan security forces quickly surrounded them. Some of them were captured,” Karzai said. “Everything is calm, rest assured.”

The attack erupted soon after Karzai had taken the stage following an inspection of troops and as a 21-gun salute was ringing out across the city.

Tight security was in place for Afghanistan’s largest annual parade, which was celebrating 16 years since the fall of the last communist government.

The Taliban, which was in power between 1996 and 2001, said it had wanted to show it could strike at will.

“We had placed six personnel in the area. Three of our men have been killed,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told an AFP reporter.

“Our aim was not to directly hit someone,” Mujahed said when asked if the intention was to kill Karzai. “We just wanted to show to the world that we can attack anywhere we want to.”

The US-led military coalition said meanwhile it had killed several insurgents in a raid Saturday on a Taliban hideout targeted at a rebel leader who was planning to attack Sunday’s ceremony.

There were also civilians among the dead, a spokeswoman told AFP although she was not able to give details

Gosh, the AFP is so incensed they called the Taliban “extremists.” Though they also point out how “daring” they are.

And of course our unbiased reporters just can’t help themselves:

A 10-year-old boy living in the area was also killed, apparently in return fire, they said.

You see, the Taliban would never kill a young boy. It had to be the government forces.

Similarly, the AFP accepts the Taliban’s claim that they were just trying to prove an academic point. They didn’t mean to hurt anyone — let alone Mr. Karzai.

Which is a telling contrast to the vicious US forces, who once again gratuitously killed Afghan civilians in yet another one of their pointless imperialistic raids.

Still, this assassination attempt show of force from the “freedom fighters” may prove a reminder to Mr. Karzai that there are some things even worse than the US forces.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, April 27th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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