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Burqa-Clad Taliban Murder 11 Civilians/3 Kids

From an obviously impressed Reuters:

Kabul siege ends after 20 hours

By Mirwais Harooni and Sanjeev Miglani | Reuters
September 14, 2011

KABUL (Reuters) – A marathon siege in Kabul’s diplomatic enclave ended on Tuesday with the death of the last two of a group of gunmen who had held off Western and Afghan security forces for nearly 20 hours, showering rockets on Western embassies in a dramatic show of insurgent strength.

It was the longest and most audacious militant attack on the Afghan capital in the decade since the Taliban were ousted from power and a stark reminder of insurgents’ resources and reach as Western forces start to return home.

At least 11 civilians were killed, three of them children, NATO-led foreign forces said. The Ministry of the Interior said four policemen died, and that toll was likely to rise.

Where is the news media’s outrage about these civilians deaths? These children? Oh, that’s right. It’s perfectly acceptable for terrorists to kill civilian. In fact, it’s expected.

U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said around six or seven rockets had hit inside the embassy perimeter during the early hours of the attack, launched early on Tuesday afternoon, but said the range meant they had not posed a serious threat.

"They were firing from at least 800 meters away and with an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) that’s harassment. That’s not an attack," he said in an interview transcript handed out to journalists in Kabul.

Obviously this was not a militarily significant attack. But neither, really, was the 1968 Tet offensive in South Vietnam. (Though, of course, Tet was far larger.)

Still, like Tet, this kind of incident could be used as an excuse to throw in the towel – if we weren’t already throwing in the towel.

The insurgents had holed up in a multi-storey building still under construction and launched their attack early on Tuesday afternoon, firing rockets toward the U.S. and other embassies and the headquarters of NATO-led foreign forces.

Three suicide bombers also targeted police buildings in other parts of the city, but the embassy district assault was the most spectacular

Afghan security forces backed by NATO and Afghan attack helicopters fought floor-by-floor in the 13-storey building, which the six insurgents appeared to have booby trapped.

They had arrived under burqas, the traditional face-veiling robe worn by Afghan women, in a car packed with explosives, and entered the high-rise after shooting a security guard.

"As our country is traditional and Islamic, there is a special respect for women and the enemies exploited this to get to the building," Kabul Police Chief Ayoub Salangi said…

No, we certainly can’t offend anyone’s sensibilities by checking burqas for explosives. What are a few lives compared to observing Islam’s well-known respect for women?

The gunmen then hid from helicopters and government and foreign troops in lift shafts and a maze of small rooms.

The group were armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers, AK-47 assault rifles and suicide bomb vests, a Taliban spokesman said, but the time they held out prompted speculation they had hidden weapons in the building…

Ambassador Crocker said he believed the Haqqani network was behind the attack, and also blamed them for a truck bomb that injured 77 U.S. troops on September 10.

Named after its leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, it is one of three, and perhaps the most feared, of the Taliban-allied insurgent factions fighting U.S.-led NATO and Afghan troops in Afghanistan.

They are thought to have introduced suicide bombing to Afghanistan, and are believed to have been behind many high-profile attacks in Kabul, including an assassination attempt on President Karzai and assaults on two top hotels

Perhaps we aren’t giving them enough money or power yet in our ‘negotiations.’ (Maybe Reuters could ask their Taliban spokesman about that.)

Still there must not be anything to worry about. If we didn’t think the Afghanis had things well in hand, Mr. Obama certainly wouldn’t be cutting the funding for our military to the bone and getting ready to bug out of there as soon as he is re-elected.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

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