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‘Militants’ Launch Bold Attack In Kabul

From their allies at the New York Times:

A Team of Militants Launches a Bold Attack in Kabul


January 19, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan — A team of militants launched a spectacular assault at the heart of the Afghan government Monday, with two men detonating suicide bombs and the rest fighting to the death only 50 yards from the gates of the presidential palace.

The attacks, the latest in a series targeting the Afghan capital, paralyzed the city for hours, as hundreds of Afghan commandos converged and opened fire. The battle unfolded in the middle of Pashtunistan Square, a traffic circle that holds the palace of President Hamid Karzai, the Ministry of Justice and the Central Bank, the target of the attack.

As the gun battle raged, another suicide bomber — this one driving an ambulance — struck a traffic circle a half-mile away, sending a second mass of bystanders fleeing in terror.

Five hours after the attack began, gunfire was still echoing through the downtown, as commandos searched for holdouts in a nearby office building. Afghan officials said that three soldiers and two civilians — including one child — were killed, and at least 71 people were wounded. The Faroshga market, one of the city’s most popular shopping malls, lay in ruins, shattered and burning and belching black smoke.

All seven militants died in the attack; five were gunned down and two killed themselves. The corpses of two of the militants lay splayed under blankets, their heads and bodies riddled and smashed.

The effect of the attack seemed primarily psychological, designed to strike fear into the usually quiet precincts of downtown Kabul — and to drive home the ease with which insurgents could strike the American-backed government here.

In that way the assault succeeded without question: The streets of Kabul emptied, merchants shuttered their shops and Afghans ran from their offices. Even guards assigned to Mr. Karzai himself came to join the fighting; it was that close.

“All of a sudden three men came in wrapped in shawls—and then they pulled them off and we could see their guns and grenades,” said an Afghan man who witnessed the attack. “They told us to get out, and then they went to the roof and started firing.”

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Reached by telephone, a spokesman said the group had sent 20 suicide bombers for the operation. This was an exaggeration.

“Some of our suicide bombers have blown themselves up, bringing heavy casualties to government officials,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban.

And civilians, too. At the height of the battle, women and men, some of them clutching babies, ran down the streets, some bleeding, some sobbing. Even a stray dog, frightened by one of the blasts, dashed wildly down a street.

A second Taliban representative, also reached by phone, said the attack was intended to answer American and Afghan proposals to “reconcile” with and “reintegrate” Taliban fighters into mainstream society. The plan is a central part of the American-backed campaign to turn the tide of the war, and will be showcased later this month at an international conference in London.

“We are ready to fight, and we have the strength to fight, and nobody from the Taliban side is ready to make any kind of deal,” Mr. Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, said. “The world community and the international forces are trying to buy the Taliban, and that is why we are showing that we are not for sale.”

The assault was the latest in a series of audacious operations meant to shatter the calm of the Afghan capital. The Taliban is a mostly rural phenomenon in a mostly rural country; the overwhelming majority of American troops are deployed in small outposts in the countryside. On most days, the war does not reach the urban centers.

But increasingly the Taliban are bringing the fight into the cities…

This is a tough one.

Whom are we to believe? Martha Coakley or the New York Times?

After all, Ms. Coakley said there were no Taliban left in Afghanistan.

Maybe she thinks of them as just ‘militants,’ too.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 18th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “‘Militants’ Launch Bold Attack In Kabul”

  1. P. Aaron says:

    Actually, ‘Marcia’ Coakley said there; ‘were no Taliban left in Afghanistan”.

    Just as bad.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    Another man-made disaster?

  3. proreason says:

    I hate to give the Slimes a click, but I read this one and it’s pretty interesting.

    I thought US Special Forces are protecting Karzai, but the article implies that Afghan commandos did the fighting. If that is true, it seems significant that they were able to do so….and win.

    But where were the US forces?

    Or are we being lied to, as usual, by the Slimes?

  4. White_Polluter says:

    These were obviously not Taliban, nor were they militants. The source of the confusion is that these were actually “insurgents” posing as Taliban. The NYT has mislabeled them. About the only thing the NYT got right, was that these men were not “terrorists” nor were they “gunmen.” They could have been “gunmen,” but they had bombs, or bomb-like compounds with which the perpetrated their “man-caused disaster.” If the bomb-like compounds had been liquid or in their shoes, it would have been “Bush’s Fault.” If the bomb-like compounds were sewn into their clothes, then everything would have worked as designed, and this would not have to have been reported for another couple days.

    But if our troops (known as “troops”) did actually repel the “man-caused disaster,” then it was an “overseas contingency operation” and not actually a repulsion of an “attack” as was reported.

    Man, I’m sure glad we have Obama. In addition to not worrying about my rent, gas, or food, now I don’t have to worry about the Taliban or the terrorists. Still on the lookout for militants, insurgents, gunmen, and teabaggers.

    • JohnMG says:

      If what you write is true, White_Polluter, I’m going to need a new dictionary just to understand it–or an undocumented worker as an interpreter. ;-}

  5. Reached by telephone? Perhaps the reporter has a little black book we should be examining?

    Or was it from a Craig’s List ad?

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