News / Asia

Taliban Step up Attacks in Afghanistan

Afghans stand at the site of a suicide attack in Emam Saheb district of Kunduz province February 21, 2011
Afghans stand at the site of a suicide attack in Emam Saheb district of Kunduz province February 21, 2011

There is no letup in violence in Afghanistan where a suicide bomber has killed at least 30 people.  Militant attacks have killed around 80 people within the past week.  

Afghan authorities in Kunduz Province say people were lined up at a government office (in Emam Saheb district) to collect their identity cards when a suicide bomber attacked.  The explosion wounded more than 40 people and some of them were said to be in critical condition.

The northern Afghan province and its surrounding areas have seen frequent deadly Taliban attacks in recent months.  A district chief was killed in an attack earlier this month, while late last year the governor of Kunduz was killed along with 19 others while he was visiting his hometown in neighboring Takhar province.

On Saturday, a group of several Taliban suicide bombers stormed a bank in the eastern city Jalalabad, killing up to 40 people.  Most of the victims were security personnel collecting their salaries at the bank.

Meanwhile, NATO and Afghan officials say they have launched investigations into allegations international forces may have mistakenly killed civilians in two separate incidents in the country's east.  The NATO-led force says it deeply regretted the accident that occurred late Sunday in Nangarhar Province.

The incident came a day after Afghan authorities in another eastern province, Kunar, blamed international forces for killing as many as 64 civilians.  Presidential spokesman Waheed Omar told reporters in Kabul a government team is investigating the incident.  

"We hope that in the next couple of days we will have a government report prepared.  But what was said to the media is based on what came from the area.  And our understanding is that the governor of Kunar spoke to the media about it and the police chief spoke about it,” Omar stated. “And so far the accounts that come from Afghans they are all on the same page."

Speaking at a separate news conference, NATO spokesman Brigadier General Josef Blotz said coalition forces have no evidence of civilian casualties in any of the recent operations in Kunar province.  He says international forces have joined the Afghans to investigate the allegations.

"The evidence viewed to date has revealed no evidence of children present at all on the night of February 17th, and adults were assessed to be men due to the fact they were armed and moving in tactical formations," Blotz said.

While commenting on recent deadly attacks across the country, the NATO spokesman said that insurgents are hitting "soft targets" to hurt civilians.  He claimed the trend indicates Taliban insurgents have changed their tactics because security operations have weekend them and they can no longer confront the Afghan and NATO forces.

Traditionally, militant attacks decline in Afghanistan in winter, but it has not been the case this year.  NATO commanders expect a surge in militant violence as Taliban insurgents prepare for their spring offensive.   

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid