News / Asia

Suicide Attack Kills 9 Amid Protests in Afghanistan

Afghan soldiers secure the scene of a suicide attack at the gate of an airport in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan, February 27, 2012.
Afghan soldiers secure the scene of a suicide attack at the gate of an airport in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan, February 27, 2012.

At least nine people have been killed by a suicide car bomb attack near a regional airport in Jalalabad, according to Afghan police.  The attack is the latest incident of violence, following a string of protests about the accidental burning of Qurans by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.  The violence has led to some aid organizations to curtail their work.

Monday’s car bomb blast took place in eastern Afghanistan around dawn, when witnesses said the attacker drove to the airport gates before detonating the explosion.

Most of the victims appear to be Afghan civilians and security guards.  NATO officials said the attacker did not breach the airport defenses.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility, saying it was the latest act of revenge for the burning of Qurans at the Bagram air base north of Kabul.

The accidental destruction of the Islamic holy books has sparked protests across the conservative Muslim country.   NATO officials say not all of the violence can be attributed to the Taliban.

Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, says the Taliban often claim credit for attacks to exaggerate their operational ability and influence.

“In the moment, with the tense situation that we see all over Afghanistan, they use every opportunity to claim that actions are actually executed by them, planned by them or leading into their direction,” said Jacobsen.

Apologies from President Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders for the Quran burning incident have so far failed to dampen the anti-American demonstrations and attacks across the country.

The protests have killed more than 30 people, including four U.S. military personnel. Two of the U.S. officers were killed by a suspected Afghan intelligence official who remains at large.

Despite the ongoing violence and worries about how it could affect the critical effort to train Afghan security forces, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan said Sunday that Washington should not withdraw troops ahead of schedule. Under an international agreement, foreign combat forces are to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

To leave on schedule, foreign troops are focused on training Afghan security forces to take over.  Although many outside observers have said that the training effort remains mired in problems, General Jacobson says Afghan police have handled the thousands of protesters this past week in a professional manner.

“This is a different police than what we have seen two or three years ago. It executed its duties with great skill, with great calm and with great patience. And, it managed to diffuse many situations that could have turned very critically otherwise,” he said.

Other groups are reconsidering their operations in Afghanistan. Mohammad Hashim Mayar with the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief says the protests and attacks have hampered the work of many aid organizations in the country.

“They have to restrict movement and maybe sometimes they cannot go to the projects. And, they cannot implement work in the field, you know during the demonstrations, but if there are no demonstrations the work in the field will go on regularly,” he said.

In Washington, a U.S. Defense Department spokesman said the Afghan defense and interior ministers were postponing scheduled trips to the United States this week.

Observers say the deteriorating security situation also could add to pressure on NATO allies in Europe, where the bloody and expensive war already is deeply unpopular, to accelerate plans to leave Afghanistan.  

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
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 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 Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
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.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid