Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Afghan Interior Minister Survives Ambush

Afghanistan's Interior Minister, traveling east of Kabul, was ambushed by Taliban jihadists and though a rocket was fired into his caravan, he escaped death and injury. The attackers followed with small arms fire but it appears that the caravan's defenses held them off.
First off, what is this guy doing traveling out in the hinterlands? And secondly, the article from Reuters mentions that it was not know if the attackers knew the Interior Minister was in the caravan. That's hard to believe - and it brings to mind how many of these attacks always seem to be right about the movements of these Afghan officials. That's right - I'm insinuating that there are a fair share of "informants" inside of the Afghan government. The same could be said in Pakistan where the country's surgeon general was just killed - how is it every time one of these high ranking officials travel outside of the well defended urban areas, they seem to get attacked?
I think this is way more than coincidence.

Afghan minister survives rocket attack, ambush

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's interior minister survived a rocket and small arms ambush by suspected Taliban insurgents to the east of the capital Kabul on Wednesday, a ministry official said.
Interior Minister Zarar Ahmad Moqbel was traveling through the Tangi Abrishim area of Laghman province when the attackers opened fire on his convoy with a single rocket, then followed up with a volley of small arms fire, the official said.
The minister's guards returned fire, but there was no news of any casualties in the exchange and it was not clear if the attackers knew he was in the convoy, said the official, who declined to be named.
More than 10,000 people have been killed since the Taliban relaunched their fight to oust the pro-Western Afghan government and eject foreign forces from the country two years ago.
While NATO and Afghan troops routinely beat Taliban forces in battle, the insurgency shows few signs of abating with daily clashes across the country and a suicide bomb campaign undermining public faith in security.
NATO-led forces have been conducting a wide-ranging offensive in volatile southern Afghanistan this week to disrupt the Taliban ahead of spring which each year heralds an upsurge in violence as snows melt and fighters emerge from mountain hideouts.
British, U.S., Canadian and Dutch troops in southern Afghanistan have borne the brunt of fighting the Taliban, but political leaders from those countries have so far been unable to persuade other NATO nations to send soldiers south to help.

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