The announcement that the mission will finish by Sept 2012, has been probably the cause of this boom in their use:
US IED detonator. Image via Wikipedia
The devices have been the insurgents’ preferred weapon for several years, but their use rose 14 per cent year-on-year, in the second quarter of 2011.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) caused the majority of Nato casualties in 2010 and their indiscriminate use has been blamed by the United Nations for contributing to record civilian casualties.
From April to June, 3,845 exploded or were found, according to the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organisation (JIEDDO). Coaliton killed and wounded from the bombs rose 15 per cent yearly to 1,248 over the same period.
In June, use of roadside bombs was 25 per cent higher than average.
Most of the bombs are of homemade explosive, but attempts to block the import of ammonium nitrate fertiliser used in its manufacture have failed to stop the increase in devices.
via Taliban use of IEDs reaches record high in Afghanistan – Telegraph.
The documentary’s webpage is here.
The Burqa Babes are surprisingly, refreshingly brash. They are not ashamed of what they have done. They are also funny; they see the comic dimension in their essentially Kafkaesque situations. They are clowns, ironic, as self-deprecating as they are aggressive. They make us laugh. They are ethnically and racially gorgeous in their diversity. They are from every tribe, every region, and they bear the genetic legacy of every conquering army. The women are hard on each other. Just as I’ve discussed in my book Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, women internalize the same sexist beliefs that men do and are highly judgmental of other women, often without compassion.
Iranian filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian (kudos to you dear lady!) miraculously managed to get a camera and a crew inside the prison and inside some of the legal hearings. What crimes have the women committed? Apparently half the prison population have dared to fall in love, or are suspected of having done so, or they have dared to have sex before marriage, have run away from home, or rejected an arranged marriage. These are crimes in Afghanistan. (The other half of the prison population are thieves, smugglers, or murderers). Continue reading
Taliban in Herat.Image via Wikipedia
Britain’s connection to jihad in South Asia was once again cast into the spotlight with the capture of two British nationals with alleged links to the Taliban in Herat. The man and woman remain unidentified, and the British Ministry of Defense and Foreign Office have both merely confirmed that they were British nationals. Stories have started to circulate in the press that they were plotting an attack back in the U.K. and it seems that they were dual Afghan-British nationals known to MI5, though other reports indicate they may be of Pakistani origin. Whether they were planning an attack in the U.K. or not, the prospect of British nationals fighting British soldiers in Afghanistan is something that has long worried British officials. Either way, their presence shows the connection between the U.K. and fighting in Afghanistan continues to exist, a demonstration of how ingrained extreme ideas continue to be in the U.K.
In many ways, this discovery is not that surprising. NATO forces have captured other European nationals fighting for their enemies in Afghanistan before, and there have been reports of British signals intercepts planes over the country hearing men talking in distinct regional British accents. Recently a picture surfaced in an extremist video showing “Musa the British” – a dead Taliban fighter with roots in the U.K. Most dramatically, a couple of years ago a story circulated that British forces had discovered a Taliban corpse with an Aston Villa tattoo. (Aston Villa is a Birmingham football team, one of Britain’s cities with a large South Asian population.)
via Talib al-Britani « Raffaello Pantucci.
Read it all.
Ahmed Wali Kazai. Image via Wikipedia
A suicide bomber exploded himself at a service for Ahmed Wali Karzai, killing four people, including Kandahar’s chief cleric. All Afghan senior government officials that were present survived the attack.
Karzai, the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was killed on Tuesday by one of his security officials. President Karzai was not present at the service – he had flown into Kandahar for his brother’s funeral on Wednesday, but departed before the Thursday service.
Afghan police said the bomber hid the explosives in his turban. He detonated them near the door of the Red Mosque, the central mosque of Kandahar city where the service was held.
via Suicide bomber attacks Karzai memorial service | FP Passport.
More here and here: “Ahmed Wali served as the head of the provincial council in Kandahar, and was widely recognized as the government’s most powerful man in the key southern province, home to the birthplace of the Taliban. He was a lightning rod for criticism due to his role in the drug trade, his domination of local security companies, and accusations that he provided explosives and other support to the Taliban. Ahmed Wali was also on the CIA’s payroll“.