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Kabul Bombs deliver clear message to India: Pack Your bags!

February 28, 2010

Rupee News

  • Pulling off the attack in central Kabul — in one of the most secure neighborhoods in Afghanistan’s most secure city — was designed to send a message that the Taliban is not intimidated by the stepped-up military offensive
  • “They’re trying to up the pressure and send a message that you guys aren’t defeating us,”
  • “No matter what the coalition does, it can’t win, “It’s a very smart strategy.

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, and New Delhi – A coordinated attack early Friday, which killed at least 16 people and targeted a hotel and guesthouse in central Kabul, underscored the shifting tactics of Taliban insurgents and their keen understanding of geopolitical implications.

Three assailants struck at 6:30 a.m. on the first day of the Afghan weekend, when few people are on the street, in the prosperous Shahr-e-Naw residential area. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombings, the first attack in Kabul since January and the capital’s deadliest in months, police and Interior Ministry officials said.

The destruction started with a car bombing that leveled the Arya Guesthouse […], city Police Chief Abdul Rahman Rahman told reporters.

After the blast, one of the militants set off his explosives vest in front of the ruins while the two others entered the Park Residence guesthouse across the street, which was soon surrounded by police and military. A second assailant then blew himself up, killing three policemen, while the third attacker hunkered down in the basement and was killed about 10:30 a.m. by police gunfire.

Among the dead were six Indians, four Afghan civilians, an Italian diplomat, a French filmmaker and three police officers, officials said. Some bodies were so badly burned it will take time to identify them. At least 36 people were wounded.

[…]

Early morning television broadcast images of a plume of black smoke rising from the area, shattered glass lining the streets and broken windows in shops and homes. Afghan police crouched behind traffic barriers as the remaining gunman remained holed up in the guesthouse basement.

Analysts said the attack appeared to be a well-planned operation aimed at achieving several political objectives.

Pulling off the attack in central Kabul — in one of the most secure neighborhoods in Afghanistan’s most secure city — was designed to send a message that the Taliban is not intimidated by the stepped-up military offensive in the southern city of Marja and can bring the battle to the doorstep of its adversaries.

“They’re trying to up the pressure and send a message that you guys aren’t defeating us,” said John Harrison, a research manager at the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore. “And they’re showing they can penetrate the city and stand awhile.”

The early morning timing on a weekend probably made it easier to get the attackers, vehicles, weapons and explosives into position since security forces presumably would be less vigilant; an early start also gives recruits less time for second thoughts. And with streets largely deserted, the attackers are less likely to kill civilians and more likely to find their principal target — foreigners — still sleeping. The insurgent group is wary of a backlash from the Afghan public over civilian deaths.

As suicide bombings have become nearly routine, the combination of a car bombing and suicide blast followed by an armed standoff carries more shock value, providing more of the attention that militants seek. Having armed insurgents stand their ground also sends a message that the fighters are more ideologically committed than some drugged, brainwashed, poorly educated teenager pulling a detonation cord. The combination, with its drawn-out suspense, also gains better TV coverage.

“It prolongs developments, adds to the chaos and brings more publicity,” said Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, senior researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. “With a suicide attack, you blow yourself up, that’s it. This has much more impact.”

The choice of the Shahr-e-Naw neighborhood frequented by foreigners and affluent Afghans sent a not-so-subtle message: foreign occupiers and those who follow their profligate ways must be eliminated.

And that the militants targeted a guesthouse serving Indians is probably no accident, analysts said. At one level, the attack is a direct challenge to President Hamid Karzai, who has closely allied himself with India and whom the Taliban opposes for his pro-Western policies and support.

The attack is also a bid to further drive a wedge among Western coalition member countries in the hopes that other nations will follow the Dutch in leaving, as they appear likely to do with the recent fall of their government.

Targeting Indians […] — coming on the heels of two attacks on the Indian Embassy in Kabul in the last two years — […] who hope to reduce India’s influence in Afghanistan as the region prepares for the likely power vacuum after the U.S.-led coalition leaves.

[…]

“Pakistan is deeply resentful of India’s footprint in Afghanistan and would like to see it reduced,” said Sadanand Dhume, an Asia Society fellow and author of “My Friend the Fanatic,” a book on radical Islam.

[…]

If tensions rise again between India and Pakistan just as the two have resumed formal talks after a 15-month hiatus following the 2008 Mumbai attack, it could keep more Pakistani troops on the Indian border and away from the Afghan border, where the U.S. would like to see them. The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban could gain more freedom to operate along the porous border.

“If you get India riled up, you divert Pakistan troops,” Harrison said. “The jihadi community is trying to relieve the pressure.”

Finally, there’s the spin that militants put on the attack.

Analysts said that when Afghan police respond to an attack, […] foreigners are putting Afghans in danger while avoiding it themselves. If coalition troops respond to an attack, […] that the coalition doesn’t trust locals and views them as lap dogs.

“No matter what the coalition does, it can’t win,” Harrison said. “It’s a very smart strategy.

By Mark Magnier and Aimal Yaqubi February 27, 2010. “mark.magnier @latimes.com.Yaqubi is a special correspondent.

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7 comments

  1. @ cow lovers

    lol lol lol…Why does the world keep on hearing the news that Indians get beaten up in Australia or Blown up in Afghanistan …or deported from the Middle East ….or their visa quota cut in the US ….hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Whats wrong with these souls ???…hahahahahahaha…why does the world not like them ??…. much be the smell of “hing” or the job robberies or maybe the way they treat others is to blame …which shows this world wide condemnation 😀


    • My friend you must be seriously deluded to resort to such language in every post… How old are you? Do you even have a job? Do you realize how much damage you are doing to the good name of Islam and Pakistan with all your senseless rantings on this forum?


  2. India didn’t I tell ya you haven’t got balls to stay in Afghanistan. Lalaji get the hell out of Afghanistan before it is tooooooooooooo late for you. Stupid


  3. Keep dreaming. Keep laughing. We’re staying in Afghanistan. We will continue to help the Afghans build roads and schools. I’m glad you find the death of 9 people (3 doctors) funny …. And continue to dream a lot of things. India is here to stay. Bombings or not…. and just remember. Two can play the game. ISI bombs a guesthouse thru the Haqqani network… don’t be unhappy with a retaliation.


    • I remember you people saying this exact same thing in the 80’s when your communist ally was bombing whole villages and killing everyone down to the last child. Funny how history keep repeating itself. It is time “Amused” and his Ram Ram friends got used to the term “sunk cost”. Because this is exactly what Baniyas 1,2 billion dollars are.


  4. Rupee News ..hahahha. Now that is some world class cheap news, sure. Thanks for ruining your own credibility.


  5. Yeah yeah yeah “AMUSED” chief of idiots indian army of 800k has been building raping schools, killing hospitals and looting colleges in Kashmir. You moron look at your record. Nothing but a history of violence and state sponsored terrorism. Be it MUKTI BAHNI, TTP, BALL LESS BALL THACKERY, JUNDULLAH OR TAMIL TIGERS they are all indian state sponsored terrorists, aren’t they?? That makes india an epicenter of terror, mother of all terrorists and it started terrorism straight after its creation by entering its army in Kashmir. You moron should learn from history, don’t you remember Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi, Ghauri and Babur they came from the same region to kick indian butt and once again the kabli pathans will kick your butt so be ready to run to saudi arabia now to save you from pakistan and afgahnistan you hypocrites. The world knows your nefarious designs so no one thinks you are important and a glimpse of that was shown to you in london conference but as usual you banya would not learn until yor ass is kicked so there you go – got it???



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