January 11, 2017

AFGHANISTAN: Two Islamist Suicide Bombers And A Car Bomb Set Off By Islamist Massacred 45 Innocent People At Several Locations In One Day.

Dawn News, Pakistan
written by AFP staff
Tuesday January 10, 2017

At least nine people were killed in an explosion in the governor's compound in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province on Tuesday during a visit by the UAE ambassador, local media reported.

The UAE's Foreign Ministry made the statement Tuesday night, describing the attack as “heinous.” It identified the wounded ambassador as Juma Mohammed Abdullah al-Kaabi.

Afghanistan's Tolo News said the blast left nine people dead and 16 others wounded.

The statement did not say how many Emirati diplomats were wounded. It said they were there as part of a humanitarian mission.

Emirati combat troops deployed to Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion that toppled the Taliban.

Taliban blasts near Afghan parliament kill 30

Earlier in the day, twin Taliban blasts struck near the Afghan parliament in Kabul, killing at least 30 people and wounding 80 in a rush-hour attack that shattered a relative lull in violence in the capital.

The bombings came just hours after a Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the volatile southern province of Helmand, as the militants ramp up attacks.

The blasts in Kabul tore through employees exiting a parliament annexe, which houses the offices of lawmakers, leaving the area littered with bloodied bodies.

“A suicide bomber on foot caused the first explosion, leaving a number of innocent workers killed and wounded,” Zabi, an injured parliament security guard, told AFP.

“The second one was a car bomb. The vehicle was parked on the other side of the road and flung me back when it detonated,” he said.

The blasts left 30 people dead and 80 wounded, some of them in serious condition, health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh told AFP, warning that the toll was expected to rise.

The dead included at least four policemen who were killed in the second explosion when they rushed to help the victims of the first blast, a security official told AFP.

The carnage underscores growing insecurity in Afghanistan, where around 10,000 US troops are helping struggling Afghan forces to combat a resilient Taliban insurgency as well as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said they were behind the Kabul explosions, adding the victims were mostly Afghan intelligence agents. The insurgents are known to exaggerate battlefield claims.

The parliament complex has been a prime target for insurgents. In June 2015 Taliban militants attacked the old parliament building, sending lawmakers running for cover in chaotic scenes relayed live on television.

That incident ended two hours later when all seven attackers, including a suicide car bomber, were gunned down by Afghan forces.

The Taliban are pressing ahead with nationwide attacks despite the onset of winter, when fighting usually ebbs, as international efforts to jumpstart peace talks falter.

Repeated bids to launch peace negotiations with the Taliban have failed and a fierce new fighting season is expected to kick off in the spring.

Afghanistan last week welcomed the Pentagon's decision to deploy some 300 US Marines to Helmand, where American forces engaged in heated combat until their mission ended in 2014.

The Marines will head to the poppy-growing province this spring to assist a Nato-led mission to train Afghan forces, in the latest sign that foreign forces are increasingly being drawn back into the worsening conflict.

The situation in Afghanistan will be an urgent matter for the new US president, even though America's longest war got scarcely a passing mention in the bitterly contested presidential election.

President-elect Donald Trump has given few details on his expected foreign policy, with even fewer specifics on how he will tackle the war in Afghanistan.
Which leads me to remind you about dumb and dumber we've had running America for the past 8 years. You have to be a fool to think you can reason with Islamist militants. They are soulless bloodthirsty demonic spirits. But then again Obama, Biden and Hillary made America the fool as they allied with Islamist extremist friends of The Muslim Brotherhood.
[source: The Daily Mail UK 12/20/2011] The Taliban are not our enemy, says vice-president Biden as U.S. prepares to negotiate prisoner transfer deal. U.S. prepares to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban.
[source: Fox news 12/19/2011] White House Stands by Biden Statement That Taliban Isn't U.S. Enemy.
[source: The Guardian UK 1/3/2012] The US has agreed in principle to release high-ranking Taliban officials from Guantánamo Bay in return for the Afghan insurgents' agreement to open a political office for peace negotiations.
Long War Journal
written by Bill Roggio
Tuesday January 10, 2017

If you are unsure of just how bad the security situation is inside Afghanistan, this report from AFP should tell you everything you need to know. Afghan officials are calling for the establishment of a Taliban “safe zone” that presumably would allow the group to ween itself off of Pakistani influence and enter the much discussed and ever elusive peace process.

Normally this type of report could easily be dismissed out of hand as the musings of some ambitious or naive Afghan politician. But given that it originated from General Abdul Raziq, the chief of police for Kandahar who, as AFP put it, is “one of the staunchest anti-Taliban figures,” it must be taken seriously.

Raziq has been at the forefront of almost every major offensive against the Taliban in Kandahar, Helmand, and Uruzgan over the past decade. He has been the target of multiple assassination attempts, including several suicide attacks. If Raziq is describing the Taliban as his countrymen and “sons of this soil,” then it is clear he doesn’t believe he can hold the line in the south in the medium to long term. From the AFP report:
Afghan officials are pushing to create a “safe zone” for Taliban insurgents in a bid to wean them away from traditional sanctuaries inside Pakistan, in a radical and contentious strategy to de-escalate the conflict.

The plan underscores desperation in Afghanistan for out-of-the-box solutions to tackle the 15-year insurgency, as peace bids repeatedly fail and US-backed forces suffer record casualties in stalemated fighting.

If implemented, the strategy — aimed at undercutting Pakistan’s influence over the Taliban — could, for better or for worse, be a game changer in a strife-torn nation where ceding territory to insurgents is seen as tantamount to partition.

“I urge the Taliban to return to Afghanistan. We should make a safe zone for them and their families,” Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq told a gathering of religious scholars and tribal elders last month.

“We can no longer rely on foreign governments and embassies to end the war. The Taliban belong to this country, they are sons of this soil.”
Some Afghan politicians are dismissive of this plan and rightly note that the Taliban already controls significant tracts of land in Afghanistan (for a rough estimate of what the Taliban control and contest in Afghanistan, see this map created by FDD’s Long War Journal):
“The government shouldn’t be giving safe zones to terrorists,” warned former Helmand governor Sher Mohammed Akhundzada, while some observers dismissed the strategy as “illogical” as the Taliban already control vast swathes of Afghan territory.
All of this rests on the mistaken belief that the Taliban is interested in negotiating a peace agreement and joining the Afghan political process. The Taliban has deftly used the process of establishing peace talks to extract concessions, such as freeing the Taliban Five who were held at Guantanamo Bay. The Taliban has consistently said its goal is the reestablishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the full withdrawal of foreign troops. Given that the Taliban control more territory today than at any time since the US invasion in the fall of 2001, and the Afghan government and military are clearly losing ground, it is fanciful to believe that the Taliban will make concessions now.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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