Afghanistan: Big Taliban Attack Busted Up

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February 8, 2006: Islamic radicals have tried to gain some traction with riots protesting the Danish cartoons (of Mohammed, which is forbidden in Islam). Some large demonstrations were held, but the people involved were the true believers. About a dozen people have died in these demonstrations.

The war against the Taliban goes on without interruption, and the Taliban continued to lose. The Taliban has allied itself with drug gangs and, to a certain extent, become one itself. The war with the Taliban is largely a tribal one, with nearly all the Taliban coming from a few Pushtun tribes in southern Afghanistan. These are the tribes that dominated the Taliban when the Taliban was running the country. The government is trying to get the leadership of these tribes to work with them, and some of the tribal leaders are willing. But there are hard core pro-Taliban factions in the tribes, who have allies with related tribes across the border in Pakistan. As it has for thousands of years, war and peace in Afghanistan is decided by tribal politics.

February 7, 2006: In the north, 300 demonstrators attacked a base run by Norwegian troops. The Afghans were upset over drawings of Mohammed that were published in Europe. Four Afghans were killed and several Norwegian troops injured. Meanwhile, in Kandahar, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle tried to get into the Kandahar police headquarters, but was stopped at a checkpoint. He detonated there and killed 13 people. Several other Taliban related attacks in the south left three dead. There have been eight suicide bombings in the country so far this year.

February 6, 2006: Anti-cartoon riots in the north left at least five dead. Police opened fire when they were fired on from the crown. Islamic radical religious leaders use things like the Danish cartoons to inspire their followers to acts of violence, hoping to acquire more clout. It's the Afghan way.

Near Kandahar, a roadside bomb killed six policemen. Elsewhere in the area, a senior Taliban commander was killed as he tried to sneak in from Pakistan.

A government amnesty program was accepted by 172 Taliban and Islamic militant group fighters. The men agreed to back the government.

February 4, 2006: Fighting continues in the south, as fleeing Taliban try to avoid getting caught by police or American warplanes. Over forty have been killed so far, most of them Taliban.

February 3, 2006: The Taliban massed some 200 gunmen near the Pakistani border and attacked about a hundred policemen. But police reinforcements soon arrived, along with U.S. warplanes. The Taliban were scattered, with heavy losses. At least two dozen Taliban were killed, along with a few policemen. Over a dozen arrests were made as well. Hundreds of local villagers fled the fighting, as Taliban tried to hide in villages to escape pursuing policemen. Taliban fleeing back into Pakistan ran into Pakistani troops and police, causing more fighting.

 

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