Afghanistan: PR Disasters for the Taliban


April 14, 2006: It was a bad week for the Taliban. A Taliban rocket fired into Kabul landed in a school yard, killing seven children and wounding some twenty more. This is very bad for the Taliban, as during the 1990s, Kabul was largely destroyed by rockets and artillery fired into the city by Islamic militant militia. Thousands of civilians died, and the bombardment is still remembered bitterly, especially when the Taliban do the same dumb thing. 


In southern Afghanistan, yet another suicide bomber was off the mark, leaving two British soldiers wounded. 


The Taliban Spring Offensive, backed by lots of al Qaeda money (which is not as abundant as it used to be), and pitched as "decisive" is not going anywhere. Meanwhile, pro-Taliban tribesmen, and entire tribes, continue to make their peace with the government. By the end of the year, the Taliban are going to be much less an issue than the growing (and wealthier) drug gangs.


April 12, 2006: Some 2,500 American, British and Afghan troops began moving through Kunar province, in eastern Afghanistan, looking for reported Taliban bases and weapons caches. These were soon encountered and six Taliban were killed the first day. This "Operation Mountain Lion" will go on for a week or more. This is the largest Coalition operations since 2001.  


April 9, 2006: Raids over the weekend caught two men suspected of being Taliban commanders.  In western Afghanistan, another two suicide bombs missed their targets, leaving eleven civilians wounded. But the terrorism against reconstruction continued, when Taliban raided a health clinic in eastern Afghanistan, killing four doctors and a driver. This is another PR disaster for the Taliban, as the medical care sent to the countryside is very popular. Local tribesmen will be out with the police and troops, looking for the killers.


April 8, 2006: In western Afghanistan, another suicide bomber missed, killing two civilians while trying to hit a Coalition convoy.




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