UNIT VIII RESEARCH PAPER
This paper reviews the incident described by officials as the deadliest car bombing in Afghanistan since 2001. The tragic event occurred on Tuesday, 15th July 2014 in a remote town in the eastern province of Paktika, killing 89 people. A suicide bomber driving through a busy market detonated the explosives in his car after suspicious police opened fire on the bomber. The blast destroyed more than 20 mud-brick shops, flipped cars over and stripped branches off trees. More than 40 people were wounded and the nearby hospitals were overwhelmed by the huge number of dead and injured people (Silva, 2014). The factors contributing to the attack have been discussed in this paper. The attack occurred in a time when the country was going through a disputed presidential election and the military were fighting the Taliban in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region. The recommendations to prevent the attack in the rural town are also given and are centered on the U.S., NATO, and the Afghan government increasing their presence in the rural areas so as to push away the resurgent group Taliban and working together with the people to restore peace (Crawford, 2011). Description of the incident
On 15th July 2014, a suicide bomber blew up a car filled with explosives as it drove through a crowded market and a mosque in a remote town in Afghanistan’s province of Paktika, killing at least 89 people. Officials said this was the most gruesome insurgent attack on civilians since the US-led invasion in 2001. It surpassed the death toll from twin bombings on Dec. 6, 2011 that targeted Shiite Muslims and killed 80 people in Mazar-i-Sharif and Kabul (Faiez, 2014). The deadly attack took place in the eastern district of Urgun, next to the porous border with Pakistan’s North Waziristan region, where hideouts of the Pakistani Taliban have been attacked by the military in the past few weeks, instigating militants to retreat towards Afghanistan, the AP reported. Video footage from the Associated Press showed the aftermath of the huge explosion. The blast destroyed several mud-brick shops, tossed cars over and stripped trees of their branches. Ahmad Shah, a gas station employee, dashed to the site to help after he saw smoke and realized the town was on fire. He states that he loaded dozens of people who were injured or killed into vehicles (Silva, 2014). The neighboring hospitals were overwhelmed and lots of victims were transported over hazardous roads to the capital, Kabul. Abdul Khan, a member of the town, rushed to the hospital in Kabul to donate blood. He said, “Most of the people in the town lost three to four family members.” His cousins had also been killed in the attack (Faiez, 2014). Mohammad Reza Kharoti, administrative chief of Urgun district said,” Many victims were buried in the rubble. It was a brutal suicide attack against poor civilians. There was no military base nearby”. General Mohammed Zahir Azimi, the Defense Ministry spokesman, said the explosives were detonated by the bomber as he drove through the busy market, wounding more than 40 people, destroying more than 20 shops and several vehicles. The U.N. mission in Afghanistan said preliminary reports suggest that the bomber prematurely denoted the explosives after the police suspected the vehicle to be dangerous. Eyewitnesses report that the bomber was in a four-wheel-drive vehicle and he hit two vehicles parked on the side of the road. This led the police to open fire and immediately the explosion happened (Faiez, 2014). The Taliban denied any involvement in the attack saying that they strongly condemn attacks on local people. “ The truth behind this attack will become clear after an investigation, but we clearly announce that it was not done by the Mujahedeen of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan,” the Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement reported by AP. "The Mujahedeen do not...
References: Crawford, N. C. (2011). Civilian Deaths and Injury in Afghanistan 2001-2011. Boston: Free Press.
Faiez, R. (2014). 89 killed in worst Afghanistan bombing since 2001. Yahoo News.
Godges, J. (2014). Afghanistan on the Edge. Rand Review.
Silva, R. (2014). Afghanistan Sees Deadliest Car Bomb Since 2001. HNGN.
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