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article imageOp-Ed: Two Taliban suicide attacks in Afghanistan kill at least 48

By Ken Hanly     Sep 18, 2019 in World
Two Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people in Kabul the capital and in the city of Charikar. The Charikar attack targeted an election rally for Ashraf Ghani the president who is running for another term. Ghani was not hurt.
The Charikar bombing
The Charikar bombing was at a police camp near a billboard of President Ghani. At least 26 were killed and 42 wounded. The suicide bomber was an old man riding a motorcycle who entered the area where Ghani was due to speak and detonated his explosives.
Parwan Province police chief Mohammed Walizada said: "When the people were entering the police camp, an old man riding a motorcycle arrived on the highway and detonated his explosives, causing casualties.."
A giant blue billboard of Ghani's running mate Amrulla Saleh loomed over a scene of bodies on the dusty ground and smoke rising from the explosion. Rescuers lifted the wounded into pickup trucks evacuating them. Abdul Sangin head of Parwan's provincial hospital said: "Women and children are among them and most of the victims seem to be the civilians." President Ghani condemned the attack saying: "Taliban tried to break this unity by targeting innocent civilians. They shamelessly accepted responsibility at a time when they're cloaking acts of terror as efforts for peace."
The elections take place on September 28. The Taliban appear keen to disrupt the elections. The Taliban have warned people to stay away from the polls and have said they would attack rallies.
The Kabul attack
The Kabul attack was near the center of the city and targeted a military recruitment center. Reportedly, 22 were killed and 38 wounded in the attack. Of those killed 6 were members of the security forces.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for both attacks. The group claimed that it had warned people away from the sites:"People were given warning. Do not take part in the puppet administration's election rallies, because all such gatherings are our military target. If, despite the warning, someone get hurt, they themselves are to blame."
Both the Taliban and the US had been keeping up attacks during recent peace talks. In spite of this the peace talks had progressed to the point where there was an agreement in principle. However, Trump rejected the peace agreement partly because of a Taliban attack that had killed a US soldier along with others. He declared the talks dead and promised to attack the Taliban even harder than ever.
The war has now lasted about 18 years. With rejection of the peace talks and none planned at present, the Taliban are increasing their attacks as the US does. 2019 is already the worst year for US casualties in some time. The New York Times in announcing the recent death of Sargent Jeremy Griffin said: "The soldier, who was killed while fighting alongside Afghan commandos in Wardak Province, is the 17th American service member to die during combat operations this year, the highest number of losses in a year since 2014, when the Pentagon announced the end of combat operations in Afghanistan." However, the US is no longer in a combat role but is mostly engaged in air missions so there will be relatively few US casualties. It is the Afghans themselves both security forces and civilians who will continue to be wounded and killed in large numbers as the war ramps up with no peace in sight.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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