Thursday, September 21, 2006

Experienced and Callous: Experts in Wasting Lives

The suicide bombing industry is flourishing. On September 18 in three different places in Afghanistan people were killed by these bombers. In a town near Kandahar Canadian soldiers were handing out pens and notebooks to excited children when a suicide bomber rode up on a bicycle into the middle of the crowd, and detonated his device. "Witnesses ... say the crowd of children gathered around the Canadian soldiers were laughing and shouting as they jostled for the gifts." Four soldiers were killed, and dozens of the children were injured.
A suicide bomber in Herat killed 11 people and wounded 18. He was apparently targeting a high-ranking police official who escaped unharmed. Four of the dead were police officers; one of them was a child. Another suicide blast killed three Afghan policemen in the capital Kabul.
Suicide bombing is new in Afghanistan, but we are told that the number of these attacks in southern Afghanistan has risen four-fold this year. The practice has been rare in Somalia also, but at about the same time as these bombings a bomber killed five people there; it was just after someone shot a nun who had been serving the sick in Africa for 38 years; she died uttering, "I forgive".
The fingerprints of experienced hands are all over these killings. Suicide bombing has been a practice in the Middle East for a long time; in that context it seems to have become a science. On the same day as the above events a bomber in Iraq killed himself and 20 others in a crowded market, and another killed 13 people at a police recruitment center. For those behind it, it was just another day. Iraq, the Middle East: they have had to bear this for a long while.
I still wonder: Who would train bombers to deliberately kill children? To what purpose? What could they be thinking? What could they want? What kind of world would they create? And where does the money come from?
We are told that in the case of the Taliban these measures reveal desperation. They are now throwing themselves into battle and losing their lives in great numbers. How many of them will have to die before their handlers become ashamed of the carnage?

NATO Soldiers in Afghanistan Killed in Suicide Bomb Attack
Published: September 19, 2006 (AM Australia)

It was a small moment when the campaign to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan was working. Canadian soldiers were handing out pens and notebooks to excited children in a village in the country's south, a day after NATO had declared the area free of Taliban insurgents.

Several Killed in Three Suicide Bomb Atacks
Published: September 19, 2006 (Gulf Times)

A suicide bomb exploded in Afghanistan's western city of Herat yesterday, killing 11 people and wounding 18, a hospital deputy director said.The blast struck outside the city's main mosque and appeared targeted at a high-ranking police official who escaped unharmed, police said.

Somalia's First Suicide Bomb Misses President
Published: September 18, 2006 (ThreatsWatch)

President Abdullahi Yusuf survived an assassination attempt as Somali leader escapes suicide attack" Somalia’s first suicide bomb attack saw a bomb-laden car drive into Yusuf’s motorcade as he left the Somali parliament.

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