40 Killed in Afghan Wedding Bombing;
4 US Troops killed in Helicopter Downing

A wedding in Nagaan in Qandahar province was bombed on Wednesday, killing at least 40 persons and wounding at least 70.

The new violence comes as it is being reported that President Hamid Karzai has lost faith in the US & NATO’s ability to defeat the Taliban, and is turning to Pakistan instead as the most likely ally.

The bombing of a civilian wedding is unusual, since then number 2 of the Old Taliban of Mulla Omar, Mulla Baradar, had forbidden attacks on civilians, fearing the Taliban might turn the population against them (as the al-Qaeda-tinged Islamic State of Iraq had done in Iraq). Mullah Baradar was arrested by Pakistani authorities last winter.

The US military blamed the Taliban for the bombing.

Also on Wednesday, insurgents brought down a NATO helicopter, killing 4 US soldiers.

These dramatic events of one day come in the context of the insurgents’ spring offensive, as well as a wave of political assassinations, according to the NYT.

If the wedding bombing is a sign that insurgents are increasingly willing to blow up Afghan civilians, that development would be very bad for the country, and could even, without meaning to, lead to civil war.

3 Responses

  1. Given the long history of the US bombing of wedding parties because of faulty intelligence and then lying about it in Afghanistan, that’s entirely plausible. That’s not to say it’s true in this case. But it certainly has been, on numerous occasions in the past.

    • There is now no doubt that this was a Taliban or other insurgent operation, not NATO.

  2. A good many of the Taliban have seen the importance of not antagonizing the civilian population – those that don’t are REALLY stupid. For instance, they’ve lightened up on the chickenshit religious rules. But there are lots of freelancers out there, and for all we have heard so far, it might have been a private beef between clans.

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