Monday, April 28, 2008

Afghanistan Prospects Dim


And just
yesterday I was told things were going great!

"Karzai Escapes Attack in Kabul by Gunmen"

"KABUL, Afghanistan – President Hamid Karzai survived an assassination attempt at a military parade in central Kabul on Sunday, in an attack by suspected Taliban insurgents that was highly embarrassing for the Afghan government since it has claimed recently that it is ready to take over responsibility for the security of Kabul from foreign troops.

Three people were killed, a tribal chief and a parliamentarian who were in the stands near Mr Karzai, and a 10-year-old boy caught in the crossfire as militants and security forces traded fire, officials said. Eleven people were wounded, among them army officers, police and civilians, hospital officials said.

The attack was coordinated with mortar and gunfire and sent officials and diplomats scrambling for cover in the stands and hundreds of soldiers running off the parade ground in disarray. Mr Karzai was whisked away out the back door and the ceremony was abandoned, a great embarrassment since it is one of Afghanistan’s proudest national days for which the Afghan security forces had spent weeks preparing....

Pffft! So da mayor ain't even safe in Kabul?

Sigh. Oh, the lies!

Kabul was flooded by police and intelligence agents who blocked roads and checked cars in the days before the parade. Police were stationed at the hotel that was used by the gunmen, but apparently did not search the individual rooms....

The gunmen were firing from a third floor room of a nearby three-story hotel, some 500 yards from the parade ground, according to an eyewitness, Ahmad Naweed, 35, who lives behind the hotel and heard the firing and saw gun flashes coming from the room. Police quickly surrounded the hotel and fired at the window which had plastic sheeting covering it in place of glass, he said.

Security officials at the scene, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that three people had been killed and nine arrested in the raid on the hotel.

The military spokesman, General Zaher Azimi, confirmed that a number of suspects had been arrested. A military officer at the scene was overhead reporting the incident on a telephone and said that 12 men had gathered at a restaurant on the main street near the parade ground and had stashed Kalashnikov rifles and mortars in the restaurant before the event. He said two had been killed and the others arrested."

Wow, that's the first story about the fighting in Afghanistan in a long while.

I wonder how many Taliban were killed in air strikes yesterday.

Think you can help me out, Times?