Monday, September 14, 2009

Surge of Violence in Afghanistan Results in Numerous Casualties

An escalation of violence in the Nation of Afghanistan this week has left 48 people dead. The series of attacks, counter-attacks and military operations claimed the lives of Taliban militants, civilians and local security forces. 11 Militants were killed in night-time raids in the province of Kunduz. The raids netted amongst other things, bomb making supplies and rocket propelled grenades, weapons that are responsible for the bulk of NATO ISAF casualties in the region. Elsewhere in the country, six civilians were killed in the explosion of an improvised explosive device and suicide bombers staged a suicide attack on the Afghan government's intelligence headquarters which killed an officer. (1)

Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne) based at Fort Richardson, Alaska, return to their forward operating base after a night-time patrol in Zerok District, East Paktika province in Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 11, 2009.
(AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh)

The visible surge in violence follows in the wake of the recent Afghan National Elections, the controversial results of which are still being tabulated. The ongoing violence underscores the delicate balance of power in the region, with the Taliban operating freely both in Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan. An incident of 'blue on blue' fire was reported when a US soldier was shot by an Afghan colleague he was actively training. The Afghan policeman was reportedly aghast at the US soldier drinking water in front of locals who were participating in the month-long fast of Ramadan which forbids eating and drinking between dusk and dawn. The assailant was shot and seriously wounded by US forces in retaliation.

Thus far, the year of 2009 represents the bloodiest to date (2) with several thousand dead, a number which includes 340 Coalition (3) personnel.

1. The Associated Press - By RAHIM FAIEZ and NOOR KHAN
2. - By Ben Farmer
3. iCasualties

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