What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

War in the ink blot - The aftermath

MStFB Uruzgan Series Update
Seems like since Wednesday the situation has normalised in Chora valley, which has been the scene of some heavy fighting during the first part of the week, between Talib insurgents, and a mixture of Dutch, Australian and Afghan army, and Afghan police, units. When I said the Taliban decided to do what it could have done earlier even, in bringing the madness of fourth generation warfare to one of the three Dutch development ink blots, around the town of Chora (the other two ink blots are around Tarin Kowt, which was the scene of a bloody suicide bombing on June 15, and in Deh Rawod), I didn't expect some of the most gruesome details to come. You may read of the fighting, and how it was extremely bad to be a civilian in the area it affected, here (Khaleej Times), here (DPA), and here (AP). Some of the combat was described as 'street combat'; Talib insurgents are said to have forced civilians to fight alongside them, pushed some into crossfire, and even used terror tactics to get cooperation; while air strikes have also taken their usual toll among civilians. It was, however, costly to insurgents as well, with the Dutch forces claiming to have killed two 'Talib mullahs', who are said by them to have been important figures in the Taliban's Uruzgan ranks.
Hopefully there'll be a lull in the fighting for a while now.

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