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

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Terrorism hits Baghlan: Update III.

Just a short post to finish off all the updating going on today.
Of all media sources, not altogether that surprisingly Radio Free Europe finally came up with an article naming the sixth Wolesi Jirga member who probably died in yesterday's attack at the New Baghlan sugar factory against what is not, as al-Jazeera indicated earlier on, the Wolesi Jirga's finance committee, but the National Economy Commission rather. The sixth slain lawmaker according to RFE was Nazukmir Sarferaz (written Nazek Mir Sarfaraz at JEMB's site). He is from Kunduz I'll add. Regarding the wounded, the picture is still incomplete, but throughout the day I came across sources other than Reuters that, probably independently from Reuters, also named Shukria Barakzai as one of those wounded. And Radio Free Europe's article now adds Sayed Hashem Fullad (written Sayed Hashem Fawlad at JEMB), from Nangarhar to the list of the wounded.
RFE's main source for what I cited above was Afghan Health Minister Sayed Mohammad Amin Fatemi.
So here's the updated version of the overall list, of those MPs dead, wounded or just present at yesterday's attack, that I put out in the mourning then, with portraits (of those I know of, out of the eighteen members of the delegation that visited Baghlan).
Portraits via: Agence France Press/Getty Images (Mustafa Kazemi - source); www.jemb.org (the rest)
The Taliban, as pointed out earlier on, denied responsibility for the attack through one of their "Zabiyullah Mujahedeen" (I mean if ZM is just a nom de guerre indeed, just as it is highly likely that the similarly often heard Qari Yusuf Ahmadi is no more than that). One can't exclude the possibility that Hizb-i-Islami/Hekmatyar was behind the bombing, but the suggestion by the Taliban that this was just an incident of intra-northern factional fighting seems to be propaganda plain and simple.
Northern politicians are not interested in instability in their areas; there's a strong case of economic counter-interest. On the other hand, the use of suicide bombing as a tactic is anything but a well-established pattern in Afghan history. Beside the Taliban and HIG only al-Qaida comes to one's mind as an organisation employing it in the Afghan theatre. For a third argument against the Taliban's claims one can also point to the diversity of the victims. This was a terror attack killing all sorts of people, not some well-targeted political assassination typical of factional fighting. (I thought I should perhaps go explicit on this, lest I be accused of not giving due attention to all possibilities to be taken into account in a balanced analysis.)
What one wonders more about is how a single suicide bomber (if eyewitness accounts are correct) caused so much death and destruction; even in the midst of a crowd it must have been a huge explosion... Well, I'll be curious to hear more details later on. (The death toll, the last time I checked, stood around 52.)

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