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

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Lots of words starting with a B

Baghlan, bombing, ball bearing, Benazir Bhutto... these all are words starting with a B. Is that the only connection?
This is what I'm thinking of after I've just come across a news report mentioning the result of the Afghan government investigation into the November 6, 2007 Baghlan bombing, which avoided my attention amid the end-of-the-year troubles elsewhere.
The essence:
" The Afghan government Tuesday blamed the Nov. 6 deadly bomb attack which left nearly 200 people dead and injured in northern Baghlan province on Taliban insurgents after an almost one-month-long investigation.
"Through investigation we have concluded that Taliban outfit had organized the gruesome incident in Baghlan," Abdul Fatah, a spokesman of Afghan Attorney General's office, told a press conference here. "
An interesting detail added:
" So far eight persons including four provincial officials of Baghlan and four suspected Taliban operatives have been taken into custody, Fatah said. "The law enforcing agencies have arrested two Taliban operatives from the neighboring province Samangan and they confessed that Taliban organized the bomb attack against lawmakers," he said, "their information has led to the arrest of two more Taliban insurgents." Another four detainees, who are the staff of Baghlan provincial administration, have been kept in custody for their negligence, he further added. "
Four provincial officials taken into custody over negligence - that seems to be symbolic response to the opposition's demand to have even the provincial governor sacked. And it's always safe to say the Taliban were behind the bombing. So even if the report happens to be correct, this is a case of predictable conclusions.
An interesting (and awful) detail of that November 6 bombing was the use of ball bearings mixed in with the explosives. That's not unprecedented of course, but ball bearings are flying around in the region nowadays with surprising frequency. December 21: Ahmed Khan Sherpao, former Pakistani interior minister was the target of a suicide bombing at a mosque in near Peshawar, where over 50 people were killed (the bombing came on the day of Eid-al-Adha). There, too, ball bearings were used. As to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto - one of the theories circulating earlier on was that she was killed by a ball bearing from a suicide bomber vest. Now I'm not sure if it's been confirmed later that ball bearings were used in that bombing. Can't find trace of this on the internet. But sure it might be an interesting question, might it not?

1 comment:

Ball Bearings said...

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