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

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Baghlan bombing update, from end-2008, thx 2 Péter Wagner

Back in 2007, I wrote an entire series of posts reacting to the November 6 bombing outside the New Baghlan sugar factory. It killed scores of schoolchildren who were made to line up along the street in expectance of a parliamentary delegation from Kabul. In the chaotic aftermath of the explosion, confused bodyguards and policemen ended up exchanging bullets and killing even more by-standers. This was the attack in which, among others, Mustafa Kazemi was also killed (he has much of a posthumous cult by now, among Shiites, apparent at the time of Muharram).
What I have to note now is something Péter Wagner drew attention to, at his blog: another one of the suspected perpetrators/planners was captured recently, in Pul-i-Khumri, the capital of Baghlan province. Link and excerpt:
"Afghan army commandos and coalition forces yesterday captured a suspected insurgent commander believed to be responsible for a deadly bombing in Afghanistan's Baghlan province, military officials reported today.
The combined forces nabbed Mullah Dahoud during an early morning raid on a compound in Pol-e-Kohmri, outside of Kabul, reported to be Dahoud's home and a transit point for insurgent fighters.
Dahoud and his insurgent fighters are believed to be responsible for an attack on the Baghlan district headquarters in October that killed Afghan officials and civilians, and for the Fobrica sugar factory bombing in 2007 that killed more than 50 civilians.
"The Afghan commandos captured this murderer," Afghan Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, chief spokesman for the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense, said. "The innocent people affected by this criminal net can now have justice." "
Over at his place, commenting on the article, Péter notes with irony that a US/Afghan raid on a suspected militant's hideout may not be entirely well-conforming to what Hungarian officialdom suggests, that "Hungary guarantees security in Baghlan province." In fact, this is not a first that other countries' SFs (incl. Afghans) are doing jobs like this in Baghlan. Of course, popularising slogans of the kind mentioned above are not the greatest rhetorical wonders one can encounter in the European discourse(s) on Afghanistan. For me, the greatest one is still the tendency to describe soldiers deployed to Afghanistan as peace-keepers, a tendency that is alive and well.

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