Thursday, April 04, 2013

53 Plus People Killed In Afghan Taliban Attack On Courthouse

More than 44 Afghans (mostly civilians) were killed- and many more injured- when a courthouse in the western part of the country was attacked by 9 members of the Taliban clad in army uniforms. The insurgents  attacked the Farah city courthouse in an attempt to free at least 13 Taliban militants who were being transferred to the courthouse for trial.  Somehow they managed to secure Afghan military vehicles, two blew themselves up in one of the vehicles, and the rest stormed the courthouse. Seven hours later, all nine were dead, but not before they gunned down a bunch of people in the basement.

Interior Ministry deputy spokesman Najib Danish told the AFP news agency that 34 civilians, six soldiers, and four policemen were killed, while some 91 people, mostly civilians, were injured.


Authorities say that the attack took place while 13 Taliban prisoners were in court, but none of the inmates escaped. But a doctor at a local hospital said that one prisoner was being treated for his wounds.

Farah Province Governor Mohammad Akram Khpalwak told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the attackers used an Afghan military truck and were wearing Afghan National Army uniforms as they stormed the small-town courthouse.

"We had some security measures in place and we have the capacity to confront meticulously planned deadly attacks. But preventing such attacks usually comes with a lot of casualties," Khpalwak said.

"Although our security arrangements were tight, unfortunately the enemy attacked places visited by ordinary people."

Khpalwak said that the attack during peak office hours caused so many civilian casualties because many litigants were waiting for their cases to be heard in court.

A Taliban spokesman took responsibility for the attack. The insurgents described it as a carefully prepared operation.

The death toll in the Farah attack was the highest in a single attack in Afghanistan for more than two years. Some 80 people were killed in an attack on a Shi'ite Muslim shrine in December 2011.
And President Hamid Karzai  really thinks he can negotiate with the Taliban? They're never going to play nice, until Afghanistan is once again firmly in Taliban hands.

Source: RF/ERL

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