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Dozens killed in rare Afghanistan attack

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Dozens killed in rare Afghanistan attack

Post  Panda on Tue 6 Dec - 17:24

Dozens killed in rare Afghanistan attack



From Masoud Popalzai and Nick Paton Walsh, CNN
December 6, 2011 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
















Video shows moment of Kabul blast








STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • NEW: The death toll in the two attacks rises to 60
  • The blasts were nearly simultaneous, the U.S. Embassy says
  • A Shiite leader blames "foreign criminals"
  • The attacks take place on the Shiite holy day of Ashura





Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Twin suicide bombings
killed dozens of people Tuesday in Afghanistan, most of them in a
mass-scale sectarian attack on Shiite worshippers unlike anything the
country has seen in its decade-long war.

The terrorist attacks in the cities of Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif killed 60 people and wounded scores of others, officials said.

A suicide bomber detonated a device at a Shiite shrine in Kabul as
worshippers were marking the Shiite holy day of Ashura, Afghan Health
Ministry spokesman Kargar Norughli said. Fifty-six people were killed
and 150 were wounded, Norughli added.

Four people were killed in an explosion at a roundabout on a busy
street in Mazar-e Sharif, the provincial capital of Afghanistan's
northern Balkh province, police official Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai said.
Another 21 were wounded in that attack.

"The enemies tried to spread fear in this important holiday in the city," Ahmadzai said.




Twin blasts kill dozens on holy day


There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. The Taliban denied involvement.

Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, a leading Shiite member of Parliament, blamed "foreign criminals."

The attacks showed "that those who claim to be defenders of Islam"
are liars, and showed "how far from humanity they are," he said.

The attackers committed "these crimes for the interest of those
foreigners who are controlling them so that they could create hatred
among Muslims in Afghanistan," he said.

In Iraq, where large-scale sectarian attacks have occurred
frequently, government officials and analysts have said the goal of
extremists was to foment sectarian tensions.

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan issued a statement Tuesday condemning
the "the twin suicide bombings that killed dozens of worshippers, many
of them women and children."

The bombs detonated nearly simultaneously, the statement said.

Afghanistan has seen previous attacks on mosques. In 2006, rioting
broke out between Shiites and Sunnis at an Ashura festival in Herat,
leading to several deaths. But the country has not seen sectarian
attacks of the scale that occurred Tuesday.

The attacks came a day after an international conference in Bonn,
Germany, addressed the state of affairs in Afghanistan, and Afghan
officials pushed for international support and contributions.

The U.S. Embassy statement Tuesday vowed that the United States
"remains undeterred in standing with the Afghan people against the
scourge of terrorism in our mutual aim of promoting peace and
prosperity."

Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO's International Security
Assistance Force, said the attack on the Ashura pilgrims "on one of the
holiest of days in the Islamic calendar is an attack against Islam
itself, and we denounce and condemn these atrocities in the strongest of
terms.

"Our prayers and deepest sympathies are with the families and loved
ones of those innocent civilians killed or injured in today's horrific
attacks," Allen said.

Ambassador Simon Gass, NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, called the attacks "horrifying."

"That men, women and children are killed and injured on Ashura is particularly tragic," he said.

Ashura commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein, grandson of the Prophet
Muhammad. Hussein's death in battle in Karbala, Iraq, in 680, is one of
the events that helped create the schism between Sunnis and Shiites,
the two main Muslim religious movements. Shiites are a minority presence
in Afghanistan, which is predominantly Sunni.

At the Bonn conference on Monday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai
warned that the Taliban could make a comeback as the country struggles
with security a decade after a U.S.-led coalition ousted the hardline
militia from power.

"If we lose this fight, we are threatened with a return to a situation like that before September 11, 2001," Karzai said.

In an e-mailed statement to journalists, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah
Mujahid condemned Tuesday's attacks. He accused NATO forces of playing a
role in the attacks "to sow mistrust and hatred among Muslims so they
can stay longer."

Karzai, at Monday's conference, said that though there had been
progress over the past 10 years, stability remains a distant goal.

"Our shared goal of a stable, self-reliant Afghanistan is far from being achieved," he said.


CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.









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Re: Dozens killed in rare Afghanistan attack

Post  Panda on Tue 6 Dec - 17:34

Afghanistan is opening its doors to Foreign investment, already the U.S. delegates are interested in Oil Contracts. Oddly enough there
was a video yesterday of Angela Merkel and Karzai giving a Press Conference. Wouldn"t it be ironic if Britain who has lost so many young Soldiers and spent so much money trying to stabilise the Country does not get any Contracts, yet Germany, who did nothing reaps the
benefit. !!!

As has happened yesterday Afghanistan is far from stable and U.S. and Britain have set a timetable from withdrawing from the Country.

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Re: Dozens killed in rare Afghanistan attack

Post  Panda on Tue 6 Dec - 19:49

Cameron has stated he does not want the New Treaty to be a Treaty within a Treaty , excluding those Countries not in the Eurozone
and will not sign any new Treaty if this is the case. Merkel has said she wants a Transaction Tax on all Share purchases which would affect Britain badly, what will he do if this is introduced? Apparently the Conservative back benchers who want Britain to leave the EU will be
waiting to grill him.

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