Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Exploding turban kills Mayor of Kandahar

The outrageous lengths jihadists will go to murder their opponents just shows that their determination to impose sharia knows no bounds.  To put a bomb inside your turban is the height of hubris.

This is also another blow against any kind of moderate government, watch for Karzai to spin this against the US and other Western powers still in Afghanistan.

From the Guardian July 27 by Jon Boone

Kandahar mayor killed by suicide bomber with explosives in turban

Afghan insurgents appeared to continue their assassination campaign against key public figures on Wednesday with the killing of the mayor of Kandahar.

Ghulam Haider Hamidi was targeted by a suicide bomber who got into the municipality compound in Kandahar City with explosives concealed under his turban. The technique was first used earlier this month in a mosque in the city during a memorial service for Ahmed Wali Karzai, a regional strongman and half-brother of the president.

Abdul Manan, a municipality employee, said the mayor had emerged from his office into the garden, where he made a call on his mobile phone.

The assassin grabbed him and detonated the bomb.

"I rushed outside and saw the mayor was lying still on the ground," said Manan. "Another headless body was next to him and the mayor had deep wounds on his face and chest.''

The death of Hamidi will raise further concerns about whether military gains by the US military in the Kandahar region, particularly in districts adjoining the city, will be undermined by the remorseless killing of top public figures.

The death comes weeks after the killing in their homes of two powerful politicians in the south: Ahmed Wali Karzai and Jan Mohammad Khan, an ally of the Karzai family and a key figure in neighbouring Uruzgan province. In April, Kandahar's police chief was killed by a suicide bomber who entered police headquarters.

A recent UN report said "targeted killings" had increased in the first half of 2011 from an already high level. Assassination attempts had caused 43 injuries and 190 deaths – a 5% increase on the same period in 2010.

"Every death piles on top of the other and leads to a sense of demoralisation, that nobody is safe," said Martine van Bijlert, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

"Previously these attacks were carried out when the targets were on the move, either in their cars or on the way to the mosque or somewhere else where they were vulnerable. But now we have this recent development where assassins are able to enter secure areas and target people there."

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