BAAG Afghanistan Monthly Review May 2007

Situation Report
Originally published



- 91 people killed or injured in suicide attacks

- Hostages released

- NGO staff member shot dead

- Mullah Dadullah is killed

- Meshrano Jirga calls for "direct negotiations" with the Taliban

- Iran deports over 85,000 Afghans

- 83 civilians reported killed in operations by the US military


Terrorist attacks carried out during May, in the context of the ongoing insurgency, would appear to have been targeted at the full cross-section of those associated with the international presence, including government officials, police and members of the Afghan National Army.

Suicide attacks have represented a significant element in the strategy of those engaged in the insurgency. These would appear to have been primarily targeted at international forces and the police. The specific incidents include the following:

- On 3rd May, a soldier attached to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was injured, along with two children, when a suicide bomber blew himself up near an ISAF convoy in the southern province of Uruzgan.

- On 5th May, two police officers were killed when a suicide bomber rammed a car into their vehicle in Helmand Province.

- On the same day, a US soldier was injured, together with a passing civilian, in the south-eastern province of Paktika when a suicide bomber, in a truck, detonated his explosives as a military convoy went past.

- On 11th May, two US soldiers were injured when a suicide bomber rammed his car into their convoy in the Urgun District of Paktika, in south-eastern Afghanistan.

- On 18th May, three passers-by were killed, in an apparent assassination attempt on the Governor of Kandahar, when a government convoy, in which he was thought to be travelling, was rammed by a suicide bomber. The Information and Culture Minister, who was in the Governor's armoured vehicle, suffered slight injuries.

- On 19th May, 10 people were killed and 16 were injured when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives, next to German soldiers on foot patrol, in a crowded market in the northern city of Kunduz. Three of those killed and two of the wounded were from the German forces operating as the ISAF contingent in the province. Another of those killed was an interpreter working with the forces. Seven of the injured civilians were said to be in a serious condition.

- On 20th May, ten civilians were killed and more than 30 were injured when a suicide bomber, on foot, detonated his explosives in another crowded market in Gardez, the administrative centre of Paktia Province, in south-eastern Afghanistan. The suicide attack would appear to have been targeted at a US convoy, which was passing through the market. However, it escaped the impact.

- On 23rd May, two people were killed and four others were injured when a suicide bomber, on a motorcycle, detonated his explosives next to a group of highway police, guarding a road construction project, on the Jalalabad road in Kabul. Those killed were a policeman and a civilian passer-by. However, it is not clear whether a passing armoured vehicle, being driven by a security contractor working for the British Embassy, was the target. He was among the injured.

- On 26th May, three policemen were injured when a suicide bomber, on foot, detonated his explosives by a police patrol, close to the Governor's office in the city of Kandahar.

- On 28th May, two civilians were killed and another was wounded when a suicide bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body, as an armoured vehicle from the US private security company, Dyncorp, slowed down at a speed bump in the city of Kunduz.

International forces have also been targeted by other means. The specific incidents include the following:

- On 6th May, two US soldiers were killed, and two were injured, when shots were fired into their vehicle, as they left Pul-e-Charkhi Prison in Kabul, by a man in an Afghan National Army uniform. It is not clear whether he was a member of the army.

- On 8th May, a baker was killed and two other civilians were injured, when they were caught in crossfire after an ISAF convoy had been hit by rocket-propelled grenades, and had also been shot at, as it passed through a residential area of Kandahar. It is not clear if the casualties were caused by the attack or were a consequence of the ISAF soldiers returning fire.

- On 23rd May, a Finnish soldier was killed, and four Norwegian soldiers were injured, in a bomb attack in the northern town of Maymana.

The police continue to suffer from a campaign of intimidation, apparently aimed to discourage them from remaining within the force or others from joining. This targeting may be a consequence of the very active role that they play in counter-insurgency operations and in poppy-eradication initiatives. The specific incidents include the following:

- On 1st May, an 18 year old police officer was beheaded after being captured by insurgents in the village of Mushan, in Panjwai district of Kandahar, as he returned to his duty station from home leave. His headless body was left in a school in the village.

- On 5th May, eight policemen were killed in a gun battle which followed an ambush on their patrol in the Bala Baluk district of Farah, in western Afghanistan.

- On 6th May, five police officers were killed, and two others were injured, when a remote-controlled mine blew up, as their convoy passed, in the Chola area of Ghazni Province, to the south of Kabul.

- On 17th May, four police officers were killed in the city of Kandahar in a roadside bomb attack.

- On the same day, the Chief of Police for the north-eastern province of Badakshan was injured in a remote-controlled bomb attack in the provincial centre, Faizabad. One of his bodyguards was killed in the attack and another was wounded.

- On 19th May, a district police chief was killed, along with his driver, and three other policemen were injured, when a remote-controlled bomb exploded next to their convoy in the Achin District of Nangarhar, in eastern Afghanistan. The attack happened as they were on their way to eradicate poppies.

- On 21st May, two policemen were killed and seven others were wounded when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the Dara-i-Nur District of Nangarhar.

- On 24th May, six police officers and the district Chief of Police were killed by a bomb blast as they were driving in Yahya Kheil District of Paktika Province, in south-eastern Afghanistan.

- On the same day, four policemen died and several more were wounded when their vehicle was targeted in a remote-controlled bomb attack in the southern province of Kandahar.

- On 27th May, two policemen were killed and three others were injured when their convoy was ambushed in Shah Wali Kot District of Kandahar.

- On 31st May, at least 16 policemen were killed, and a further 6 were injured, in an ambush in Shahjoy District, in the southern province of Zabul, when their convoy was travelling from Zabul to Ghazni.