Afghanistan: December 23, 2002


  Government troops chased a truck through eastern Afghanistan, until the driver abandoned it and escaped. The truck, from Pakistan, contained 168 BM-12 rockets and an anti-tank mine.  The Russian made BM-12 rocket weighs 42 pounds, 107mm (4.21 inches) in diameter,  33 inches long and has a warhead containing three pounds of high explosive. It has a range of 6-8.5 kilometers. The BM-12 is not very accurate, but there are thousands of them sitting around Afghanistan and the rural parts of Pakistan. They are usually used to hit large targets, like towns. It is thought that this truck load of BM-12s was intended for a bombardment of the town of Jalalabad. A second truck, with ten rockets in it, was found abandoned near the town. Taliban fighters are more active in eastern Afghanistan, operating from bases over the border in Pakistan.

Small scale attacks are increasing, with several grenade attacks in Kabul and bombs going off in eastern Afghanistan and in the west. UN and American convoys are being sniped at, although food convoys, usually run by Afghan or Pakistani contractors, tend to be left alone. Apparently the Taliban "death to foreigners" line still has some appeal back in the hills. 


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