Afghanistan: Peace and Corruption Return


November 7, 2005: There have been a number of clashes between Afghan Army troops and National Police personnel, with some casualties. These have not been "friendly fire" incidents, but the result of conflicts over jurisdictional issues, personality clashes, warlord and tribal rivalries (many military and police units are essentially the somewhat upgraded entourages of a particular warlord or tribal chieftain), or simple falling out among criminals, corruption being rife in the country. While not commonplace, these encounters have become more numerous over the past few months, perhaps because the new government has achieved a degree of stability that implies a return to "business as usual," despite frequent Taliban outrages.

The Taliban, meanwhile, has been increasingly focusing attacks on clerics and mosques that support the government. During October about a dozen attacks on mosques occurred, all in the eastern or southern regions of the country, in the provinces against the Pakistani border. About 12-15 imams or worshipers have been killed. Public reaction in Afghanistan to these attacks has been mixed, with some expressions of outrage, but no mass anger at the perpetrators.

November 6, 2005: Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban, faxed a message to media in which he didn't say much new. Omar called for all Afghans to join the Taliban in throwing out the foreigners. This would make it easier for the Taliban to regain control of the country, and resume their rule, which was hated by most Afghans.

November 4, 2005: In the south (Ghazni province), a group of Taliban attacked a police station, killing one policeman, then fleeing. Today is the last day of Ramadan, the annual Moslem holy month. Taliban violence during Ramadan left about a hundred people dead, most of them Taliban and their civilian victims.


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