In Kandahar, a suicide car bomber set off his explosives prematurely as he approached a Canadian army convoy. The bomber was killed, and six nearby civilians were wounded. The Taliban have boasted of having hundreds of suicide bombers ready for their "Spring Offensive," but so far the suicide attackers have often been poorly prepared, and their attacks have misfired.The Taliban has had more success with anti-vehicle mines, one of which hit a police vehicle today, wounding six policemen. However, the mines are indiscriminate, and when civilians are killed, the Taliban image suffers.
So far this year, Taliban violence has killed some 200 people. The 18,000 American troops have lost 13 dead so far this year.
Although Afghan Christian Abdul Rahman has obtained asylum in Italy, attacks against other Afghan Christians have occurred because of the Rahman case, and at least two more Afghans have been arrested for converting to Christianity. This could turn into a major problem, as there are 5-10,000 Christians in Afghanistan, most of them converts from Islam. Afghanistan has never been a very tolerant place, but other religions survive by keeping a low profile. In that way, Hindu and Buddhist communities have maintained themselves. But practitioners of these religions were born into their faith, while many of the Christians are converts from Islam. For Islamic radicals, this is a red flag, as Islamic (Sharia) law considers this worthy of execution. This degree of intolerance is still a major problem in relations between Islam and the rest of the world.
March 29, 2006: In southern Afghanistan's Helmland province, Taliban attacked a Coalition camp, killing one American and one Canadian soldiers. At least a dozen Taliban were killed as the attack was repulsed. Pursuit of the attacking force left another twenty Taliban dead, as well as the discovery of a Taliban base and the capture of many weapons, equipment and documents.
March 28, 2006: In southern Afghanistan's Helmland province, a roadside bomb left six Afghan soldier dead.
March 27, 2006: There are sill three million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and Iran. About half a million of these are expected to return home this year. Nearly 600,000 returned last year.
March 25, 2006: In southern Afghanistan's Helmland province, a clash with several dozen Taliban gunmen left one American and one Afghan soldier dead, as well as at least twenty Taliban. As is usually the case, this clash involved American warplanes, and eleven JDAM bombs were dropped. Thus type of battle is typical, with entire units of Taliban being wiped out. It is not good for Taliban morale, since interrogation of captured Taliban revealed that most of them were in it for the money. Many pro-Taliban tribes refuse to allow reconstruction efforts, making the appeal of a Taliban salary even more attractive. But if it appears that the chance of surviving until payday is too low, fewer recruits will step forward.
The courts dismissed charges against charges against Christian Afghan Abdul Rahman, and released him. Rahman is now seeking asylum in a Christian country. The Rahman incident has proved very embarrassing for the Afghan government, as it spotlights the fact that many Afghans still believe in Islamic custom of killing any Moslem that converts to another religion. This practice, which is considered medieval and barbaric by the world's other major religions, is still commonly accepted, and practiced, throughout the Moslem world.