Police removed a Taliban bomb from a school in eastern Afghanistan.
The Taliban see schools as the institution most likely to break the traditional
system of tribes and religious conservatism that has kept Afghanistan so poor
and badly government for centuries. The Taliban want to preserve the old ways.
Many Afghans do not, but this dispute divides tribes, and even families. And
the customs are deadly. Corruption, for example, is not seen, by many
Afghans, as stealing, but of taking care of your tribe and family. The
ancient traditions do not recognize nations, only families and tribes. Thus it
is considered OK to go steal from another tribe, or just another clan in the
next valley over. They are "others" and thus enemies, or potential
victims, and just another way to provide for your own. Changing traditions
isn't easy, and in Afghanistan, it involves a lot of violence.
13, 2006: The Taliban suffered at least sixty dead in the last week, but were
still carrying out about twenty attacks a day. Last March, it averaged about
ten a day. Most of the Taliban operations are intended to terrorize villagers
out in the countryside. The intimidated civilians then provide shelter and
other support for the Taliban. This doesn't always last, either because the
local Taliban group gets destroyed by Coalition and Afghan troops, or the
villagers get armed help from their tribe, which sends the Taliban off to seek
weaker targets. The sharp increase in Taliban activity this year, four times
what it was last year, is largely driven by a big jump in the amount of cash
available to the Taliban. Most of the several thousand Taliban wandering around
southern Afghanistan, are being paid (at a higher rate than Afghan police
the southeast, a suspected senior al Qaeda leader, an Arab, was arrested.
Police are trying to obtain positive identification.
11, 2006: Police captured an al Qaeda suicide bomber who said he was recruited
in Pakistan, and offered $16,000 for his family, if he set off a suicide bomb
in a Kabul mosque. The bomber was an Afghan refugee living in Pakistan.
The captured man knew of another suicide bomber, recruited in the same way, who
had set off a bomb on September 30th.
group of Taliban were caught in eastern Afghanistan, and at least 25 of them