Monday, 7 June 2010

Afghan insurgents strike at 'doomed' occupation

A WAVE of successful attacks by insurgents has hit the 'doomed' US-led occupation of Afghanistan.

Reports The Associated Press: "Twelve foreign soldiers, including seven Americans, were killed in separate attacks on the deadliest day of the year for Western forces in Afghanistan. A U.S. civilian contractor who trains Afghan police also died in a brazen suicide assault.

"The bloodshed Monday comes as insurgents step up bombings and other attacks ahead of a major NATO operation in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar that Washington hopes will turn the tide of the nearly nine-year war.

"Half the NATO deaths — five Americans — occurred in a single blast in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. spokesman Col. Wayne Shanks said without giving further details. It was a grim reminder the insurgents can strike throughout the country — not simply in the south, which has become the main focus of the U.S. campaign.

"Two other U.S. troops were killed in separate attacks in the south — one in a bombing and the other by small arms fire.

"NATO said three other service members were killed in attacks in the east and south but gave no further details. The French government announced one of the victims was a sergeant in the French Foreign Legion killed by a rocket in Kapisa province northeast of Kabul. Three other Legionnaires were wounded.

"Also Monday, two Australian soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan's Uruzgan province, Acting Defense Force Chief Lt. Gen. David Hurley told reporters Tuesday."

Meanwhile, the US-led occupation also seems to be unravelling from the inside.

Reports The Guardian website: "Two of the most internationally respected members of Hamid Karzai's government resigned today over security breaches at last week's "peace jirga" that allowed the gathering of 1,600 national leaders to come under Taliban rocket attack.

"The resignation of Hanif Atmar, the British university educated interior minister, and spy chief Amrullah Saleh will be regarded as a huge setback for foreign-backed efforts to improve security and to reform the corrupt, barely literate and largely untrained police force.

"A western security expert who has worked closely with both men said the double resignation was a 'disaster' and ensured that the international mission in Afghanistan 'was now doomed further'.

"He said: 'These are two of the most important people in the security sector who were finally getting a better reputation for their organs and clearing up corruption within them. If they are replaced by corrupt cronies then we might as well all pack up and go home now'."