Daily brief: Taliban attack rocks Kabul

Just released: A database of right- and left-wing terrorism cases in the United States since 9/11 (CNN). Under siege Taliban fighters continue to attack Kabul today, after a series of explosions took place near the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters, and militants stormed a half-finished high rise building and began firing guns and rockets at ...

MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images

Just released: A database of right- and left-wing terrorism cases in the United States since 9/11 (CNN).

Under siege

Taliban fighters continue to attack Kabul today, after a series of explosions took place near the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters, and militants stormed a half-finished high rise building and began firing guns and rockets at the embassy and other targets nearby (NYT, Post, AP, WSJ, Pajhwok, BBC, Bloomberg, Guardian, Reuters, CNN, Tel). Several suicide bombers have reportedly been involved in the coordinated attacks in the upscale Wazir Akbar Khan area of Kabul, and attack helicopters have been deployed over the city (Guardian, Reuters, WSJ). At least one Afghan policeman and two insurgents have been killed in the fighting so far (AP).

Just released: A database of right- and left-wing terrorism cases in the United States since 9/11 (CNN).

Under siege

Taliban fighters continue to attack Kabul today, after a series of explosions took place near the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters, and militants stormed a half-finished high rise building and began firing guns and rockets at the embassy and other targets nearby (NYT, Post, AP, WSJ, Pajhwok, BBC, Bloomberg, Guardian, Reuters, CNN, Tel). Several suicide bombers have reportedly been involved in the coordinated attacks in the upscale Wazir Akbar Khan area of Kabul, and attack helicopters have been deployed over the city (Guardian, Reuters, WSJ). At least one Afghan policeman and two insurgents have been killed in the fighting so far (AP).

A U.S. Defense Department official said Monday that the Haqqani Network was responsible for a massive truck bombing that struck a U.S. military outpost in Wardak province this weekend (Reuters, AP, Dawn, Bloomberg). And Jerome Starkey reports that the group Hezb-i-Islami, headed by longtime insurgent commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, has sent delegates to Kabul twice to negotiate with the Afghan government, and wants to send representatives to the Bonn conference on Afghanistan in December (Times).

Three stories round out the morning: The Pentagon will reportedly cut spending on Afghan security forces in half over the next three years, dropping annual expenditures from $13 billion to $6 billion by 2014 (LAT). Top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen is said to have informed his Pakistani counterparts that NATO forces have begun aerial surveillance of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) sanctuaries in Afghanistan, in order to track down nearly 30 Pakistani boys kidnapped by the group (ET). And Dawn looks at the challenges of providing education in Afghanistan (Dawn).

Innocent victims

Unidentified gunmen ambushed a school bus near the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar Monday, killing at least five children between the ages of nine and 14, as well as their driver (AFP, AP, Reuters, BBC, Reuters). While the motive for the attack remains unknown, the bus reportedly belonged to a private English-language school. And in Lower Dir a remote-detonated bomb has killed an official of the Pashtun-nationalist Awami National Party (ANP), while Pakistani troops have moved into Dir and nearby Chitral in order to check militant infiltration from Afghanistan (Dawn, ET, Dawn).

Hearings into the violence in Karachi continued Tuesday, as Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry again criticized the government’s handling of the ongoing unrest, a day after interior minister Rehman Malik said he would present a list of those involved in targeted killings before the country’s National Assembly (ET, Dawn). Five witnesses on Monday identified in court two suspects in the shooting of a bus in Karachi that killed three police officers (ET, Dawn).

Flooding continues to ravage Sindh, forcing schools, businesses, and even the stock market in Karachi to close early Tuesday (Reuters, Reuters, BBC, ET, BBC, AJE, Guardian). And the floods prompted Pakistan’s National Assembly on Monday to adjourn after one day, when it was scheduled to be in session until September 30 (Dawn).

Pakistan and Iran have agreed to expedite gas pipeline construction to alleviate severe energy shortages in Pakistan, as the two countries also agreed to increase trade Monday (Dawn, DT). Pakistani and American officials remain concerned about the fate of kidnapped aid expert Warren Weinstein, whose captors have reportedly not made contact or established demands for his release (AFP). Strikes in protest of killings and disappearances in Baluchistan have shut down much of the province (DT). And the outbreak of dengue fever in Punjab has forced the city of Lahore to close schools for 10 days (ET, Dawn).

Extreme makeover?

Former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf, currently in exile, has been informed by Islamabad’s development authority that part of a farmhouse he owns in a suburb of the city must be demolished (Dawn). The structure is 764 sq. ft. larger than allowed by zoning regulations for the area.

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