Daily brief: Roadside bomb strikes Afghan civilians

Deadly blast A roadside bomb in the northwest Afghan province of Badghis struck a police truck transporting officers and their families Monday, killing 11 (NYT, AP, Reuters, Tel, CNN, AFP, BBC). The dead, most of whom were from the same family, included two police officers, six children, and two women; the attack marked the second ...

BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images

Deadly blast

A roadside bomb in the northwest Afghan province of Badghis struck a police truck transporting officers and their families Monday, killing 11 (NYT, AP, Reuters, Tel, CNN, AFP, BBC). The dead, most of whom were from the same family, included two police officers, six children, and two women; the attack marked the second strike targeting civilians over the Eid al-Adha holiday, and the second since Taliban leader Mullah Omar issued a new prohibition against killing civilians.

The Journal Tuesday has a must-read about the Nangalam base in eastern Afghanistan's isolated Pech Valley, where American troops pulled out this year only to return four months later to fix a rapidly deteriorating security situation on the base and in the area (WSJ). And the Times of London reports on the major drop in prices among "poppy palaces" -- fantastical mansions often built with drug or corruption money -- in Kabul's Sherpur neighborhood (Times). 

Deadly blast

A roadside bomb in the northwest Afghan province of Badghis struck a police truck transporting officers and their families Monday, killing 11 (NYT, AP, Reuters, Tel, CNN, AFP, BBC). The dead, most of whom were from the same family, included two police officers, six children, and two women; the attack marked the second strike targeting civilians over the Eid al-Adha holiday, and the second since Taliban leader Mullah Omar issued a new prohibition against killing civilians.

The Journal Tuesday has a must-read about the Nangalam base in eastern Afghanistan’s isolated Pech Valley, where American troops pulled out this year only to return four months later to fix a rapidly deteriorating security situation on the base and in the area (WSJ). And the Times of London reports on the major drop in prices among "poppy palaces" — fantastical mansions often built with drug or corruption money — in Kabul’s Sherpur neighborhood (Times). 

Finally, Afghanistan and Pakistan Monday experienced a 5.5-magnitude earthquake centered on the Afghan province of Badakhshan, though there were no reports of damages or injuries (Dawn, ET).

Under control

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced Tuesday the arrest and confessions of 100 "target killers" in Karachi, and said that order had been restored to the city (Dawn). He also told the assembled media that "unrest" was being planned within prisons in Balochistan, where he said prisoners have Internet and telephone access (ET). Meanwhile, militants destroyed a girls’ school in northwest Pakistan’s Mardan district Monday (ET, Dawn). And three Hindu doctors were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Sindh province north of Karachi after local Hindu men allegedly brought a Muslim "dancing girl" to the town of Shikarpur (ET, Dawn).

Two stories round out the news: Russia on Monday endorsed for the first time Pakistan’s bid to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) (Dawn). And the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) expressed frustration Monday that its charitable wing, the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF), had been banned from collecting animal hides in Punjab province during Eid al-Adha, a major source of revenue (ET). 

Train in vain

Pakistan Railways saw dismal ticket sales for special train schedules operating during the Eid holiday, as the poor condition of the railways drove many to take public transportation instead (Dawn). Meanwhile, a shortage of available buses going to Karachi, Multan, Lahore, Sargodha, Peshawar, and elsewhere drove prices to twice their normal value in some places.

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