Farah court attack one of deadliest in Afghan war

New Post: Ryan Evans, "The war before the war: Soviet precedent in Afghanistan" (AfPak). Deadliest attack The death toll from Wednesday’s Taliban attack on a court complex in the western province of Farah rose to at least 53 by the end of a fierce gunbattle between security forces and militants holding hostages, making it the ...

STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images
STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images
STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

New Post: Ryan Evans, "The war before the war: Soviet precedent in Afghanistan" (AfPak).

Deadliest attack

The death toll from Wednesday's Taliban attack on a court complex in the western province of Farah rose to at least 53 by the end of a fierce gunbattle between security forces and militants holding hostages, making it the deadliest attack in Afghanistan since a December 2011 suicide bombing at a Shi'a shrine in Kabul that killed some 70 people (BBC, NYT, AFP, RFERL, McClatchy, LAT). The attack began at 8:45 AM when two suicide bombers detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gates of the complex, and then took control of the second floor of the courthouse building inside, where they went on a room-to-room killing spree, shooting everyone they found.

New Post: Ryan Evans, "The war before the war: Soviet precedent in Afghanistan" (AfPak).

Deadliest attack

The death toll from Wednesday’s Taliban attack on a court complex in the western province of Farah rose to at least 53 by the end of a fierce gunbattle between security forces and militants holding hostages, making it the deadliest attack in Afghanistan since a December 2011 suicide bombing at a Shi’a shrine in Kabul that killed some 70 people (BBC, NYT, AFP, RFERL, McClatchy, LAT). The attack began at 8:45 AM when two suicide bombers detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gates of the complex, and then took control of the second floor of the courthouse building inside, where they went on a room-to-room killing spree, shooting everyone they found.

A NATO airstrike that was called in on Thursday to help Afghan Local Police in Ghazni Province after Taliban militants attacked one of their checkpoints accidentally killed four policemen and two civilians (BBC, AP). A spokesman for Ghazni’s governor said the police were in civilian clothes and may have been mistaken for Taliban.

Urban Taliban

Four members of Pakistan’s paramilitary Rangers forces were killed and seven were wounded late Wednesday night when an attacker threw a grenade at their vehicle in Karachi (AJE, ET, DT). A prominent lawyer and former advocate general of Balochistan was kidnapped on Wednesday by unidentified armed men who attacked his vehicle as he drove home from the Balochistan High Court (Dawn, ET).

Meanwhile, four Afghan Taliban were killed Thursday morning when they crossed the border into Pakistan and tried to attack a security checkpost in northwestern Kurram Agency (The News, Dawn).

None of the above

It’s well known that Pakistanis have little faith in their government, and a recent British Council survey found that young adults in Pakistan have little faith in the very system of democracy. Well, for the first time, the Election Commission of Pakistan is considering giving Pakistanis the option to chose "none of the above" on their ballots this May, though one wonders what the Election Commission of Pakistan will do if "none of the above" wins the election (NDTV).

— Jennifer Rowland

Jennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.

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