The Taliban claimed responsibility for a twin suicide bombing today in Kandahar that killed at least 22 people. Officials say controlling suicide attacks in Afghanistan is near impossible.
A motorcycle bomber detonated himself in an area where truckers gather several miles from the main international military base in the South. When people began responding to help the injured, another suicide bomber detonated himself causing more casualties. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which they described as aimed at a NATO convoy, and denied reports from Afghan police and government officials that only civilians were killed and wounded. The incident comes after the first part of this year saw lower levels of violence compared with the same period last year.
Even if security forces manage to keep violence trending downward, officials say that it is difficult to stop assassinations and suicide bombings like today’s as long as there are even a handful of motivated insurgents.
“Controlling the suicide attacks is really a hard job,” says Ahmad Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor’s office. “The only two options are, first, to have really strong intelligence, even try to infiltrate the Taliban to get information about suicide bombers. Second, to raise awareness among families and not let the enemies use their children.”
As the Afghan war enters year 11, efforts to end the fighting through a negotiated settlement that would dissolve the insurgency have yet to make any significant progress.