Sunday, February 13, 2011

More "progress" in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a district chief's office in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province Thursday, killing the official and two other people.

The bomber was able to enter the office of Chahar Dara district chief Abdul Wahid Omarkhail by pretending to be looking for work, said provincial government spokesman Mabobullah Sayedi. The blast killed the chief along with a bodyguard and a village elder who was visiting at the time.

Five others were wounded in the explosion, said Sayedi and the district chief of police, Gulam Mohyuddin.

Only last month, Omarkhail told The Associated Press he narrowly missed being hurt when a roadside bomb exploded near his car.

Although the focus of the U.S.-led war is in southern and eastern Afghanistan, insurgents have been working to expand their influence in the north.

Security has been deteriorating in Kunduz and other northern provinces, where there are known hide-outs for the Taliban, al-Qaida and fighters from other militant factions, including the Haqqani network, Hizb-i-Islami and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. NATO has sent more troops to the north and has been pushing harder into militant-held areas.

I guess it's time for a high level administration official or some random general to hold another press conference declaring that victory in Afghanistan is in sight.