Violence in Afghanistan Surges; Taliban Commits Deadliest Attack Since 2001

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber who blew up a bus transporting police recruits in Afghanistan yesterday. The attack killed 35 people, the Los Angeles Times reports, making it the deadliest bombing since US-led forces overthrew the Taliban in December 2001. At least 35 other people were wounded in the attack.

Since Friday, at least 14 other people were killed in four other suicide bombing incidents. Mullah Dadullah, a top Taliban commander who was killed during a US military operation in May, had warned in March that there would be a surge in suicide bombings and attacks, mirroring al Qaeda’s methods in Iraq. “The suicide martyrs, those willing to blow themselves up, are countless,” Dadullah stated, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Amid the violence, Afghan women and girls are particularly targeted. In the past two weeks, two women reporters — one of whom was a headmaster at a girls’ school — were murdered. Last week, two gunmen opened fire outside a girls’ school, killing two girls and wounding six others.

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AP 6/18/07; LA Times 6/18/07; Reuters 6/17/07; New York Times 6/18/07

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