Thursday, December 13, 2007
48 hours in this world
Reporting on the war on terror...well, there's been no let up in extremist terrorism all over the world these last couple of days.
*update* Algeria: Al-Qaeda in North Africa is claiming responsibility for two suicide truck bombings in the capital city of Algiers. One of the bombs targeted the UN headquarters, while the other exploded outside of a university and sheared through a bus carrying college students. The death toll is still unclear, but it appears to be 34, with a half dozen others still missing. At least 11 UN staffers are among the dead.
Iraq: Less than 24 hours after the Algiers attack, bomb-rigged cars in the southern Iraqi city of Amarah exploded within minutes of each other, killing 28 people and injuring scores more. While security has dramatically improved in Baghdad and Anbar province, analysts fear Al-Qaeda or Iranian-backed Shiite militias could try to carry out spectacular attacks in other less secure provinces.
Lebanon: A car bomb in the capital, Beirut, assassinated a Lebanese Army General and his driver. The General had overseen the bloody siege of a Palestinian refugee camp in the north, where Al-Qaeda allied militants battled the Lebanese Army for three months.
Israel: Palestinian militants fired off nearly two dozen rockets into southern Israel, some of which crashed into homes and wounded four Israelis. One woman was injured when a rocket hit a synagogue. This comes as Israeli forces continue to battle Islamic Jihad cells operating on the border.
Pakistan: Two suicide bombers attacked a security checkpoint in the SW city of Quetta. Five security officers were killed and 22 people were injured, including, civilians. The good news is that the Pakistani Army appears to have defeated radical Islamic fighters in the scenic Swatt Valley in the northwest and has taken control of the area.
Afghanistan: An IED blasted a civilian vehicle in the country's south, leaving six dead. This comes as British and Afghan forces routed the Taliban from the town of Musa Qala, where the terrorists had been in control for months.
India: A bomb planted on a rail line ripped through a train coach and killed five in the country's east. Numerous rebel groups as well as Islamic militants operate in the area, and its unclear who was responsible.
Somalia: Al-Qaeda linked Islamic militants shelled one of Mogadishu's biggest markets with mortars, leaving 12 dead and dozens injured. Separately, a gun battle between security forces and militants left five dead.
Conclusion: While our allies seem to have scored several victories recently, it looks like the terrorists are still active and are even going on the offensive in places like Somalia, including attacks on innocent civilians. Isolating Musharraf in Pakistan and angering the Israelis with this NIE report on Iran is definitely not helping. In addition, its pretty clear Al-Qaeda and other terrorists delight in the political deadlock here in the US between President Bush and the dem congress.