The PJ Tatler

Scores Killed in Afghanistan as New Taliban Leader Takes Charge

Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour, the new Taliban leader, may be trying to prove something to those in the organization who don’t support him. Or, it could be one of the groups opposed to him who is responsible for the carnage in Afghanistan.

Either way, the results of these attacks that killed more than 70, do not bode well for the Afghan government who have been trying to negotiate a peace agreement with the Taliban.


The Taliban claimed responsibility Saturday for another deadly suicide car bombing in Afghanistan, a day after a series of terrorist blasts killed dozens in and near Kabul.

In a statement sent to VOA, the Taliban said it was behind the explosion in the Khanabad district of northern Kunduz province. Police said the blast killed at least 22 members of a pro-government militia.

Kabul was already on edge following one of its worst outbreaks of violence this year.

Insurgents carried out a series of suicide bombings in and around the Afghan capital Friday that killed more than 50 people, including nine people at a U.S. military base.

The civilian death toll was the highest the United Nations mission in the country had recorded for Kabul in a single day since 2009.

U.N. mission chief Nicholas Haysom bluntly blamed the attackers for civilian casualties.

“Those responsible for suicide and complex attacks in civilian-populated areas can no longer shrug off the disproportionate harm to the civilian population they cause,” Haysom said in a statement.

It was the first major wave of violence since the Taliban recently confirmed the death of its founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

The developments are calling into question the future of the insurgent group’s peace talks with the government.

What makes this very worrisome is that the Taliban may fight their internal battles by trying to outdo one another in civilian body counts. President Ghani himself is barely in control of his government, and a series of concerted attacks isn’t going to do anything to strengthen his position.

So far, Ghani has relied on American influence to maintain his position. But a few more days like today and the Afghan people will lose total confidence in his regime, making the Taliban’s job a lot easier.

No word from President Obama on these horrific attacks. He is on vacation at Martha’s Vineyard.