A suicide bombing attack, via rickshaw, happened at a checkpoint to a market in norther Afghanistan Tuesday. According to officials, 13 civilians were killed as the country gets closer to presidential elections.
While the suicide rickshaw bombing happened in an area where the Taliban is active, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The group has promised a campaign of terror and violence in an effort to disrupt the April 5 vote.
The attacker was at an entrance to the market in Maymana in the capital of Faryab province when the explosives were detonated. The provincial governor, Mohammadullah Patash, which listed the death toll, also said that 23 people were wounded in the explosion. Numerous attacks have occurred in the province. Normally in the southern and eastern parts of the country, this latest attack is far from the Taliban strongholds. In October 2012, a suicide bomber killed 41 people when he struck at a mosque which was filled with senior officials in Maymana.
Afghanis are often caught in the violence as terrorists and insurgents fight Afghan and international troops in an effort to destabilize and undermine the government. The United Nations lists 2958 civilians killed and over 5,500 wounded in 2013. The latest figures available show a 14 percent increase over 2012.
As strange as it sounds, a suicide rickshaw bomber isn’t the only weird thing that has happened with the Taliban.
In February, an instructor for a graduate class in suicide bombing at a boot camp for future terrorists blew up himself, and his students, when he accidentally used live devices during a class lecture. The instructor, a radical Islam commander, died along with 23 other members in the early morning blast.
When the premature detonation happened, a propaganda film of a wanna-be suicide bomber was being made. A glitch triggered the bomb according to sources. One shop keeper found the accidental death of the suicide bomber and his class ironic, saying it shows how “stupid they are.”
Women Suicide Bombers
Salima became widely known in February when international security forces were alerted to her possible presence in Sochi for the Winter Olympics. Salima, whose husband was killed by Russian security forces in 2013, is part of a trend among Islamic militants — female suicide bombers.
Called “Black Widows,” women have been recruited by Islamic separatists throughout Chechnya and Dagestan since 2000. When asked about groups using women as suicide bombers, terrorist experts claim that women have a large advantage over men when it comes to getting past security checkpoints. While most male checkpoint guards are aggressive in searching men, the same guards are not as comfortable putting their hands on a woman.
Experts have also noted that female suicide bombers have bribed their way through security checkpoints in the past. Since the Chechnya movement began using suicide bombers in the early 2000s, over 50 percent of them have been women. Women were also involved in the attack at a Moscow theater in 2012 as well as two separate attacks in Volgograd in December, killing 34 people.
By Jerry Nelson