A spate of attacks in the Afghan capital rattles the government

Feb 01, 2018

An increasingly frequent sight

THREE murderous attacks in Kabul in little more than a week have thrust Afghanistan back into the headlines. They included the siege of a luxury hotel, a massive blast near a hospital caused by an explosive-laden vehicle painted to look like an ambulance and an assault on an army compound. More than 130 people have been killed and over 300 maimed. Equally horrifying was an attack in the city of Jalalabad on the offices of Save the Children, a British charity, in which six people died. The violence left Afghans wondering whether the Taliban and the local branch of Islamic State, which between them claimed responsibility for the attacks, are shifting their focus to urban terrorism—and why the security services seem so incapable of defending the country against it.

A comforting answer to the first question could be that the urban attacks reflect the increased pressure the Taliban have been under in rural areas since Donald Trump...

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