Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Kandahar

A bomb has exploded in Kandahar, a city called the "spiritual home" of the Taliban. Coalition troops have been trying to make Kandahar an example of the progress that can be made in Afghanistan.

At least ten people were killed and many others wounded today after a bomb exploded near a U.S. military base in the southern Afghanistan city of Kandahar.

Salim Khan, the deputy police chief in this former Taliban stronghold, told news services that most of the victims just happened to be walking along the street or riding their bikes at the time of the explosion.

There were conflicting reports about the nature of the bombing and the number of victims. One said the bomb was carried by a bicyclist. Another said it was on a truck.

Estimates of deaths ranged up to 12 with as many as 45 injured.

There was no immediate word of any injuries to Americans or American troops.

The blast followed approval of a new constitution for the country just two days ago, after weeks of debate in a constitutional assembly, or loya jirga. Elections are scheduled for the summer.

Kandahar is considered the spiritual home of the Taliban militia, the group that ruled the country until ousted by a U.S. led invasion in 2001.

American forces and Afgan allies have also tried to make Kandahar a demonstration project for progress. Just last month they opened a new highway running from the Afghan capital of Kabul to Kandahar.

If that is the best the deposed Taliban can do, I'd say our progress is obvious.


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