At least six people were killed after a suicide bomber attacked a protest site in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, according to a November 2018 report by Al Jazeera. Twenty more were wounded in the blast that happened in downtown Kabul in front of a high school. Attempting to reach the protestors on foot, the suicide attacker was stopped at a checkpoint about 200 meters from the site. This particular explosion came as additional security had been called out across Kabul for the protests. The blast took place close to the city’s Pashtunistan Square, where hundreds of people had been protesting over ongoing and mounting insecurity in the country, especially since the US invasion of 2001.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) claimed responsibility, as they have for many of the suicide attacks in Kabul during the past year. Many of the casualties have been security forces. Hundreds of community members gathered to demand action against the ongoing Taliban assaults in three districts of central Afghanistan. It is said that the rally had ended before the explosion. Many believe the Afghani government has been failing to deliver on its promises of safety for its people. The Afghani government has been struggling to regain control of districts lost to the Taliban while casualties among security forces reached record levels. The government has influence over 65 percent of the population, but only 55 percent of Afghanistan’s 407 districts. They are greatly falling behind in their long struggle against attacks.
This incident did not garner much major or corporate media coverage, apart from the Associated Press (AP), and briefly in a San Francisco Chronicle article, “News of the Day from Around the World.” There are many articles by various news organizations regarding previous suicide attacks in and around Kabul, but it has become so common that these tragic events are normalized and not covered as news, but accepted as part of US occupied life in the country. It is interesting to note that this eruption of violence coincided with the return of the US envoy who was trying to broker an end to the conflict, while at the same time Russia held a conference seeking peace through talks with the Taliban. Many people still don’t know how the Afghan people continue to suffer, and the fight their government is struggling to win against the such forces.
Source: “Kabul: Suicide Bomber Targets Protesters Demanding Security,” Al Jazeera, November 12, 2018, www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/afghanistan-suicide-bomber-targets-protesters-kabul-181112094659291.html.
Student Researchers: Henna Maiwand and Sierra Kaul (Diablo Valley College)
Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)