Saturday, May 24, 2014

Herat


The long war continues with proxies in the lead. There were bombings yesterday in Xinjiang as well. The islamists are ambitious but they may be making a big mistake in provoking China. However Chinese Kashmir is much more vulnerable to civilian attacks due to the Chicom policy of settling Hans in Xinjiang (to the point where Muslims have become a minority).
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I’m a bit surprised that the explosion that killed dozens of people at an open-air market in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang province yesterday hasn’t gotten more international notice.....But I suspect it's also because these incidents are becoming depressingly commonplace. Today’s explosion follows recent deadly attacks on train stations in Guangzhou, Urumqi, and Kunming, all of them blamed on Uighur extremists from Xinjiang.  

Today’s attack, however, is of another order of magnitude more serious. With at least 30 dead, it may be China’s most serious terrorist attack in years, and the use of explosives indicates an escalation in tactics over the other recent attacks, most of which were mass stabbings. The mysterious car attack on Tiananmen Square, which took place while I was in Beijing last October, would have been a substantially more serious event if the perpetrators had used the tactics seen today. 

A Xinhua article this month also highlighted the fact that "Separatists appear to be shifting their focus from symbols of the government – such as public security stations and police vehicles – to random, ordinary civilians, and operating in areas outside Xinjiang."


After the last attack in Urumqi, President Xi Jinping promised a “strike first” strategy against separatists in Xinjiang, where Uighur Muslims have longed agitated for independence and claimed discrimination by the authorities.


But with attacks expanding in both geographical scope and severity, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Beijing’s default strategy of cracking down hard on Xinjiang isn’t working.

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The Indian Consulate in Afghanistan's Herat province was today attacked by heavily armed gunmen, who were also carrying rocket-propelled grenades, top Indian officials said, adding that everyone was safe.
"India's Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan attacked. Brave ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) personnel and Afghan soldiers rebut attackers. All are safe," said a spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.


Three gunmen were killed, one by the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) and two by the Afghan Police, out of four attackers who struck the Consulate which houses two buildings, Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Amar Sinha said.
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In a pre-dawn assault, the gunmen attacked the building which houses the residence of the Consulate General, Sinha said, adding that there were nine Indians in the mission apart from local Afghans.
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One attacker was killed while climbing the wall to enter the premises of the consulate, Sinha said.
"India-Afghanistan officials (were) in touch on attack on India's Consulate in Herat. Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh (was) monitoring (the) situation," the official said.
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Afghan police officials said that three gunmen armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the consulate early this morning from a nearby home. The police killed two of them, though one continued to fire on security forces.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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India has invested in some major infrastructure projects in Afghanistan like Salma Hydroelectric Dam in Herat province and the Afghan Parliament building in Kabul. India's development assistance programme for Afghanistan currently stands at USD 2 billion, making it the leading donor nation among all regional countries.
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Afghanistan has experienced a rise in Taliban attacks as foreign troops plan to withdraw from the war-torn country by the end of the year.
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In August last year, a failed bombing on the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad city near the border with Pakistan killed nine people, including six children. No Indian officials were hurt.
The Indian Embassy in Kabul was attacked twice in 2008 and 2009 that left 75 people dead.
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Link (1): http://news.outlookindia.com/printitem.aspx?841659

Link (2): http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2014/05/22/urumqi_explosions_china_has_a_real_terrorism_problem_now.html
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regards