Tuesday marked the most violent day in Afghanistan this year, while Afghans are starting to show that they're tired of violence and fed up with the Taliban.
By Tom A. Peter, Staff writer / August 15, 2012
Afghan Police officers inspect the scene after a bomb explosion in the city of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 13. At least five civilians were injured as a bomb targeting a government employees' bus went off Monday morning, a police source said.
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Kandahar and Ghazni, Afghanistan
After US Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly walked off a US base in Kandahar last March and went house to house, killing a total of 17 Afghan civilians, many worried that the Taliban would capitalize on the incident and the long restive province would revert to violence.
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In Pictures: Inside Afghanistan: Remnants of America's longest war
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Locals turn against Taliban in eastern Afghanistan [/*][/list]
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Panjwayi, where the Bales incident occurred.
RELATED – Are you smarter than an editor? How well do you know Afghanistan?
Throughout Afghanistan, many locals are losing whatever sympathy they may have once had for the Taliban. In Ghazni Province in eastern Afghanistan, a group of locals in Andar district rose up against the extremist group after it shut down a majority of schools in the area.
The uprising, which began in May, failed to spread beyond Andar and there are a number of indications that local politics and power struggles may have had just as much, if not more, to do with the uprising than frustration with the Taliban. Most evidence points to a conflict between Afghanistan’s Hezeb-e Islami, a more moderate Islamic group, and the Taliban that has reportedly been taking place in Wardak and Ghazni for some time now.
Still, as US and NATO forces work to hand over security responsibilities to their Afghan counterparts ahead of the 2014 deadline to end their combat operations, there is hope that evaporating support for the Taliban may lay the foundation for long-term stability in Afghanistan.
“Much like what happened in Iraq where there was a turning point after Al Qaeda in Iraq had killed so many of the people and done so many beheadings and intimidated so many, the people finally got tired of it and stood up and fought back. That was the turning point in Iraq. The same type of turning point can occur and will occur here,” says US Army Lt. Col. Praxitelis “Nick” Vamvakias, commander of the 2-504 Parachute Infantry Regiment in Ghazni Province.
Taliban have got the message
Unlike in Iraq, locals say the Taliban received the message after the uprising in Ghazni’s Andar district and backed off from some of its more aggressive behavior.
Tags: Afghanistan, US, NATO, Occupation, Taliban, Pakistan, terrorist, Punjabi, ISI, Al, Qaeda
Location: Afghanistan (load item map)
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