Thirty-five people were killed and 52 injured this morning in a devastating suicide bomb attack on a bus in Kabul.Three soldiers from the US-led coalition and an Afghan interpreter were also killed Sunday in a roadside bomb attack in the country's south. The three deaths bring to 84 the number of U.S. and NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year, including at least 40 Americans.
The attack bore immediate comparison to mass casualty suicide bombings in Iraq and appeared to mark a leap in the capability of the Taliban and its Al-Qaeda mentors in Afghanistan to mount such attacks.
The death toll is the largest in a single attack in the country since 2001.
In just the past few days, Taliban suicide bombers launched a wave of attacks that killed several people in the capital and a northern city, raising tensions in areas that had been considered relatively secure.
The Taliban and their al Qaeda allies have adopted the tactics of Iraq's insurgency over the past two years, using suicide bombings, mostly aimed at foreign troops, to try to dispel the notion that foreign and Afghan forces are in control.Amid the day's confusion and mayhem, a U.S. soldier accidentally shot and wounded two civilians near the scene of the Kabul blast, which probably didn't help after recent reports:
In Mazar-i-Sharif, seen as one of the most peaceful Afghan cities, the motorcycle bombers blew up as the convoy swept past on a stretch of road near a crowded vegetable market. It was the first suicide bombing in Mazar-i-Sharif in three years.
Suicide bombings and civilian casualties from both sides in the Afghan conflict are raising security and political tensions and threatening to erode local support for foreign troops.God, it's a mess. It's clear that NATO's 37,000 troops isn't enough. We should never have invaded Iraq and failed to finish the job in Afghanistan, and this is just one more argument why we should begin redeploying our troops.
NATO-led and U.S.-coalition forces have more than 50,000 troops in Afghanistan and are under growing pressure to curb civilian casualties after a series of recent killings brought into question their tactics, such as aerial bombardment.