The Afghan government’s response: A media blackout on reports of attacks, continuing their none-too-stellar record where transparency is concerned. Among other things, the attacks are a reminder that the resurgence of the Taliban is partly of the Karzai government’s own making due to its refusal over the years to deal with the Taliban’s cash crop, opium. “Afghanistan: Taliban launch violent attack in Kabul,” from AdnKronos International, August 19:
Kabul, 19 August (AKI) – There was fresh violence in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Wednesday on the eve of the country’s presidential election. Armed gunmen took over in a bank building in the Afghan capital in what the Taliban said was an attack on a government target, but police said was a robbery gone wrong.
Explosions and gunfire were heard as soldiers fought insurgents who raided the bank a few hundred metres from the presidential compound, killing three people.
Afghan security forces were seen carrying what appeared to be two bodies from the scene.
A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for what it said was an attack by five of its fighters, wearing suicide vests.
On Tuesday, more than 20 people were killed in attacks across the country, including a suicide blast in Kabul.
Afghanistan has ordered Western and domestic media to impose a blackout on coverage of violence during Thursday’s polls, saying it did not want Afghans to be frightened away from the voting….