Taliban Coordinates Attacks in India, Afghanistan

Night Watch
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Posted: Nov 30, 2014 2:53 PM

India-Kashmir: On Wednesday night, a group of four attackers wearing Indian Army uniforms infiltrated from Pakistani Kashmir into Indian Kashmir with the assistance of the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers. The Rangers provided covering fire for the infiltration by the attack group.

On Thursday the infiltrators attacked an Indian military base in the Arnia sector, just north of Jammu, firing indiscriminately at soldiers and civilians. Indian security personnel killed all four attackers. The attackers killed 12 people, including five civilians.

Comment: Indian analysts judged the attack was timed to try to embarrass Prime Minister Modi who visited the region on Thursday. Prime Minister Modi hoped that relations with Pakistan might take a different path, away from confrontation. The attack occurred in an area that is not in dispute between the two countries.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is so weak and his political position so precarious that he does not dare to attempt to make peace with India on Kashmir. If he does try, the Pakistan Army would oust him a second time. Thus, the senseless attacks continue.

Afghanistan: Numerous Taliban attacks occurred in the past two days. Multiple attacks occurred in Kabul, including in the upscale embassy district.

A suicide bomber caused the most damaging attack when he detonated near a British Embassy car, killing five people, including a British security guard and four Afghans. At least 33 civilians were also wounded in the attack.

Another attack targeted a compound run by a US contractor in the diplomatic quarter, and sparked an hour-long gun fight.

Several other minor incidents were reported, including an attack on a guesthouse which left three attackers dead and one of the guards at the site wounded.

The Taliban issued a brief statement confirming their responsibility for the assorted attacks.

Helmand. An intense firefight between Afghan security forces and militants took place in southern Helmand province on Thursday and Friday, leaving six Afghan National Army soldiers and 6 Taliban dead. A Taliban attack on Camp Bastion, formerly a British military base, started the firefight.

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Nangarhar --Khogyani mosque.

On 28 November, a mine planted under the platform of the main mosque in Khogyani District of Nangarhar Province detonated and injured 34 civilian people including the mullah and imam, Mawlawi Nurollah.

A Taliban spokesman said, "We condemn the incident in strong terms. The coward enemy wants to create a distance between the mujahidin and the nation and to change the people's opinion about the recent enemy-oppressing operations by the mujahedin by creating such incidents." He blamed the explosion on the government's intelligence service.

Comment: Taliban attacks seem to have increased after the US announced that US forces would resume combat operations, thereby frustrating the Taliban strategy of waiting for the invaders to depart. Thus the latest attacks appear aimed at improving local tactical positions.

The attacks also seem intended to show just how uncomfortable the Taliban can make living conditions, despite the presence of foreign combat forces. The Taliban seem to be doing as much as they can to try to discourage the US from extending its stay. In fact, the best tactic has always been to produce a lull that would make a combat force idle and irrelevant, but the Islamists and the tribal fighters never get it.

Nigeria: At least 200 people died Friday when gunmen opened fire and exploded bombs in the grand mosque in Kano, in northern Nigeria. The mosque is adjacent to the palace of the Emir of Kano, the local Muslim leader, and is the seat of local Muslim authority. The Emir, Muhammad Sanusi, was not present when the incident occurred.

The attack is presumed to be the work of Boko Haram.

Comment: The Emir of Kano is a well-educated, somewhat westernized man, in addition to being the religious guide for much of northern Nigeria. He has called on Muslims to arm themselves against Boko Haram. This is the second attempt to assassinate or embarrass him, but the Emir is a tough guy who will fight the takfiris of Boko Haram. The bombings are an attack on the religious establishment and are likely to backfire against Boko Haram.

End of NightWatch for 28 November.

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