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Ray
27 Feb 07,, 19:36
Taleban attack during Cheney trip

At least nine people have died in a suicide bombing at the main US base in Afghanistan during US Vice-President Dick Cheney's stay, US officials say.

Mr Cheney, who was unharmed, was staying at the Bagram base near Kabul.


The US military said the bomber was also killed. Some reports say 14 people died - more than 20 others were hurt.

The Taleban said they carried out the attack and that the attacker was trying to get to Mr Cheney, who was on an unannounced visit to the region.

A US spokesman described it as a "direct attack" on the base, which was put on red alert for a while.

Mr Cheney was said to be safely inside the compound at the time. He described hearing a "loud boom" and told reporters he had been briefly moved to a bomb shelter.

One US and one South Korean soldier were among the dead as well as a US government contractor who was a US national.

The others killed were Afghan civilians, many of whose distraught relatives gathered later outside the base.

Base operations commander Lt Col James Bonner said the bomber could not have got inside the base, 60km (40 miles) from Kabul.

"Our security measures were in place and the killer never had access to the base," he said in a statement.

"When he realised he would not be able to get onto the base he attacked the local population."

Talks delayed

Mr Cheney had breakfast with troops at the base and left about 90 minutes after the blast.

He held talks with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on the deteriorating security situation before flying out of the country. It was "never an option" to scrap the talks, he said.

Shortly before the Bagram blast, there was another suicide bomb in the southern city of Kandahar, killing at least one person.

Elsewhere, Nato said it had killed three civilians in clashes in the south.

One person was shot dead by Nato troops in "self defence" near Kandahar on Tuesday, while two others had been hit by mortar fire in Helmand province a day earlier, a statement said.

The BBC's Charles Haviland in Kabul says Bagram is one of the most heavily guarded sites in Afghanistan and such incidents there are extremely rare.


The surrounding territory is heavily mined and people, including children, have frequently been injured by such devices.

Officials said the explosion occurred between the outside security gate and an inner gate guarded by US troops, some distance from living quarters at the base.

A trader in a market outside the base described the explosion as "huge", saying it shook market stalls.

Tough message

Mr Cheney's visit came amid increasing concern about insurgent activity in several areas of Afghanistan.

There are fears of a spring offensive by the Taleban and its allies as the snows clear.

There are 27,000 US troops in Afghanistan, the highest number since the invasion of 2001, to combat any offensive.

Mr Cheney arrived in Afghanistan on Monday after holding talks with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf during a brief stop in Islamabad.


He urged Pakistan to do more to combat the Taleban near the Afghan border, but also praised its role in the "war on terror".

His visit comes as the US seeks to send a tough message to Pakistan that aid to the country could be cut unless efforts to catch militants are stepped up.

Afghanistan and Pakistan share a 1,400-mile (2,250km) border, and many Taleban fighters operate from bases on the Pakistani side.
BBC NEWS | South Asia | Taleban attack during Cheney trip (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6399527.stm)

Most audacious!

It appears no amount of palavers with Musharaff can contain the Terrorists since another report states that the Islamists have a sizable number of supporters within the Army as also in the ISI.

Karzai, too, apparently, has no control of the country since apart from the military actions, the other aspects that are being addressed like the economy as also civic action do not seem to be making headway. Importantly, the promised pledges are yet to be redeemed.

More than Bush, Cheney seems to be taken as the real power behind the throne and hence this attack was attempted. Nothing like this has ever happened when Bush came and the security for both is believed to be the same.

xerxes
27 Feb 07,, 19:52
Mr. Ray, with all due respect Karzai is the mayor of Kabul not a leader of nation.

jaguar
28 Feb 07,, 01:29
now we know why they were preparing for spring :tongue:

Ray
28 Feb 07,, 16:03
Opposition shows concern over Cheney’s surprise visit


* Demands parliamentary debate on govt’s foreign policy

By Zulfiqar Ghuman and Mohammad Imran

ISLAMABAD: Major opposition parties expressed concern on Tuesday over the surprise visit of US Vice President Dick Cheney to Pakistan and Afghanistan and the government’s reluctance to discuss the country’s foreign policy in parliament.

They strongly criticised the government for ignoring parliament over Pakistan’s foreign policy vis--vis US policies in reference in Afghanistan and Iran and their impact on Pakistan.

Cheney paid a surprise visit to Pakistan on Monday ahead of his visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday, during which he reportedly pressed the government to ‘do more’ to stop the Taliban resurgence in its tribal belt bordering Afghanistan or face a cut in military aid.

“It is a sorry state of affairs that different stories regarding Cheney’s visit are coming out through media and the people of Pakistan and its parliament are not being taken into confidence,” said Mian Raza Rabbani, leader of the opposition in the Senate and deputy secretary general of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

“Its (Cheney’s visit) a very sensitive issue and should not be taken in isolation. Rather it should be taken as a follow-up of Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi and US commanders’ visits viz-a-viz the regional situation with special focus on the situations in Aghanistan and Iran. It could have far reaching effects on the region in particular and the whole world in general,” Rabbani said.

He said that the US polices on Afghanistan and Iran would have a drastic impact on Pakistan and its people.


Ahsan Iqbal, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) information secretary, said that Cheney’s visit had yet again proved that non-democratic president could not see eye-to-eye with the sole superpower and “foreign policy works with dignity only under a democratic government.”

“General Musharraf’s regime has become a target of the US, India and Afghanistan, all accusing Pakistan of harbouring terrorists. Growing instability in the region demands that a representative government be installed through free and fair elections,” Iqbal added.

Liaquat Baloch, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) deputy parliamentary secretary, said that Pakistan had come under increased pressure from the US after Cheney’s surprise visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan and the blast at Bagram Airbase on Tuesday.

He urged opposition parties to requisition sessions of the National Assembly and Senate to discuss the “complex situation” with special focus on reported preparations by the US to attack Iran.

In a letter addressed to leaders of opposition parties, Baloch said that the requisitioned sessions should also discuss law and order in the country, and suicide attacks, besides the foreign policy and the regional situation.
Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan (http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007\02\28\story_28-2-2007_pg7_16)

The Pakistani opposition is real scared of what magic Cheney may have played on Musharraf in the hope that he 'abandons' Pakistan!

zraver
01 Mar 07,, 00:22
This attack has caused me a bit of a moral dilemma. yes the Taliban are terrorists ans 23 innocent Afghans died, buet like a broken clock being right twice a day....

I am not advocating violence vs any member of the US Goverment,but Cheney creeps me out there is something just not right about the man.

Parihaka
01 Mar 07,, 01:18
I do wonder whether it was just coincidence or they actually knew Cheney was there?

texasjohn
01 Mar 07,, 02:31
OK! Here goes my gut feeling - of course, I have no proof of this.

I think it was a message from ISI and the Pakistan Army via Taliban to Cheney. The attack proved boldness more than being a danger to Cheney.

Cheney heard the loud boom and it simply a warning to him not to "tell us what to do or threaten us"

While we are busy in Iraq, we could loose Afghanistan - what 9/11 was all about.

xerxes
01 Mar 07,, 05:01
This attack has caused me a bit of a moral dilemma. yes the Taliban are terrorists ans 23 innocent Afghans died, buet like a broken clock being right twice a day....

I am not advocating violence vs any member of the US Goverment,but Cheney creeps me out there is something just not right about the man.

you mean him being the defacto President of the world's only superpower and a guy who keeps a very very very low profile ...

I find Cheney not creeping but extremely scaring .... I am more afraid of a silent type then the ones talk too much :eek:

hey maybe, ISI will pull on Cheney the samething they pulled on Ziad ...

Ex MIB
01 Mar 07,, 13:38
YouTube - Family guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gmoXlNdElM&mode=related&search=)

T_igger_cs_30
01 Mar 07,, 14:09
YouTube - Family guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gmoXlNdElM&mode=related&search=)

Hilarious John , loved the "note from his doctor " bit .....:biggrin:

Ray
01 Mar 07,, 16:22
In mosques across Pakistan, the call is going out for men to join a jihad against NATO forces in Afghanistan - where troops are expecting a spring offensive by the Taleban. The calls to jihad echo those made five years ago, when American forces invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Thousands of Pakistani volunteers, old and young, left for Afghanistan. Many never returned.

Sumaira Aslam of the BBC Urdu Service reports from on what may have happened to some of those men and boys - and finds out if their stories are having any impact on those thinking now of joining the jihad in Afghanistan.
BBC World Service | Assignment - Pakistan's jihadis (http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/assignment.shtml)

Audio

BBCWorldService.com Media Selector (http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/worldservice/meta/tx/assignment?nbram=1&nbwm=1&size=au&lang=en-ws&bgc=003399)

Listen to the audio.

Ray
01 Mar 07,, 16:29
Parihaka,

They knew all about it (Cheney's visit which was a secret) including the change of schedule!

Suicide Attack Aimed at Cheney: Not a Good Omen for Afghanistan - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News (http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,468963,00.html)

RustyBattleship
01 Mar 07,, 19:40
,but Cheney creeps me out there is something just not right about the man.

Ever since the 90's when he started closing military bases and shipyards, us DOD employees who had to retire early, transfer to another base or go on unemployment have always had the creeps about Cheney.

I was considering seriously not to vote for Bush with Cheney as his pick for VP. But the other contenders were worse.

Officer of Engineers
01 Mar 07,, 20:30
I was considering seriously not to vote for Bush with Cheney as his pick for VP. But the other contenders were worse.

Hah! He Fooled You!

RustyBattleship
01 Mar 07,, 21:07
Hah! He Fooled You!

You may have a point there :rolleyes:

texasjohn
01 Mar 07,, 22:58
Hah! He Fooled You!

He did me too in 2000. But the thought of "Gore the bore" as prez was too puky!:biggrin:

xerxes
01 Mar 07,, 23:28
I always had a problem with this Durand Line cutting through the Pushtan tribes ... the terms of the Durand Line actually expired a few years ago, I say abolish the damn line

Ray
02 Mar 07,, 16:59
The Chinese do not recognise the Durand Line.

Their ally Pakistan does!

If the Durand Line is not recognised, then there will be Pakhtoonistan!