BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 15:32 GMT
Afghan bombing raises questions
By Pam O'Toole
BBC News

Car blast site in Kabul, 6 October 2007
Hundreds have been killed in bomb attacks this year

The suicide attack in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan was unusual in a number of ways.

These include the huge number of casualties and the fact that it took place in a province which has remained relatively peaceful over recent years.

Baghlan is far away from the Taleban's main area of operations in southern Afghanistan.

It has largely escaped the kind of attacks and suicide bombings being seen almost daily in the south and south-east.

Although there have been a number of assassination attempts against high-ranking provincial officials in Afghanistan, this appears to the worst attack to date against members of parliament.

Those killed are reported to include the spokesman of the main parliamentary opposition party.

Wave of attacks

The incident comes amid a background of rising violence in Afghanistan.


The United Nations said recently that the number of suicide attacks had risen sharply, with more than 120 by early September compared to just over 100 for the whole of last year.

Suicide attacks in the capital, Kabul, have increased dramatically over recent months.

Insurgent violence has also been on the rise in areas of central and even northern Afghanistan which were previously relatively peaceful.

So far no-one has claimed responsibility for this attack.

The Taleban have not traditionally been active in the province, although they are known to be broadening their attacks across the country.

Fighters loyal to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former mujahideen leader who is fighting the Kabul government independently from the Taleban, are known to be active there.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific