Wednesday, October 17, 2012


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Afpak Daily: A daily look inside the war for south Asia

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Special Project with the New America Foundation

45 Afghan soldiers injured in sophisticated attack on joint base

Complex attack

A suicide bomber slammed his vehicle packed with explosives into a joint U.S.-Afghan base in the eastern province of Paktia on Wednesday, and was followed by a group of armed insurgents wearing suicide vests who gained access to the base after the blast (Reuters, BBC, AFP, CNN, ). A NATO spokeswoman said there were no NATO casualties, and the deputy governor for Paktia Gul Rahman Mangal said 45 Afghan soldiers were wounded.

U.S. officials said Tuesday that a CIA officer was among six people killed in a suicide attack carried out this weekend by a member of the Afghan intelligence agency, while a NATO official said that the Americans did not appear to be the targets, but were simply "in the wrong place at the wrong time" (NYT, WSJ).

Jessice Donati of Reuters reported Tuesday on the increasing levels of violence in Bamiyan Province, which was long-considered one of the most peaceful regions in Afghanistan, but where locals now say insurgents have a stranglehold on power (Reuters).

Terror in class

Girls at the Swat school previously attended by Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head and neck last week by Taliban gunmen for advocating for girls' right to education, say they are afraid for their lives, requesting anonymity for fear of Taliban retribution (Post). But they reportedly only admitted their terror out of earshot of the Pakistan Army soldiers who allowed journalists into the school, and who have strived to portray the attack on Malala as an anomaly rather than a sign that the Taliban are gaining strength in the Swat Valley.

The Indian army said Tuesday that Pakistani troops had killed three civilians in cross-border shelling of Indian-held Kashmir, and Pakistani authorities responded later on Tuesday, saying that the shelling had been in response to an "unprovoked attack" on a Pakistan Army post (AP, AFP, AFP). And Pakistani security officials said Wednesday that three people had been injured in the tribal agency of North Waziristan by mortar shells fired from Afghanistan (Dawn).

And in a more encouraging sign of warming relations between Pakistan and India, Pakistan's petroleum minister Asim Hussain said Tuesday that Pakistan is interested in importing diesel and jet fuel from India "if the right prices are given" (ET, NDTV).

A Belgian-Tunisian al-Qaeda leader, Moez Garsalloui, who is believed to have mentored Mohamed Merah, the young man who killed six people in France earlier this year, was reported by the U.S. monitoring service SITE on Wednesday to have died in a recent raid in Pakistan (AFP). And unidentified gunmen killed a man working to vaccinate children against polio in Quetta, Balochistan on Tuesday (AFP, Dawn, BBC).

Got milk?

A camel milk competition was held in Bahawalpur, Punjab Province on Tuesday, with the Rana Abdul Qadeer's winning camel producing 17.1 liters of milk and earning her owner 150,000 rupees (ET). Of course, the competition was followed by camel dancing and horse dancing.

-- Jennifer Rowland

Aref Karimi/AFP/GettyImages

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