An Afghan policeman watches as firefighters work at the site after a car bomb explosion in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province, July 31, 2011. (Photo credit: Abdul Malik Watanyar / Reuters)
By Abdul Malik
Updated July 31, 2011
LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan — A suicide attacker killed 12 Afghan policemen and a child in the southern city of Lashkar Gah Sunday when he detonated a car bomb, the country’s Ministry of Interior said.
The attack in the heart of a city which was recently handed over to Afghan security forces was a reminder of the Taliban’s reach, even at a time of stepped-up pressure from U.S. and Afghan troops.
The explosion happened near the police chief’s compound in the provincial capital and appeared to target a joint Afghan police and army patrol. …
It comes after a string of destabilizing assassinations of high-profile southern leaders, including President Hamid Karzai’s younger brother, and just days after suicide attackers with guns killed 19 people, most of them children.
Afghan forces took over security responsibilities in Lashkar Gah this month, the most contentious of the first seven areas for which foreign troops handed over duties.
The gradual transition of security control to Afghan forces is due to be completed by the end of 2014. …
Violence in Afghanistan is at its worst since U.S.-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban government in late 2001, with high foreign troop deaths and record civilian casualties.
Related reports on this site
Afghan security force members stand outside a USAID compound in Kunduz, Afghanistan, after it was attacked by militants on Friday, July 2, 2010. (Photo credit: The Associated Press)
Afghan Civilians Casualties At Record High (July 17, 2011)
Record Afghan War Dead (Sept. 6, 2010)
Afghan War Deadlier Than Ever (July 31, 2010)
FROM THE ARCHIVES
One Year Ago — July 30, 2010
One year ago today, I reported that the results of a July 2010 KSTP/SurveyUSA poll showed Republican Michele Bachmann with a significant lead of 9 points over Democrat Tarryl Clark, with 8 points combined for Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson and unaffiliated independent Aubrey Immelman, and 5 percent undecided.
Two Years Ago — July 30, 2009
Two years ago today, on July 30, 2009, I featured a New York Times report that Col. Timothy R. Reese, a senior American military adviser in Baghdad, had concluded in an unusually blunt memo that Iraqi forces suffered from entrenched deficiencies but were able to protect the Iraqi government, and that it was therefore time “for the U.S. to declare victory and go home.” In his report, Col. Reese detailed Iraqi military weaknesses in scathing language, including corruption, poor management, and the inability to resist Shiite political pressure.
Three Years Ago — July 30 2008
Three years ago today, on July 30, 2008 — the 16th day of my 2008 campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for the Republican nomination in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District — I attended the St. Cloud area joint town hall meeting with the mayors of St. Cloud, St. Augusta, St. Joseph, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, and Waite Park to learn about the concerns of area civic leaders; and attended the Little Rock Lake TMDL Public Meeting to learn about water quality issues on Little Rock Lake and efforts to mitigate phosphorus, the water quality limiting nutrient responsible for the toxic blue-green algae blooms in the lake.
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