Suicide bombings struck the western Afghan province of Herat and the southern province of Helmand today, targeting government officials and police and killing at least 19 people.
The bombings in Helmand targeted a police compound and a bazaar in Musa Qaia, killing seven people in total and wounding several others. The attack on the bazaar also targeted policemen primarily, though two civilians were wounded.
A larger attack in Helmand Province targeted the district governor’s compound, and the attackers detonated their explosives outside after being accosted by guards. Twelve people were killed and 29 wounded. A large number of police were again among the casualties.
The Taliban took credit for the attacks in a telephone message. The Afghan Defense Ministry predicts a considerable escalation in such attacks this spring. Gen. Azimi says that “as the season changes, we will have more fighting than in winter.” This has been par for the course throughout the NATO occupation, as a lack of infrastructure forces many factions to winter over on hilltops until the spring thaw.