Long Courted as Peace Partner, Hezb-e Islami Takes Credit for Kabul Bombing

Says Attack on Foreign Workers Revenge for YouTube Video

While talking of making deals with the Taliban hasn’t led to much progress, one of the other major insurgencies in Afghanistan, the powerful Hezb-e Islami, has been courted for almost five years now, convincing the group to even run candidates in the 2010 election, securing cabinet ministers and a number of MPs.

Though that was thought to be making continued progress, Hezb-e Islami today took credit for a suicide bombing attack against foreign workers in Kabul, a strike which killed 12 people, including eight South Africans.

The group has rarely carried out suicide attacks in the past, and spokesman Zubair Sediqqi said today’s attack was unusual in that regard because of anger about the YouTube trailer for an anti-Muslim movie, which he said the attack was retaliation for.

Hezb-e Islami MPs are expressing “shock” at the attack and trying to distance themselves from the still active insurgent wing of their movement, saying it was likely to harm further negotiations with the faction.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.