Taliban launches bird bomb attack

Kabul:From using humans for fedayeen attacks, the Taliban appears to have gone a few steps further, to using birds as suicide bombers on targeted missions. In the latest such attempt to be foiled, alert Afghan police shot down a suspicious looking large bird in the Faryab province in Northern Afghanistan, after noticing several wires protruding from its feathers. The bird which was not native to the area exploded when it was shot and 'suspicious metal stuff' was scattered around, according to the Daily Mail.   

The Taliban appears to be using birds in their new strategy as ‘suicide bombers’ as the one shot at by Afghan police had been equipped by the terrorists with an explosive pouch, a GPS tracker and a detonator. Apart from having protruding wires, the bird carried a mobile phone detonator and a specially designed ‘suicide vest’, the Daily Mail reported Monday, 1 December.

The bird was spotted in the Faryab province near Afghanistan’s border with Turkmenistan. Abdul Nabi Ilham of the Afghan police told NBC News in an interview, that “We are gathering all the stuff, but (we have) found parts of what looks to be GPS and a small camera.” The success in Faryab province comes as the Afghan district police chief in Helmand province, Ahmadullah Anwari, complained that his officers were suffering from major weapon and equipment shortages.

As most foreign combat troops prepare to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, after 13 years of war, the experiences of Anwari and other police chiefs, and army commanders across the country are NATO’s biggest worry.

The US, which provides the bulk of NATO troops in Afghanistan, has poured some $61 billion into training a 350,000-strong security force. Taliban fighters had recently entered Camp Bastion, a large base in the southern Helmand province handed over to Afghan troops a month ago by the withdrawing US and British forces.

It took Afghan soldiers three days to drive the insurgents out. The Taliban also targeted a foreign guesthouse in western Kabul last Saturday, because they believed it to be a Christian centre. This was the second time this year the Taliban targeted a group that it said had links to Christianity. 

Violence across Afghanistan has surged this year as the Taliban and their allies have stepped up their activities ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of most international troops by the end of next month.

Over the past 10 days, three compounds used by foreign organisations have been hit by armed attackers. In separate attacks in Kabul, two American soldiers, two British embassy workers and dozens of Afghan civilians have died. 

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