Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Taliban Murder and Injure Dozens in Laghman

This morning in Mehtar Lam, the Capitol of Laghman Province, a suicide bomber detonated himself and killed 23 people, and injured more than 50 others while many of them were participating in a Mecca pilgrimage ceremony at the opening of a new local mosque. The incident occured about a mile from FOB Mehtar Lam, where the blast could be heard, and within a few hundred meters of some of our soldiers, who just happened to be at an unrelated meeting with Laghman agricultural officials down the street. Fortunately, no Wildhorse soldiers were injured. The attack was a calculated attempt to assassinate government officials, the highest ranking killed being Dr. Abdullah Laghmani, who is the National Directorate of Security Deputy Director for Afghanistan. At least three other officials or former government officials were also killed, including the Governor's Executive Officer. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack very quickly through Pushtu media in Pashawar. LTC Cunningham, TF Wildhorse Commander, said of the attack: “This attack was outside of a mosque, in a crowded market area, during Ramadan. The Taliban have once again demonstrated that they have absolutely no regard for Islam, their fellow Muslims, or causing massive civilian casualties. This attack clearly reinforces the role of the US and Coalition Forces here, as we help the Afghan Security forces and Afghan Government in their struggle against these ruthless and savage criminals”. Right now we are doing our very best to help the victims and the community recover from this tragic incident and will be following up with them throughout the next few days and weeks. Go to to view a story on the event by the LVRJ. Updated link: and (Photos by SPC John Gragg, TF Wildhorse, U.S. Army)