Sunday, 15 August 2010

The new Taliban targets - women, children and foreigners

[...] There has always been cruelty during this long war, but there have also been limits.

You did not kill women. You did not kill doctors. And until this last phase of the conflict, you did not kill foreigners, especially those who were here to help, whether aid workers or journalists.

These are dark and disturbing times. The horrors of the war in the south of the country are spreading.

And the north feels dangerously on the edge. Ever more Afghan non-combatants, especially women and especially children are being killed by the insurgents.

At the margins and increasingly also at the centre, neither the internationally-backed government, nor the Taliban's shadow administration can bring security.

The assassinations of elders, the fragmentation of insurgent groups and the pursuit of wealth by the country's elite, is breaking down the old social fabric, already worn thin by decades of war.

With the deaths of Dan Terry and Tom Little, two great humanitarians perished. And yet, the country they leave behind is one which needs such peacemakers more than ever. Read more

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