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(回答先: 国境なき医師団へのテロ、怒りと哀しみ タリバンはなぜ 投稿者 木田貴常 日時 2004 年 6 月 11 日 13:51:52)
Afghan violence casts pall over poll plans
Thu Jun 3, 2004 10:40 AM ET
By Mike Collett-White
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - If Afghanistan is not already a failed state, it is in danger of becoming one.
Violence is escalating as emboldened Islamic militants from the ousted Taliban regime resort to new methods of killing and operate in areas previously deemed relatively safe.
The growing security crisis comes at a very bad time -- just as the government in Kabul is preparing for landmark elections in September which President Hamid Karzai hopes will legitimise his authority in the eyes of ordinary Afghans.
When five employees of Medecins Sans Frontieres, including three Europeans, were shot dead in the northwestern province of Badghis on Wednesday, the aid community was plunged into shock.
There is no proof yet that the Taliban were responsible as they claim, but they are prime suspects, and suspicion alone was enough to see MSF suspend its operations countrywide.
Up to half of Afghanistan is now off limits to international assistance missions, aid workers say.
The United States, leading 20,000 troops in the fight against the insurgents, says it is winning the war on terror, but the reality on the ground suggests it is not.
"The situation is getting dangerous," warned General Khan Mohammad, a top Afghan military officer who oversees four of the worst-affected provinces in the troubled south.
"The Taliban are becoming more confident," he told Reuters at his headquarters in the city of Kandahar.
Khan should know. He oversees not only Kandahar province, where the Taliban movement first appeared, but also Helmand, Uruzgan and Zabul, all zones off limits to most international organisations and racked by bloody insurgency.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan in the past week, a police chief in the eastern province of Nangarhar was killed by a bomb attached to his seat. In another district, seven policemen were wounded by a bomb, this time disguised as a gift. Continued ...
In Zabul on Tuesday night, up to 100 suspected Taliban guerrillas raided district offices in the provincial capital Qalat, and on Saturday four U.S. soldiers were killed by an explosive device.
In late May, a Norwegian peacekeeper in the 6,500-strong NATO-led force patrolling Kabul was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade, the first such attack in the capital.
Since last August, more than 700 people have been killed across Afghanistan, most of them in Taliban-linked attacks, and the violence has already forced President Karzai to delay elections from June until September.
"The obvious strategy is to disrupt any process of development for the country," said Nick Downie of the Afghanistan NGO Security Offices. "You kill one and spread fear among many."
Mohammad says there were three factors behind deteriorating security in southern Afghanistan. Ironically, he said the first was the government's programme to disarm local militia in a bid to take the gun out of September's vote.
"A lot of the militiamen have been disarmed, which has created a vacuum," he said. "Before we had patrols in every district and now we don't, so they (the Taliban) are growing in confidence."
Mohammad had 7,000 troops under his command before disarmament began. Now he has just 1,700, and has urged the government to incorporate decommissioned fighters into the fledgling Afghan National Army as quickly as possible.
He also blames Pakistan for allowing Taliban commanders to coordinate their insurgency from across the border, a charge Pakistan denies but which is repeatedly made by Afghans and occasionally by U.S. officials too.
Mohammad also said a force of 2,000 U.S. Marines deployed to Uruzgan to counter an anticipated "spring offensive" by the Taliban missed many opportunities to engage militants, simply because they failed to recognise the enemy.
"The Taliban hide at the top of mountains when we are in the area, but when the Americans go on patrol they just sit in houses, because they think they are civilians."
Whatever the reasons, the stark truth is that more and more blood is being spilt as elections approach. Continued ...
After Wednesday's ambush, 21 aid workers had died so far this year, compared with 13 in the whole of 2003, greatly hampering humanitarian work.
Western diplomats in Kabul say the best way of breaking the deadly cycle of violence is to restore roads and communications and marginalise radical thinkers and fighters. But that will happen painfully slowly.
In the meantime there appears little option but to use military muscle to try to contain insurgents bent on overthrowing the U.S.-backed government and driving out "occupying forces".
Aid agencies and the United Nations have called for an expansion of the NATO peacekeeping operation to improve security for the elections but alliance members have been reluctant to commit more troops to an increasingly dangerous environment.