Taliban Suicide Bombers Welcome Chuck Hagel to Afghanistan With Two Mass Killings

Barack Obama’s peace partners welcomed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to Afghanistan today. Taliban suicide bombers slaughtered 10 people near defense ministry and another suicide warrior blew up 8 children in eastern Afghanistan.
afghan bomber hagel
Afghan Army soldiers take position at the gate of the Afghan Defense Ministry after a suicide bomber on a bicycle struck outside the ministry, killing at least nine Afghan civilians as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, March 9, 2013. (AP/Anja Niedringhaus)

The New YorkTimes reported:

A suicide bomber wearing a vest bomb struck outside the Afghan defense ministry on Saturday, killing at least 10 people in a blast just hours after Chuck Hagel, the new United States defense secretary, arrived here in Kabul.

And a short time later, another suicide bomber detonated his explosive in eastern Afghanistan before reaching his target, but killed eight children and a policeman, according to Afghan military and hospital officials.

Although Mr. Hagel was not near the site of either blast, the episodes with their combined death toll of 18 in a single day appeared timed to coincide with his visit. The attacks in the heavily secured capital and in a more remote area of the country highlighted how Afghanistan remained vulnerable to attacks by the insurgency despite nearly 12 years of international efforts to stabilize it.

The attack in eastern Afghanistan occurred in Khost Province, and the bomber was stopped from doing more harm by a policeman who died as he tried to stop the bomber.

“One of our brave police officers hugged the suicide bomber and asked him not to blow himself up, but the bomber blew himself up anyway and our brave police officer was torn to pieces,” said Yaqub Mandozia, deputy police chief of Khost Province.

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