Afghan President urges clerics to help halt attacks
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday called for Muslim clerics and tribal elders to help stem a surge in deadly insurgent attacks that have rocked the country as US-led troops end their war against the Taliban.
Kabul: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday called for Muslim clerics and tribal elders to help stem a surge in deadly insurgent attacks that have rocked the country as US-led troops end their war against the Taliban.
Afghanistan has been hit by weeks of regular attacks, with at least 12 suicide bombs in Kabul alone in the last month.
On Saturday, a suicide blast wrecked an Afghan military bus in the city, killing seven soldiers, while a senior Supreme Court official was assassinated and 12 mine clearance workers were gunned down in the south.
The recent violence has heightened fears that Afghanistan could tip into further turmoil next year when just 12,500 NATO troops will remain in the country.
They will train the national army and police, rather than fight the Taliban.
"These attacks are no longer acceptable. They are not Islamic, they are not humane," Ghani told a gathering to mark United Nations` human rights day, which was last week.
"Our society should raise our voice against it, I specially ask the Ulema (Muslim clerics) and tribal leaders and civil society members to speak out saying that it is not acceptable," he said, his voice rising in anger.
Many of the attacks in the last six weeks have targeted NATO and Afghan military convoys, foreign compounds and government facilities, but civilians make up many of the casualties.
On Thursday, a teenaged Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up among the audience attending a performance at a French cultural centre in Kabul, killing one German national and wounding 15 others.
The play, entitled "Heartbeat: the silence after the explosion", was a condemnation of suicide attacks.
Last month, around 50 people were killed and 60 others wounded when a suicide blast ripped through crowds gathered to watch a volleyball game in Paktika province in the east.
"What was the sin of our children in Yayakhil of Paktika? They were only playing volleyball. Here society must loudly say `it is enough`. It is not acceptable anymore," Ghani said.
"Afghanistan has been around for 5,000 years and it will be here another 5,000 years, nobody can break us apart."
The latest bout of violence comes ahead of the official end of NATO`s combat mission on December 31 after 13 years of fighting that has failed to thwart the Islamist insurgency.