18 May 2010

Afghan violence getting too close for comfort

A friend and I were running about 50 meters from the collapsed wall on the far left that was destroyed by a deadly explosion at 8:11 this morning in Kabul.

KABUL, Afghanistan—The violence in Afghanistan struck a little too close to home this morning. While running with a friend on an undeveloped but walled piece of property in southern Kabul, a deadly explosion detonated by a suicide car bomber ripped a gaping hole in the wall some 50 meters from where we were running. The wall may have saved our lives.

"A Taliban suicide car bomber struck a NATO convoy in the Afghan capital Tuesday, killing six troops — five Americans and one Canadian, officials said. Twelve Afghan civilians also died — many of them on a public bus in rush-hour traffic," reports the Associated Press. "The powerful blast occurred on a major Kabul thoroughfare that runs by the ruins of a one-time royal palace and government ministries. It wrecked nearly 20 vehicles, including five SUVs in the NATO convoy, and scattered debris and body parts across the wide boulevard."

Fortunately, we had our backs to wall when it disintegrated. The shockwave rocked the vehicle occupied by our driver and escort some 300 meters away from the wall. Two and half hours after the attack, my ears are still numb. My first thought when I turned to look at the source of the explosion was surprise that we weren’t struck by blast debris. My second thought was to run to the vehicle as quickly as possible.

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