David Blackburn

Hammond: New front opening in Afghanistan

Hammond: New front opening in Afghanistan
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Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was in the Commons this afternoon, discussing, among other things, the spate of attacks on Shia Muslims in Afghanistan. At least 59 people have been killed in sectarian atrocities over the last week or so, a chilling a new pattern of violence as Western powers begin to contemplate withdrawal. Hammond denied that there is a link between the forthcoming transition and these attacks. Instead a ‘new front’ is opening in Afghanistan.

What is this new front? Hammond was vague, but Lahore-based journalist Ahmed Rashid explains, in tomorrow’s edition of the Spectator, that the sectarian attacks are the hallmark of a now desperate al-Qaeda. As happened in Iraq, the terrorist group is indiscriminately murdering innocent Muslims to disrupt the democratic process and foment regional instability. It plans similar chaos for Egypt and Libya. Rashid has written a must read piece about the last roll of bin Laden’s dice.

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