Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Suicide Bomber Takes a Taxi

The Guardian [UK]
29 April 2008

An irony lost on the Taliban

Nushin Arbabzadah

In the summer of 2007, a stranger appeared in the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. He flagged down a taxi and asked to be driven around the town. The taxi passed public squares, mosques and bazaars. All the time, the passenger sat silently in the backseat of the car, watching city scenes unfold in front of him. After an hour, the driver was asked to stop the car. But before getting out, the passenger had this message for the driver: "You are an unlucky man. Today you missed the chance of becoming a martyr." That was when the driver realised that he had been giving a lift to a suicide bomber looking for potential targets. He decided to quit working as a taxi driver and find a less risky occupation.

The story first appeared in Afghanistan in 2007 and soon reached England via the internet. It is quite likely a fabrication, simply because the story is too good to be true. The suicide bomber in the story is efficient, the innocent driver has a lucky escape and there is no bloodshed. This is the opposite of the reality of suicide bombing in Afghanistan - a reality of confused teenage bombers, poorly planned missions, premature detonations and heavy civilian losses. [...]