Ten girls were killed Monday in a rural district of eastern Afghanistan when a roadside bomb exploded. The girls were busy collecting firewood at the time of the incident. According to Afghan officials, all the girls were aged between 9 and 11 years.
In a separate incident on outskirts of Kabul, a suicide bomber targeted compound of a military contractor by ramming an explosive laden car into it. One person was killed while 15 others were wounded, including foreigners. The suicide blast was so huge that its thud was heard miles away.
Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. However, Afghan officials said about the bomb blast that the children discovered the bomb near their village and it went off when one of them hit it with an axe. The bomb explosion also wounded a boy standing nearby. The United States-led International Assistance Security Force (ISAF) said the explosion was caused by accidental trigging of an old mine. Whatever the case may be, it is fact that the explosion has claimed ten innocent lives. Afghanistan has become one of most heavily mined countries on earth owing to three decades of conflict, stated Gen. John Allen, the commander of American and international troops in Afghanistan.
It would be unfortunate to say that Afghanistan appears more chaotic and unsafe today since the United States invaded the volatile country after terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon. No doubt, a number of potential terrorists have been killed and dozens incarcerated, but hundreds of them are still alive and appear ready to fight against the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. The peace still remains elusive in the volatile country. Hundreds of women and children have been killed so far in the war. What is more perturbing is that there appears to be no permanent peace in the violence-wracked country. The presence of Taliban and other militant outfits can still be seen on the ground even after more than a decade of war against terrorism.
However, there is still light at end of the tunnel. Lasting peace can be achieved in the war-ravaged Afghanistan if a process of composite dialogue with Taliban and other insurgent groups is initiated to bring them into the mainstream. They should be ensured complete security if they lay down arms and start living a peaceful life. Pakistan and other stakeholders in the volatile country should be asked to assist in the dialogue process, as it will also benefit them. For security of the civilians, such a step will have to be taken.