Kabul Diaries Part 18: Parents of suicide bombers gather to celebrate

October 26, 2021
Hotel Intercontinental Kabul cr Wikimedia Commons
Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel

Posted October 25, 2021:

Kabul’s famous Intercontinental Hotel, majestically perched atop a hill above the surrounding neighbourhoods, received some of the world’s most unusual guests on October 18: The families of suicide attackers who managed to successfully explode their vests.

Ironically, the hotel itself was targeted a couple of times by suicide missions. Every attack claimed Afghan lives. Dozens were injured.

The unusual guests were hosted by an equally unusual host: Sirajuddin Haqqani. Haqqani, the Taliban’s acting interior minister, is wanted by the FBI. The bounty on him is US$10 million. He is considered the mastermind behind suicide missions in the country.

Haqqani announced a reward of 10,000 Afghanis (US$100) and a piece of land for each of the families gathered.

In his address at the surreal event, he said the Taliban were able to defeat the "infidels" through these suicide attacks. He spoke about the Taliban’s strategy to recruit teenagers from the madrassas, even if their parents try to prevent their children from committing attacks.

He said the Taliban commanders dreamt of the Prophet Mohammad and in the dream the Prophet guided them how to enter the hotel.

Haqqani claimed that the Badri Force (Haqqani Network) alone carried out 1050 suicide attacks. “Imagine how many were carried by the other regiments,” he added.

He quoted the death count in the case of “infidels” but did not offer any estimate of the Afghan lives lost in suicide attacks. In fact, over the past 20 years, Afghans have been the main victims of these suicide bombers.

Post-event, Afghans from all walks of life have expressed anger and rage. For the suicide bombers, every place was a target: from roads to wedding halls, maternity hospitals, universities and schools, to markets and mosques. Even funeral prayers were targeted.

“Zarmina” (not her real name), a resident of Kabul and witness to a couple of suicide attacks, told me: “I am numb. I don’t know how to react. We stayed alive despite the suicide attacks to witness our killers celebrate their victory and their attacks on us.”

Her brother, who does not want to be identified, added, “I am losing my mind. I narrowly escaped the suicide attack near the German Embassy. I still have nightmares. How on earth is the world quiet about all this?”

Zarifa Ghafari is the former Mayor of Maidan Shahar (the capital of Maidan Wardak province). She escaped to Germany after the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban. Ghafari tweeted about the Inter-Continental gathering: “My heart bleeds, maybe my dad’s killers will be also one of those sitting in this room and being prized for what they did to me, my family and our lives. The pain I have, I am sure it’s the same for all those who’ve been killed, wounded and disabled by the terrors of these terrorists.”

Noor Kabuli, a Facebook user, commented: “They are distributing land to the suicide attackers, the thousands of innocents that they killed and left their families in pain, what they distribute, sprinkling salt on their wounds.”

Razeeia Roman Mirzayee, another Facebook user commented: “We are such ill-fated people, our killers are being given prizes in our own country.”

In one suicide attack on the Dubai Shahar wedding hall in Kabul, on August 17, 2019, more than 80 Afghans were killed and more than 200 were injured.

Nadir (not their real name) a resident of Kabul tells me: “We lost our freedom, rights, voices and now a bunch of terrorists are celebrating their suicide attackers. Afghans were the victims of these suicide attackers. They attacked every place and killed Afghans…”

[Kabul Dairies are simultaneously published in three languages by Daily Jeddojehad (Urdu), Tidningen Global (Swedish) and Green Left (English).]

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