Afghanistan: A Chronology Of Suicide Attacks Since 2001
Suicide bombers have struck more than two dozen times in Afghanistan since neo-Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgents stepped up use of such attacks following the provincial and national elections of September 2005. While sporadic until recent months, suicide bombings have killed at least 90 people in Afghanistan since late 2001 -- including the attack in the days leading up to 9/11 that left legendary Afghan mujahedin commander Ahmad Shah Mas'ud dead.
Soldiers on alert following a suicide attack in Kabul on 28 September 2005 (AFP)
17 January 2006 -- "Hundreds of Afghan Taliban mujahedin are ready for suicide attacks," Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah tells Reuters, adding, "They only await orders from the Taliban leadership."
16 January 2006 -- Bombers kill 26 people in two separate attacks in the Kandahar Province (Spin Boldak and Kandahar) in southern Afghanistan one day after a Canadian diplomat and two civilians were killed in the same area. First, a suicide bomber hurls himself in front of an Afghan Army vehicle in the heart of the provincial capital, Kandahar, killing three Afghan soldiers and two civilians and wounding four soldiers and 10 civilians. Later the same day, at least 20 people are killed and 20 others injured when a bomb attached to a motorcycle explodes at a playground where hundreds of people were gathered for a festival in Spin Boldak, bordering Pakistan.
15 January 2006 -- A suicide car bomb strikes a Canadian military convoy in southern Afghanistan, killing two civilians and a Canadian diplomat and wounding 13 other people.
14 January 2006 -- A suicide car bombing targets a U.S.-Afghan military convoy traveling along a main road in the southern Helmand Province, wounding a U.S. soldier.
5 January 2006 -- A suicide bomber attacks a crowded market in an Afghan town just a few hundred meters from where the U.S. ambassador was meeting with local leaders. Ten Afghans were killed and 50 wounded.
2 January 2006 -- A suspected suicide bomber detonates explosives in a car near a U.S. military convoy in the southern city of Kandahar, killing himself and wounding a U.S. soldier and two passersby.
20 December 2005 -- Three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers are injured in a suicide-bomb explosion in the western Herat Province.
14 December 2005 -- A suicide attack rocks the famous blue mosque of Afghanistan's northern Balkh Province but did not cause serious injuries.
11 December 2005 -- A suicide bomb attack injures three civilians in the southern Kandahar Province.
mid-November 2005 -- Suicide bombers strike three times in three days, killing a German peacekeeper and several Afghan civilians. In all three cases, vehicles carrying explosives were driven into military convoys. "Taliban [fighters] have long planned and prepared for suicide attacks, and a large number of Taliban are present in cities all over Afghanistan, including Kabul, and are only waiting for orders to attack," commander and Taliban-era Defense Minister Mullah Obaidullah is quoted by Reuters as saying.
14 November 2005 -- Twin attacks in Kabul target NATO-led peacekeepers, killing a German soldier and eight Afghans and marking the first attack in a wave of suicide bombings that will continue into 2006.
1 June 2005 -- An attacker reportedly dressed in a police uniform detonates a bomb at the entrance to a mosque at a funeral for a slain anti-Taliban cleric, killing 19 and injuring 52, including Kabul's police chief.
7 May 2005 -- A suicide bomber attacks an Internet cafe at a guesthouse in Kabul, killing a UN engineer and an Afghan national and injuring five others.
23 October 2004 -- Two weeks after a landmark presidential election that hands Hamid Karzai a majority, a bomber posing as a beggar approaches ISAF soldiers on a Kabul street that is popular with tourists before blowing himself up. The blast wounds three soldiers and kills a young Afghan girl.
30 January 2004 -- A bomber pulls a taxi laden with explosives up to an ISAF vehicle near a military base in Kabul before detonating his cargo, killing a British soldier and wounding four others.
27 January 2004 -- An attacker nears an ISAF vehicle before detonating mortar rounds strapped to his body, killing a Canadian soldier and an Afghan civilian and wounding three Canadian troops and eight civilians. A Taliban spokesman is quoted as vowing that the attack is the start of a campaign of suicide attacks that "will continue until coalition forces leave our country."
29 December 2003 -- Five Afghan security officers are killed when a man they arrest detonates explosives strapped to his body.
9 June 2003 -- A taxi cab filled with explosives slams into a bus carrying German ISAF troops, killing four soldiers and one Afghan national.
February 2003 -- A speaker, purportedly Osama bin Laden, calls in an audiotape for suicide bombings in Iraq and Afghanistan to challenge the United States.
9 September 2001 -- Commander Ahmad Shah Mas'ud, who has spent years fighting Soviet occupation and then leading the anti-Taliban United Front (aka Northern Alliance), is killed by Algerian suicide bombers disguised as a camera crew. The so-called 9/11 attacks against the United States take place days later, prompting the United States to invade to invoke NATO's Article 5 and lead an invasion to oust the Taliban and Al-Qaeda from Afghanistan.
Pre-2001 -- Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan recruit internationally and teach suicide bombing as part of their training.
Sources: compiled by RFE/RL from reports by Afghanistan Watch, Reuters, AP, Xinhua, "Miami Herald," "Montreal Gazette," and factiva.com