On Tuesday morning, Kabul Military Airport, where I live, was attacked by a massive, vehicle-bound suicide bomb. The truck carrying it rammed vehicles going in through the gate. The explosion killed four Afghan civilians, one of whom works on base at a shop we all visit regularly. He had a wife and kids.
I was in Helmand at the time, weirdly enough reducing my threat level by going down South. My colleague was in his room in our block, which is right behind the main gate. He said, apart from the loud boom, what was most apparent was the shockwave, that rattled his vision and brought down lights, wardrobes, air-conditioning units and smashed windows.
The reports are that no ISAF soldiers were killed, but I can imagine the guards at the gate were badly injured. I went down later that night and the remaining guards were visibly crumpled, but doubly brave and professional at their posts.
But what was the point of the bomb? I believe media coverage. The Taliban are so media-savvy these days and they understand the need to keep up press exposure post-Kunduz airstrike and before the announcement of the election re-run. Also, they’re aware Europe is at the height of dubious regarding the role troops are playing in Afghanistan. All they need to do is keep up the pressure. They don’t need multiple bombers, just one with a large amount of explosives.
Had a couple of small-but-significant breaks with the UK today. Firstly I realised I could no longer remember my UK mobile number and secondly, due to finally using iCal, I had to change the time on my Macbook to Kabul zone. Feel sad and silly.