Saturday, March 06, 2010

Red Cross condemns Taliban use of boobytraps and IEDs

Taliban tactics have outraged even the normally unflappable Red Cross:

In an unusually strong statement, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the use of IEDs -- the main weapon in the Taliban arsenal -- was "completely unacceptable".

The Marjah farming area has been so heavily laced with IEDs that civilians are largely confined indoors and the sick and injured cannot be evacuated for help, it said.

People who fled the area before and during the assault, launched on February 13, feared returning along heavily-mined roads to villages where commanders and residents have said the bombs are planted in fields, hanging from trees and even embedded in the walls of houses.

Targeting the enemy and errantly killing civilians with mistargeted ordnance is one thing; mining roads and paths is quite another:

The ICRC's Stocker said little food was reaching Marjah as few commercial vehicles were able to enter.

"Sooner or later, residents and displaced persons will have no choice but to move about, if only to find food and water," he said.

"Sadly, there will almost certainly be casualties, as improvised mines and unexploded homemade bombs do not differentiate between a military vehicle and a boy on a bicycle."

Creating fear is what the Taliban are best at. Oh, and selling heroin.


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