Even the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, as they did for 37 Taliban terrorists killed this weekend in the southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
The religious zealots were killed when a car bomb the group was installing prematurely exploded in the Maroof district sometime late Friday evening, leaving death and destruction in its wake.
Another one bites the dust …
While the details of this humiliating mishap are scarce, Pajhwok Afghan News interviewed officials representing Kandahar Governor Zalmay Wesa and reported that “militants rigged a Humvee vehicle with explosives and wanted to target border police battalion in Atghar district of southern Zabul province.”
Explosives-laden Humvee goes off prematurely among Taliban leaving 37 dead pic.twitter.com/6rdlXfQH6i
— Afghan Visa (@afghanvisa) December 2, 2018
In addition to the 37 militants killed, the Afghan Ministry of Defense is reporting that at least 15 motorcycles were destroyed in the massive explosion. An unspecified number of additional casualties were also sustained in the blast, according to multiple sources.
United News of India confirmed reports that the Taliban planned to target government forces with the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. The failed attack occurred as the security situation in the province has worsened in the past few months.
“Kandahar has been among the relatively calm provinces but the security situation in some of its districts has deteriorated during the recent months,” The Khaama Press News Agency reported.
The Taliban have been a thorn in the side of the central government in Kabul ever since they were ousted in 2001 by a U.S.-led invasion. Pockets of resistance have remained, however, and the hardline Salafist group has regained some momentum in recent years as the coalition presence in the country has gradually been reduced.
Taliban gag reel
While the Taliban’s strength has waxed and waned over time, one thing has remained consistent throughout the 17-year war: the hardline militants have an incredible capacity for accidentally killing themselves in spectacular fashion.
Just last month, in the country’s southeastern Ghazni province, 16 Taliban were killed when an improvised explosive device detonated inside a safe house located near the dangerous Qarabagh district. The initial blast set off a chain reaction as at least 16 other bombs detonated in the ensuing destruction.
The Daily Star reported a similar event in April 2016, when a suicide-vest-wearing group of nine Taliban was killed in spectacular fashion. The terrorist cell was planning a massive attack in Kunduz when the accident occurred.
“But among their numbers was a clumsy jihadi who set off his explosives early by mistake, in turn fatally detonating another terrorist’s suicide vest, which itself sparked another and another in a calamitous accident,” The Star reported. And there are now fewer terrorists for our soldiers to fight.