Thursday, August 6, 2009


KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - (Reuters) - A roadside bomb struck a tractor carrying people to a wedding in southern Afghanistan, killing 21 civilians in one of the deadliest strikes in weeks, Afghan officials said on Thursday. The attack, which took place on Wednesday but was not reported until Thursday morning, was part of a mounting wave of violence two weeks before Afghans go to the polls for a presidential election. Afghan authorities said the explosion happened in Garmsir, a district of the province where U.S. Marines launched the biggest operation of the war last month against Taliban militants."It's the work of the enemy of the nation, it's the work of the enemy of peace and the work of the Taliban," a police officer said.

Police said by telephone that the dead included women and children, heading to a wedding in a trailor pulled by a tractor. The large group of people were riding a tractor in the Garmser district of Helmand province Wednesday morning when they were hit by a roadside bomb.

Violence and deaths are climbing sharply as Western forces push into Taliban territory ahead of Aug. 20 presidential elections, but rising civilian casualties are seen as deeply damaging to the international effort to defeat the insurgents. Some 4,000 Marines moved into the Garmser area last month to secure roads and population centers ahead of the presidential vote. The insurgents have pledged to disrupt the election and dramatically increased their use of roadside bombs against foreign and Afghan forces across southern Afghanistan, the traditional territory of the largely ethnic Pashtun Taliban.

Whenever there is a war, there is certainly a massacre of many innocent living beings, such as boys, brāhmaṇas and women, whose killing is considered to be the greatest of sins. They are all innocent creatures, and in all circumstances killing of them is forbidden in the scriptures.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 8 - Verse 49"

The defenseless creatures, according to Brahma-samhitā, are the cows, brāhmanas, women, children and old men. Just as children are taken care of by the parents, women as a class should be taken care of by the father, husband or grown-up son. Those who are helpless must be taken care of by their respective guardians, otherwise the guardians will be subjected to the punishment of Yamarāja, who is appointed by the Lord to supervise the activities of sinful living creatures. The assistants, or messengers, of Yamarāja are likened here to vultures, and those who do not execute their respective duties in protecting their wards are compared to serpents. Vultures deal very seriously with serpents, and similarly the messengers will deal very seriously with neglectful guardians.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 3 - Chapter 16 - Verse 10"

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