There's nothing more unpleasant than being awoken by a bomb. At 6:35 a.m. on Friday morning, I jerked upright as a huge blast rattled the windows in my bedroom and sent chunks of plaster clattering to the floor. As I looked around in sleepy confusion, not-too-distant gunfire echoed in the street outside.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan near the Safi Landmark Hotel in the neighborhood of Shahr-E-Naw, where there are a number of government buildings and U.N. offices as well as supermarkets, banks, diplomatic facilities and villas for well-to-do Afghans. At least 17 people were killed. Full story
With a loud "whoosh" and a blast of hot air, the pile of tires, wood and 2.5 tons of raw opium burst into flames.
It's a government-sponsored "drug burn" in the western Afghan city of Herat, an event intended to reinforce the government’s claim that it is moving aggressively against the opium trade.