McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

National News

June 6, 2014

McAlester resident gives account of suicide attack in Afghanistan

McALESTER — A McAlester resident heard the explosions that killed six people and injured 22 others Friday afternoon when two blasts hit Afghani presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s convoy in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul.

 McAlester resident Kristy Brod-Rahimi, who works in Afghanistan, gave the News-Capital an account of the event and shared more information about what she has seen in Afghanistan since she started teaching English in Kabul more than two-years ago.

Rahimi said there were two explosions and both were said to be suicide bombers.

With a presidential runoff election to be held in Afghanistan next week, she said she and her husband Jan were invited as guests to Abdullah’s political rally and were briefly introduced.

“We briefly met one of the presidential candidates (Abdullah) for Afghanistan this morning,” Rahimi said. She said shortly after they left, the attack took place.

“We left and went to our friend's house to drop off a lady that lives there,” she said. “We decided to stay for lunch; as we were eating, there was a huge bang.”

“It's not the first one I’ve heard living here, honestly. Then we heard a second but smaller bang and there was no doubt (it was an attack). I had a sinking feeling in my heart, because I knew that it meant people were dead. Innocent people.”

“Many windows were shattered and some signs were blown to pieces,” Rahimi said. “Not to mention some people.”

“They have police checking cars all over the city, but still...” she said. “No one can stop a crazy person from blowing himself up.”

When asked if Abdulah was OK, she said, “Yep! Went right on to the next meeting.”

She said she is bothered that people associate the attacks with Islam, “Which is false,” she said.

“The people believe it is all government — politics and corruption.”

She said when these tragedies happen — and when they happen to be religious — “it is from a twisted, brainwashed psycho.”

Many people are blaming Pakistan for Friday’s attack too, she said. She said that Afghanistan and Pakistani governments are not friends.

She said the attack was unlike that of the Taliban and was unusual.

“When the Taliban do it, they attack in morning or night so they can get their target without hurting others.”

When asked who were among those killed, she said, “It was mostly police, bodyguards and civilians.”

“Usually there are Westerners present (during elections and campaigns), but I believe they want Afghanistan to run this campaign on its own.”

She said even though it was a tragic event, they are picking up the pieces and getting on with it.

“They are not afraid and won’t let anything stop them from improving this country,” she said.

She said on an online video posted to the TOLOnews Facebook page, a policeman is seen talking on a cellphone and he sounds angry.

She said he is saying, “All my friends are dead.”

“The sad thing is, this is kind of normal for these people,” she said. “They really need security in this country.”

She said the cousin of the woman they were dropping off was injured in the attack and he is in the hospital now.

She said there is not enough security. When asked to clarify she said, “I mean that people can’t go to school without worrying about their safety.”

“In Kabul (Afghanistan’s capital), it’s actually pretty secure.”

“But in the provinces there are wars between villages and the different types of Taliban,” she said. “The media in the US shows everything to be all the fault of Taliban, Muslims or the natives here, but that’s not true.”

“There are kind and peaceful Taliban that just work to protect the country — I have met some myself.”

She said in fact these peaceful Taliban are friends of NATO and the US.

However, she said, there is another kind that do violent things in the name of Islam.

“There is Afghan Taliban and there is Pakistani Taliban.”

“I have a student that was a part of the Taliban back in the days,” she said. “He had a big beard and turban.”

“He loves America; he is educated; he works with foreigners and he is a wonderful man.”

She said there is a lot of information being  twisted and she doesn’t know why.

“Maybe money, maybe power,” she said.

She said even with the news of this attack the most important message she can convey is Afghanistan is working hard to improve itself no matter what problems it faces.

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