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  • October 2011
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Afghanistan: More Tragic Than We Knew

Keeping supplies moving - Army UH-60 Blackhawk...

Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

I think I’m figuring out how English Al Jazeera differs from Network News! It’s not spewing propaganda as lot of North Americans suspect it is. In fact, I wish more people would listen and learn from it.

However, it does have its POV (point of view). Consider yesterday.

I heard a touching story on Al Jazeera, about attacks on fuel trucks carrying fuel to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Though it didn’t mention the sacrifice of the Afghan men who travel this route, I thought how perilous their lives are and how frightened their families must feel as they go to work to support our troops.

Apparently, it’s a simple matter of someone attaching a device to the body of the fuel truck and blowing a hole in it. This doesn’t always cause a huge explosion. Often, according to Al Jazeera, people run up to the truck with containers to collect leaking fuel which then catches fire and blows up, causing massive destruction to innocent women and children.

You can read more about this story below.

What wasn’t reported, though, was the suicide bombing attack on a NATO convoy that killed 17.


I’ve noticed this discrepancy, common also in US News reports, which features primarily stories that center on our own country. But I have to say, English Al Jazeera covers the world much better than CNN, FOX, or certainly Network News.

Where else could one see extensive news on the flooding in Thailand, the latest news Israel and Palestine, Burma, Germany, Greece, and Italy and world soccer all within one half hour?  Al Jazeera does play up the Occupy Wall Street story as if it’s our own Arab Spring…without realizing the entire context.

I suppose, if we are only interested in the goings on of our own country we’re satisfied, but for anyone with the slightest interest in the rest of the world, I can’t imagine how one could ignore Al Jazeera as one stop on the daily news circuit.

I dug a little deeper into these stories and got the impression that NATO troops are blown up most every day in Afghanistan. Did you know that?

It’s a horrible picture of what is going on there. I was under the impression that things were improving. I wonder what the death toll for non-Americans is now?

Here’s the article about the fuel trucks. It’s still a sad one.

Afghanistan: Fuel truck attacked and burned outside of U.S. Bagram air base

Kabul : Afghanistan | Oct 27, 2011 at 9:21 AM PDT
Oil tankers, used to carry fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan, are seen damaged along the roadside after they were hit by a bomb attack in Pakistan
Oil tankers, used to carry fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan, are seen damaged along the roadside after they were hit by a bomb attack in Pakistan
A magnet bomb stuck on the side of the tanker blasted a hole in the fuel truck

The NATO tanker was attacked just outside Bagram Air Base where it was to deliver fuel. The attack killed ten people and wounded many more.

A bomb knocked a hole into the tanker’s side causing a large leak. Civilians flocked to the area trying to collect the fuel in buckets. A larger explosion then hit the tanker destroying it and killing and wounding many. The cause of the second explosion is not certain.

Hospitals in the Bagram District reported at least 45 wounded people, as well as the deaths. No insurgent group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Although some reports claim that the second blast was also caused by a bomb, some at the scene suspect it was caused when police ordered the tanker driver to start the vehicle. Starting a vehicle with fuel spilled all over is not a good idea! Attacks upon tankers are frequent but they are often en route from Pakistan or even within Pakistan. See for example this article.

northsunm32 is based in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.


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