2007 Baghlan sugar factory bombing
|2007 Baghlan sugar factory bombing|
|Date||November 6, 2007|
|Target||Members of Parliament|
|Deaths||at least 75|
|Perpetrators||Unknown: legal proceedings have not yet taken place.|
|Taliban, Islamic Party of Mullah Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, or independent jihadists|
The 2007 Baghlan sugar factory bombing occurred on November 6, 2007 when a bomb exploded in the centre of Baghlan, Afghanistan, while a delegation of parliamentarians was visiting, killing dozens including several lawmakers.
A ceremony was being held to re-open a sugar factory as part of a plan to improve and build the economy in the northeastern Baghlan province. Large groups of people, including children and elderly people were lined up to assist in the inauguration of the facility. It is widely believed that the blast was caused by a bomb full of ball-bearings. It is unlikely that a suicide attacker could cause such a massive carnage.
At least 75 people (among them 59 children) were killed or wounded severely in the massive bombing; the Associated Press reports that 64 were killed while a hospital in Baghlan mentioned that 90 bodies were sent to the hospital with 50 others wounded. An Afghan television station reported that at least 100 were killed.
Six members of the Afghan parliament were killed in the blast, including key opposition figures. The lawmakers killed in the bombing were former Commerce Minister Sayed Mustafa Kazemi, the prominent private sector representative Hajji Muhammad Arif Zarif, as well as Abdul Mateen, Al Hajj Sahib Abdul-Rahman, Nazuk Mir Sarfaraz and Sebghatullah Zaki. All six were members of the ten-member Economics Committee of the National Assembly.
There was no claim of responsibility for the blast but there were about 120 suicide attacks in Afghanistan in 2007, most of them blamed on the Taliban movement. A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry blamed the attack on "the enemy of Afghanistan, the enemy of the people of Afghanistan" referring to the militant group. Following the bombing, a Taliban official dismissed any responsibility of the group for the incident. The attacks have worsened since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
On the same day as the Baghlan bombings, Taliban rockets were fired at an Afghan base near Kandahar during a visit by Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay, injuring several soldiers. That incident was likely unrelated to the Baghlan bombing.
- Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Baghlan explosion "was not conducted by the Taliban".
- Afghan president Hamid Karzai had immediately condemned the attacks in a statement: "This heinous act of terrorism is against Islam and humanity and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. It is the work of the enemies of peace and security in Afghanistan". He announced three days of national mourning
- Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said on Wednesday that targeting innocent people and members of the Afghan Parliament run counter to the Islamic teachings and human values.
- Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay met with Karzai on November 7 to discuss about the ongoing deterioration of the situation. MacKay commented: "Yes, this is an undeniable tragedy and one that has shocked many. And yet this is not going to deter the Afghan people on their road to a stable, democratic, fully functioning society." 
- In a statement issued on the same day United States President George W. Bush called the act as "despicable act of cowardice" that "reminds us who the enemy is—extremists with evil in their hearts" and added that the White House will be committed on working with the government of Afghanistan and NATO allies to fight the terrorists who use murder to advance their hateful ideology" 
- Fifty-nine Afghan children killed in suicide attack | the Daily Mail
- CTV.ca | Bombs targeting Afghan lawmakers kill dozens
- BMO | SME Projects » Afghanistan
- BBC NEWS | South Asia | Afghan suicide blast 'kills 40'
- Lawmakers among Afghan bomb dead - CNN.com
- Al Jazeera English - News - Bomber Targets Afghan Mps
- BBC NEWS | South Asia | Afghanistan holds funeral for MPs
- CTV.ca | MacKay unhurt in rocket attack on Afghan base
- Al Jazeera English - News - Afghanistan Mourns Bomb Victims
- Press TV - Iran condemns Afghanistan bombing
- CTV.ca | MacKay says Karzai 'optimistic' in face of attacks
- Karzai: 41 killed in suicide blast - CNN.com