Entry: Terrorist Attack in Mazar-i-Sharif (Afghanistan) Saturday, October 29, 2005

I was reading my Historical Guide to Afghanistan in my room, when around 9 AM shots rang out just outside the hotel on the main road in front of the shrine. I heard around 20 controlled shots, a pause, then maybe 20 more. I looked outside my window to see a stream of panicked locals make a mad dash down the narrow alleyways away from the road. I stayed in my room, only occasionally peeking outside from my balcony. After half an hour the British Army and throngs of local police with over twenty jeeps and pickups blocked off the road. Desert-fatigued storm troopers roamed the streets with menacing dual action machine guns that shoot both bullets and RPG's. Standing from my balcony I noticed a soldier peering at me through binoculars so slipped back inside to read a book.

Around Noon, things seemed a little calmer so I came outside to look for something to eat. Much of the main street in front of my hotel was still cordened off so I went around the back side, through the gold market and back to my friend's place at the carpet shop. There was a lot of speculation to what had happened this morning. It could have been an Al Quaida attack or the Taliban. Perhaps a foreigner was paid to carry out the attack. Some said it was a Hazara local, working for Iran. Three soldiers were either killed or wounded and they were either British or Dutch. Apparently some locals in the crowd captured the shooter andd turned him over to the military.

I was going to Maimana Market to get a new charger for my Palm with my new friend from the carpet shop. When I came out of my hotel I was nabbed by a Afghan military agent who had a rocket launcher carelessly thrown over his shoulder. I left my original passport in my room so I only had a photocopy which he apparently found unconvincing. They took me into custody, put me in a jeep, and brought me to the police headquarters where I was searched and presented to the commander. Nobody spoke English. The commander just sent me back to my hotel to get my passport, and after showing my visa I was left alone.


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October 1, 2012   01:24 PM PDT
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April 17, 2012   11:18 AM PDT
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November 1, 2005   11:02 PM PST
How does it feel to be right in the middle of all the action?

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