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WORLDCRUNCH

Grenades Thrown Into Afghan Mosque A Day After 46 Killed In Afghanistan

ASSOCIATED PRESS (U.S.), KHAAMA PRESS (Afghanistan)

Worldcrunch

The Associated press reports that three grenades were thrown into a mosque in the eastern Afghan Khost province, injuring nine on Wednesday, a day after a string of suicide bombings killed at least 46 people in southwestern and northern Afghanistan.

The Taliban did not acknowledge the attack, even though Afghan police blamed Taliban insurgents.

The grenade attack came after the deadliest day for Afghan civilians so far this year on Tuesday, as the Taliban and their allies ramped up their attacks on Afghan security forces, who are supposed to take over when Western forces leave the country by 2014.

The Associated Press reports that the first attacks took place in Nimroz province capital Zaranj, 10 kilometers from the Iranian border.

Afghan police killed two attackers on Monday and captured three others on Tuesday morning, but three suicide bombers still managed to detonate explosive vests later that day.

Most of the casualties came from a bazar, where Afghans flocked to shop for the Muslim Eid holiday.

The second bombing in the northern Kunduz province also took place near a crowded bazar, killing at least 10 people, including five children.

No one, including the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the bombings, according to Khaama Press.

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Geopolitics

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. But as he approaches his highly contested reelection bid at home, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to use the issue to his advantage.

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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