Putin: ‘Patriotic’ Russian hackers may have targeted US election

Moscow( CNN) President vladimir putin seemed to suggest Thursday that “patriotic hackers” may have meddled in the US election, but insisted that none of their potential activities were state-backed.

Why deadly Kabul bombing is crisis for all of Afghanistan | Emma Graham-Harrison

Rise in strikes on Kabul after years of citys relative security a huge menace to the government, economy and civil society

For times the Afghan capital was an island of relative security rights in a number of countries battered by a rising tide of violence. The devastating bombing this Wednesday morning was confirmation that it has now become one of the most hazardous places available in Afghanistan, and is another heavy blow to a weak and fractured government.

The rising tempo of strikes in Kabul pose an outsize menace to the government, the fragile economy, to the foreign reinforcement that stops Afghanistan working, to education, media and civil society, that all cluster in the capital.

The strikes are also disproportionately lethal to civilians, because most military and government targets in the city are heavily protected.

If you are prepared to tolerate the slaughter of innocents[ strikes in Kabul] are a very effective means of getting to the people in power, told Kate Clark, of the Afghanistan Psychoanalysts Network. Afghanistan is a place that needs a bit of stability to get itself together, and crises like this really undermine national governments and peoples confidence that the government can protect them.

Such crisis also sow disarray in the western countries which provide funds and troops to prop up the governmental forces of the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani.

Three times after David Cameron declared mission achieved and Barack Obama said the American war in Afghanistan was over, bloodbath in the heart of Kabul makes it clear that for Afghans “theres still” no pause in the violence.

There is little appetite in any western country for escalating the campaign again, even if generals on the floor are calling for more troops, and no recent suffer had indicated that foreign troops can bring real or lasting security.

But few officials with any knowledge of record could advise their leaders to leave the government to its fate either, nonetheless weak and corrupt.

Last time foreign influences became their backs on Afghanistan, after the departure of Russian troops in 1989 prompted US disengagement, the two countries slid into the violent chaos and warlord feuding that spawned the Taliban.

In a world that had now been discovered the rise of Islamic State( Isis ), and where the internet accelerates the spread of both ideology and violence, it would seem reckless to experiment with letting Afghanistan deteriorate again.

Even before the most recent inhumanity, the United Nations had warned that this year was proving deadlier for civilians in Kabul than anywhere else in the two countries. Casualties in the capital were outpacing the restive eastern and southern districts Helmand, Kandahar or Nangahar that were the cradle of the insurgency and had been the bloody focus of the campaign in recent years.

Geographically, Kabul province had the highest number of civilian casualties due to suicide and complex strikes in Kabul city, the UN mission in Afghanistan said in a report on protection of civilians at the end of April.

It is not yet clear if the rising toll inside the capital is because insurgents are getting better at penetrating the city, because they are targeting civilians where they formerly aimed at more highly protected targets, or simply because the citys champions are neglecting more often.

Whatever the make, the deaths are particularly disturbing for a country as impoverished and vulnerable as Afghanistan, which has tolerated 40 years of violence between cliques that have often mutated but rarely laid down limbs, and which is currently seems on the verge of all-out campaign once again.

For times after the ousting of the Taliban, as the insurgency assembled momentum elsewhere, Kabul seemed to exist in a relative bubble, protection of Afghan and western intelligence services and a serviceable, if much-mocked, police hoop of steel.

Officials were criticised for putting the safety of their families top of national security priorities, but protecting Kabul was important for the whole country. Civil society expanded, brand-new colleges and universities sprang up, and the Afghan capital became easily the most vibrant media hub in individual regions not known for press freedom. The bomb this Wednesday morning, hidden inside a waste tanker, reached at all of these aspects.

The first reports focused on delegations, but the terrifyingly immense crater was on a busy intersection and only a few hundred metres from TV studios, a prominent academy, smart inn and string of small-scale shops.

Two government officials, a driver for the BBC, and a technician for the television channel Tolo, have been identified amongst the dead.

[ The] attack was on Kabuls working people, the telecoms, the banks, private companies, delegations. All implemented in order to establish Afghanistan a better place, wrote Wazhma Frogh, a prominent member of parliament.

Madam Frogh (@ FroghWazhma)

Today’s attack was on Kabul’s working people, the telecoms, the banks, private companies, delegations. All implemented in order to establish Afg a better place

May 31, 2017

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, and the target was so unusual for Afghanistan that some psychoanalysts conceive the explosives, which were hidden inside a tanker used to drainage waste tanks, may have exploded prematurely.

There is no location in Kabul where that quantity of explosives “couldve been” exploded without killing and mutilating large numbers of civilians. Regardless of maker and motive, the attack poses a heightened menace for the citys millions of residents.

Isis, which has a growing functioning in Afghanistan and little compunction about slaughtering civilians, are obvious suspects. The attempt would constitute a worrying escalation in their capacities.

The Taliban soon denied any involvement, but they are a nationalist group trying to build support for eventual government and do not have a reliable track record when it comes to claiming responsibility for violence. In the past the government had denied responsibility for strikes that, like this one have caused widespread public disgust even when there was credible testify relating the group to the events.

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ world/ 2017/ jun/ 01/ kabul-bombing-crisis-afghanistan-civilian-society-government-