Splainer

Friday, August 27 2021


Dive In

I would request everyone to please not use me and my comments as a medium to further your vested interests and propaganda. Sports teaches us to be together and united. I’m extremely disappointed to see some of the reactions from the public on my recent comments.

That’s Olympic medalist Neeraj Chopra expressing his frustration at the misinterpretation of some of his remarks involving fellow javelin athlete Arshad Nadeem. He had previously said that Nadeem was using Chopra’s personal javelin during the final—which is entirely within the rules and standard practice in the sport. Soon, idiots on Twitter claimed the Pakistani had been trying to “tamper” with the javelin—and it turned into an ugly anti-Pakistan row. You can watch Chopra’s excellent statement here.


Editor’s note: ICYMI check out the latest episode of the splainer team’s podcast ‘Press Decode’—where they talk about the Rolling Stone cover controversy and the real lives of delivery workers. Head over to the IVM website, Spotify or Apple Podcasts to hear a refreshingly different kind of news wrap show.

 
Big Story

A neverending nightmare at Kabul airport

The TLDR: Two suicide bombers staged a bloody attack right outside Kabul airport—killing at least 90 Afghan civilians and 13 US troops. The group behind the attack: Islamic State Khorasan—a bitter foe of the Taliban and best known here for its Indian recruits. We lay out a chain of events and take a closer look at IS-K.

 

First, the tragedy

The attacks: took place in two locations: at the Abbey gate at the airport, and at a hotel nearby. See the map below:

 

US officials had issued a warning of an imminent terrorist attack right before it happened. And the US Embassy had urged its citizens outside the airport to leavespecifically citing Abbey Gate. Despite that, thousands were packed right outsidestanding knee-deep in filthy water in what looked like a sewage canal, the site of one of the blasts.

 

The death toll: There is no official toll for the Afghan casualtiesbut an Afghan health official in Wall Street Journal puts the number at 90, with many others still fighting for their lives. US casualties included 10 Marines, two soldiers and one sailorthe first since February 2020. If you wish, you can see a horrific clip of the aftermath here (we strongly advise you don’t). 

 

The US reaction: President Biden promised revenge: “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay. Our mission will go on, America will not be intimidated.”—and said he has asked military commanders to make plans to strike assets, leadership and facilities of IS-K. Evacuation flights have already resumed.

 

The Taliban reaction: Its spokesperson tweeted: “The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns the bombing of civilians at Kabul airport”—which seems to deliberately omit any mention of the dead US troops. Also this: “We strongly condemn this gruesome incident and will take every step to bring the culprits to justice.”

 

The IS-K response: The group claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying: “[The bomber] managed to reach a large gathering of translators and collaborators with the American army at 'Baran Camp' near Kabul Airport and detonated his explosive belt among them.” They named one of the militants as Abdul Rahman al-Logariwhich suggests he is Afghan. 

 

Next, the Islamic State-Khorasan

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In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • A dreadful gangrape in Mysore
  • A ‘game-changing’ malaria vaccine
  • Serena Williams nixes US Open
  • Nirvana faces child porn lawsuit

 

Weekend Advisory 

  • Does Taliban’s religious ideology have roots in colonial India?
  • ‘Konikore’ and the tech battle to create a ‘digital nose’
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