The BBC reports that at least 29 people have been killed and 60 wounded in a car bomb blast outside a bank in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.
The bomb was detonated at the gate of the New Kabul Bank branch in Lashkar Gah as people queued to receive their salaries.
Lashkar Gah was once the headquarters of Task Force Helmand but is now a city under siege. What has happened to all the “cautious optimism for the future” expressed by the international community back in 2014?
The Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team’s grandiose pronouncement that it “achieved its aim of building a strong platform for future governance and development in Helmand” sounded ridiculously overblown at the time.
Three years later it sounds inexcusably incompetent.
SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the unauthorised, unvarnished and irreverent story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.
‘Brims with authenticity and dark humour.’
Patrick Hennessey, bestselling author of The Junior Officers’ Reading Club
Doug Beattie, bestselling author of An Ordinary Soldier
Dr Mike Martin, bestselling author of An Intimate War
‘A must read.’
Richard Dorney, bestselling author of The Killing Zone
‘The best book by a soldier concerning the Afghan War that I have read’
Frank Ledwidge, bestselling author of Losing Small Wars
SOLDIER The official magazine of the British Army
‘Not just for soldiers’
William Reeve, BBC World Service and Afghanistan Correspondent
Ten reasons to read SPIN ZHIRA.