Friday, October 03, 2008

The bottom of the Ninth

October 2nd 2008

Sometimes going out in Kabul, can have as many potential risks as an embed in the hinterland. Certainly this was the case with yesterday when we had arranged o meet the head of the Kabul CIB. This man in the last few years has had eleven attempts on his life including one suspected attempt at poisoning, the last attack was the week before last.

The following blog is what I recorded on my blackberry as the morning went along

07:45 depart hotel enroute to meet the man I have dubbed Sean Penn , from the movie, Dead Man Walking" . He is the head CID Police Chief targeted three times for assianation in the last few weeks . The plan is to ride along with him for a few hours . The reality is that this is as dangerous as an embed
08:00 at hq
08:05 phone call shooting on jalabad road heading out
08:30 ninth and bottom of the innings , we ask why the baseball bat in the car in the Chiefs car, he says his driver plays but we think he hits more than balls
08:50 chief is tense gripping his ak 47 as we drive to scene of shooting
09:15 jalabad bus station
Chief examines bus with bullet hole , blood on seats and floor
Bodyguards all have fingers on their triggers as the boss walks around
09:30 at the NATO base reporrts that the french isaf troops were involved and now chief has gone inside to investigate ,reports that one person is dead and more injured. French deny they were involved. We wait outside the base in the sun
10:16 sirens and singing driver speeding back into kabul , more police escorting us , appears to be eight pickups loaded with police and guns in convoy
10:46 back at the police hq interview with the boss , as he continues to fidget with three phones in front of him, whilst a policeman with an ak 47 stands behind me at attention. They have not forgotten how Massood was killed by a tv crew here , just before 9/11. No one in any place of power here trusts a tv crew.
11:10 one more scene asks Dana "can you show us your police cells"
11:12 not exactly the black hole of Calcutta but still the seven guys being held are not happy to see me with a camera pointed thru the bars , espicially the man from Pakistan being charged with terror as he stares down the lens
11:25 we take our leave , a frantic three hours and it feels good to take off the body armour

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember the murder of Massood well now that you brought it up. I wouldn't think you would feel all that safe with some of those "other" people with cameras either. They can hide bombs in some of the darndest places. Do you ever really relax there or is it always like a gun is pointed at your head. Don't envy you your job but thank you for doing what you do. Love your blogs.