On Tuesday, Taliban forces launched an attack on the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The attack started at about 1 pm local time, with the attackers launching RPGs from a 9-story building that stands within striking distance of the embassy and HQ. During these attacks, suicide bombers took to other government structures across the city.
What resulted was an standoff between the Taliban and Afghan police forces, backed by NATO soldiers. The standoff lasted overnight, ending on Wednesday morning. According to reports, 27 people were killed, including police, civilians and insurgents.
When the real fighting ended, the battle on the internet began as NATO and the Taliban sparred on Twitter. That’s right, the Taliban has an official Twitter account. More than one, actually – and two particular accounts were involved in this social media dustup.
Yesterday, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) tweeted about the attacks, blaming the Taliban for the loss of civilian life –
#Kabul attack: the outcome is inevitable. Question is how much longer will terrorist put innocent Afghans in harm’s way?Re: Taliban spox on
One Taliban account, @ABalkhi, responded –
@ISAFmedia i dnt knw.u hve bn pttng thm n ‘harm’s way’ fr da pst 10 yrs.Razd whole vllgs n mrkts.n stil hv da nrve to tlk bout ‘harm’s way’
NATO hit back –
The Taliban struck back, referencing the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) –
@ISAFmedia UNAMA is an entity of whom? mine or yours?
NATO turned their sights on another known Taliban account, @alemarahweb.
Here’s the linked video, showing an ISAF commander checking in on his troops following the Kabul attacks.
Even in this age of social media, it is still strange to see this sort of war posturing on a service like Twitter. It just goes to show the incredibly wide range of topics and issues that social media can address. On one side, you’ve got folks talking about Justin Bieber vs. The Jonas Brothers and on the other side you have squabbles that have life and death consequences.