Stolen HMMWV Used as a VBIED in Ghazni City Attack

May 20, 2020Joshua Skovlund
humvee DVIDS

The 4th Brigade Combat Team soldiers conducted equipment inventories and preventive maintenance checks and services during their first week preparing form movement to Baghdad, Iraq. Photo courtesy of DVIDS/ Spc. Jason Dangel

On Monday, a HMMWV was used for a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) outside an Afgan Intelligence Agency installation that houses the National Directorate of Security unit in Ghazni city. 

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter that their insurgents had carried out the attack.

At least nine people died and 40 were wounded in a Taliban attack on a government base Monday, which the insurgents said they launched in response to President Ashraf Ghani’s order for troops to go back on the offensive against them,” Stars and Stripes reported.

VBIED attack
A vehicle continues to burn after a taxi loaded with explosives careened into an Iraq Army checkpoint in downtown Mahmudiyah near Baghdad, Iraq. Photo Courtesy of DVIDS.

The use of a HUMVEE is not a traditional tactic employed by the Taliban. Since their first documented activity in 1994, the terrorist organization has implemented attacks through suicide bombings, IEDs, conventional warfare, unconventional warfare, rocket attacks, assassinations, guerilla warfare, massacres, and kidnappings. 

The vehicles used in the past have been typical everyday vehicles found in the Middle East. The Taliban’s use of a HUMVEE raises questions as to how they obtained the vehicle and why they would use it as a VBIED and not implement the armored vehicle within their operations. 

Since the peace agreement that was established between the U.S. and the Taliban, their attacks against Afghanistan Security Forces have been increasing. The agreement laid out a withdrawal of U.S. military personnel in exchange for decreased violence from the Taliban. The continued attacks threaten the fragile peace deal.

In an email to Coffee or Die, Pentagon spokesperson U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Campbell, wrote, “Consistent with the agreement, the U.S. military will continue to conduct defensive strikes against the Taliban when they attack our ANDSF partners.” 

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis that followed the death of George Floyd. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he earned his CrossFit Level 1 certificate and worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. He went on to work in paramedicine for more than five years, much of that time in the North Minneapolis area, before transitioning to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion, where he publishes poetry focused on his life experiences.

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