Okay, remember my post from not so long ago on the privatisation of civil war violence? I was discussing research that shows local actors utilising the opportunities provided by a civil war to reap terrible violence upon their enemies for personal reasons. Well it turns out that the disastrous Azizabad bombing last year in Afghanistan may well have been the result of precisely this kind of thing. A Channel 4 documentary on the event shows that the tip-off that led to the hugely destructive air strike was motivated by a blood feud between rival families. See the documentary here. I sense that the reporting feels this is an extraordinary occurrence, but judging by research on previous civil wars (see post below), I’d expect this kind of thing has happened a lot more than we have realised in Afghanistan.