Today’s assault in Kabul fits in with the pattern of insurgent attacks becoming increasingly audacious as international forces in Afghanistan reinforce in their efforts to suppress the resistance. The attack began just after 9 in the morning when all government offices would have been open in the capital.
The insurgent operation appeared to have been extremely well coordinated and extensive. STRATFOR said the Presidential Palace and the ministries of defense, justice, mines, finance and education – all were hit; so was the Central Bank headquarters, Afghan Telecom and shopping centers.
Press TV reported that the insurgents detonated bombs inside several buildings. Al Jazeera, at one stage, said at least 12 people had been killed, including several attackers and members of the Afghan security forces. The figure is certain to be higher, with the fighting continuing as I write.
The task of dealing with the attackers fell upon Afghan security forces. American and NATO troops were reported to have been playing a ‘supportive’ role. Gunfire, rocket fire and suicide bombings were all part of the insurgent operation.
The assault came on the day President Hamid Karzai’s truncated cabinet – what was left after the Afghan Parliament twice rejected a large number of presidential nominees – was to be sworn in. It also comes prior to the arrival of tens of thousands of American and allied troops in Afghanistan.
The Taliban were quick to claim responsibility for today’s assault. But almost certainly others opposed to the occupation forces were involved.