Apr 152012

Taliban hits Kabul, other Afghanistan cities in rare coordinated attack

PARWIZ/REUTERS – Soldiers from the Afghan National Army keep watch near the
Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) as smoke rises from the site of an attack in Jalalabad province April 15, 2012. Gunmen launched multiple attacks in the Afghan

KABUL — Insurgents attacked cities across eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, including three prominent targets in Kabul, in a rare coordinated attack spanning some of the country’s most important urban centers. The Taliban called the effort the beginning of its spring offensive.

By evening, as the attacks were still ongoing, at least 14 police officers and nine civilians had been wounded, according to the Interior Ministry.

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Today our troops in Afghanistan are dealing with a new wave of attacks and suicide bombings coming from the Taliban! Traditionally, the spring and summer are the big fighting seasons and this year does not look to be bucking the trend.

Taliban fighters launched coordinated attacks in up to 4 cities simultaneously. While of course our troops are always able to defeat the untrained and unequipped Taliban fighters, the message is clear – “get ready for a fight” and our troops must be taking notice today.

Taliban attacked government and international facilities in Kabul and three other cities today in their highest-profile assault this year.

Guerrillas seized three construction sites of multi-story buildings in the capital, using them as high ground from which to fire down on police and threaten government agencies, foreign embassies and military camps. By early evening, with some battles continuing after six hours, police had surrounded the attackers, Interior Ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui said by phone. He said 14 officers and 9 civilians had been wounded and 19 militants killed.

One battle continued about a kilometer from the palace of President Hamid Karzai and the U.S. Embassy, where gunfire and at least two explosions jolted the neighborhood, Siddiqui said.

“This has just been a high-profile showing by the Taliban,” U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, said of the Afghanistan attacks. “The good news in all of this is how well the Afghan national security forces have responded,” he said by e-mail.

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