Afghan gov’t in charge after 18-hour assault

Afghan gov’t in charge after 18-hour assault

Afghan gov’t in charge after 18-hour assault

AP Photo

Afghanistan said its forces regained control of Kabul yesterday after killing “all” Taliban militants during the 18-hour attacks on the capital.

A total of 47 people, most of them attackers, were killed and some 65 wounded in Kabul and three neighboring provinces where government and military targets also came under attack, Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi told a news conference.

Coordinated attacks across Afghanistan showed an intelligence failure on the part of both Afghan and NATO forces, President Hamid Karzai said yesterday. “The terrorists’ infiltration in Kabul and other provinces is an intelligence failure for us and especially for NATO and should be seriously investigated,” Karzai said in a statement. The president however praised the “bravery and sacrifice of the security forces who quickly and timely reacted to contain the terrorists.”

 Thirty-six insurgents were killed in the attack that also claimed the lives of eight Afghan policemen and three civilians and proved that militants can still penetrate Afghan security after 10 years of war, said Mohammadi. Kabul was hit by a wave of attacks in three areas April 15, with embassies and foreign military bases coming under fire in what the Taliban said was the start of its spring offensive. “One terrorist who was arrested in Nangarhar province confessed, saying it was the al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, based in Pakistan, that launched these attacks,” Mohammadi said.

The biggest coordinated attack in 10 years of war has shaken a vulnerable nation facing the withdrawal of a huge force of NATO troops within two years.

Compiled from AP and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.