Taliban test Afghan security forces in attacks

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Taliban test Afghan security forces in attacks

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Afghan security forces have been praised by their NATO colleagues in the way they responded to Sunday’s wave of coordinated attacks on Kabul and several other cities.

Foreign embassies, Nato’s headquarters and the Afghan parliament building were all targeted by Taliban militants in what they termed as the launch of their “Spring offensive.”

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said:
“We will not give in to the violence of the terrorists. We will continue our transfer of power policy despite the setbacks because we are convinced that the agreed withdrawal must be implemented.”

No diplomatic staff were reported hurt, but two Afghan security force members and 19 militants were killed in the assaults. A further 17 Afghan police and several civilians were also injured.

NATO spokesman Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson praised the Afghan security forces:
“In a great many ways what we are seeing today has similarities to the attack that we have seen in September. The insurgents have taken over locations, like one hotel in the centre of the city and other installations from where they are indiscriminately firing with rocket propelled grenades against targets, not so much to hit them or to achieve a military success but to achieve publicity”

The attacks come a month before a NATO summit at which the United States and its allies are supposed to finalise plans for transition to Afghan security control. Western forces are preparing to leave the country and hand over responsibilities to the Afghan forces by 2014.