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Afghan officials quit after security lapses

Afghan officials quit after security lapses
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Both Afghanistan’s interior minister and head of intelligence have resigned after losing the confidence of President Hamid Karzai.

Secret service supremo Amrullah Saleh and Interior Minister Hanif Atmar have taken the fall for a Taliban rocket attack at a peace conference, or ‘jirga’, attended by Karzai earlier this week.

The rockets fired by the Taliban insurgents fell short of their target, a tent housing Karzai and hundreds of tribal elders. Police foiled three suicide bomb attempts at the jirga.

Karzai has followed through with one of the plans put forward at the meeting; in a gesture to moderate members of the Taliban, there is to be a review of the cases of imprisoned suspected insurgents and the release of those being held without sufficient evidence.

Meanwhile, several Taliban attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan have caused military and civilian casualties.

Near Jalalabad in the east of the country, a suicide car bomber rammed into a NATO convoy, injuring 13 civilians.

Five NATO soldiers also lost their lives in three separate incidents, including three who died in a road accident.

Four of the five soldiers killed were American.