Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

U.S. general: Taliban may be behind Kabul attack

U.S. general: Taliban may be behind Kabul attack

The report to Congress by inspectors general of the Pentagon, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development also cast doubt on the administration's decision to send a new set of military advisers this year to work with Afghan forces closer to the front lines.

Just after midday, a vehicle bomb exploded at the entrance to the ministry compound, said Hashmat Stanekzai, spokesman for Kabul police.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility just hours after the attack, but Nicholson said the tactics "track with" those used by the Taliban-Haqqani network.

Last week the Taliban called on Kabul residents to stay away from military and intelligence centres in the capital, saying they planned more assaults as part of their annual spring offensive. Danish said that based on initial information one police officer was killed and five others injured.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a district headquarters in the northern Takhar province, killing five security forces, according to provincial police spokesman Khalil Asir.

Officials inside the ministry said the attackers could not breach key buildings as they are located far from the main entrance and there is a wide flat space inside the compound, helping Afghan forces to subdue the attack quickly.

Gen. John Nicholson, the current commander of USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan, said Wednesday that secret negotiations have begun with at least some Taliban leaders on a proposed cease-fire, although whether the Taliban contacts speak for the entire insurgent movement is an open question.

It was a rare victory for Afghan security forces, who have struggled to secure the capital in recent months amid relentless attacks by the Taliban and the IS affiliate in Afghanistan.

"After that, several gunmen tried to get into the ministry, but they faced resistance by our security forces", he said.

Khalid Safi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, says those killed were the commander of the police station and the deputy director of traffic police for Logar's capital city, Puli Alim. However, a police officer who declined to be identified said the toll was higher than reported.

"The attackers had long hair and started shooting at police force members", said Mohammad Salim, a police soldier.

Gen. Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said seven attackers were killed and that cleanup operations were underway.

The nomination, which will elevate Gen. Miller to a four-star general, has been made amid a brutal spate of Taliban terrorist attacks and high-profile USA military operations that have bloodied both sides during this year's fighting season.

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