Security forces have links to militants: Experts
Several gunmen, equipped with heavy and light weapons, stormed a high-rise building under construction near the Abdul Haq Square in the heavily-fortified capital city at around 1:30pm on Tuesday.
They began firing at the National Directorate of Security (NDS) office, the US embassy, NATO headquarters and some government compounds. Separately, the militants carried out suicide blasts near Deh Mazang Square and Habibia High School on the Darul Aman road, with one suicide bomber killed before reaching his target in the Bibi Mahro area.
NATO commander, Gen. John Allen, along with NATO Senior Civilian Representative Simon Gass, told a joint news conference 17 people -- 11 civilians, five police officers and 11 insurgents -- died in the 20-hour battle. Six ISAF personnel were also wounded.
Former defence minister and military expert, Shah Nawaz Tanai, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban were able to conduct the attacks as the Afghan government, especially the security apparatus, was unable to prevent them.
If the security forces were equipped and coordination forged among them, they could prevent such attacks, he believed. Another reason was that international troops had not properly trained their Afghan partners, Tanai said.
The capacity and strength of national security forces had not been enhanced to independently maintain security, he said, adding their morale remained weak because of an absence of mandatory service and the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Their morale could be boosted only by improved leadership, modern weapons as well as a single command and management centre, Tanai explained. He believed joint centres, a reserve force and checkpoints could prevent disruptive activities.
Another analyst, Hilaluddin Hilal, called the deadly incident a major security lapse that enabled the militants to infiltrate into security organs. The ex-deputy minister of interior affairs said although security forces demonstrated their devotion in fighting the rebels, they were not professionally trained to deal with suicide attacks.
It would be difficult preventing such assaults if law-enforces with links to insurgents were not identified and prosecuted, he warned.
Ex-deputy interior minister Gen. Abdul Hadi Khalid insisted on properly training Afghan Special Forces, saying they must recognise their responsibilities, including an effective response to such strikes.
It was not easy dealing with suicide assailants, acknowledged Khalid. The militants were fully equipped for the attacks and they approached their targets based on the basis of their own information, he said.
The battle came weeks after Afghan forces assumed responsibility for the security of Kabul province except Sarobi district. Panjsher, Bamiyan, Mehtarlam, Lashkargah and Herat City have also transitioned to the Afghan security lead. The security switch will be complete across the country by the end of 2014.
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