News

Afghan Forces Repel 18 Hour Attack in Kabul

Afghan security personnel leave the area after a battle with Taliban insurgents who took over a building in Kabul, April 16, 2012.
Afghan security personnel leave the area after a battle with Taliban insurgents who took over a building in Kabul, April 16, 2012.
Brian Padden

After early morning explosions and heavy gunfire on Monday shook the Afghan capital and three other Afghan provinces, the Ministry of Interior says fighting that began a day earlier has now ended. Authorities say more than 30 insurgents were killed in the attacks, as well as some soldiers, police officers and civilians.

Hajji Matullah Seddiqi was finishing up his lunch on Sunday afternoon with his wife and two children when he heard gunshots. He looked outside and saw one of the gunmen's vehicles.

“It's a big car, a land cruiser I think, its black," he said. "One man when he dropped down on the street he just fire, fire and the people are going, they want to empty the street first and they shot down on one people, one soldier.”

Smoke rises from the site of an attack near the Afghan parliament in Kabul, April 15, 2012.
Smoke rises from the site of an attack near the Afghan parliament in Kabul, April 15, 2012.
He said the men shot several people before entering a nearby building, beginning an 18-hour standoff that ended early Monday. Seddiqi spent nearly all of it hiding with his family in his parent's basement.

Afghan and international forces finally put down the assault following pre-dawn assaults by U.S.-led coalition helicopters. The Ministry of Interior reports the fighting has also ended in the eastern cities of Jalalabad, Gardez and Pul-e-Alam, where suicide bombers tried to storm a NATO base, an airport and police installations.

General Carsten Jacobson, the spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, says the coordinated attacks all employed the same tactics.

“Small groups, packages of handful or less, insurgents infiltrating mainly into buildings, using them as firing platforms, to indiscriminately to fire rocket-propelled grenades and machine weapons into government or military installations, more to gain effect than to cause real damage,” he said.

The ISAF spokesman praised the increased capability of the Afghan-led forces, mostly police with support from the army, that battled and defeated the insurgents. NATO provided air support in response to requests from the Afghans.

The goal of the small insurgent attacks, Jacobson says, was not to militarily defeat the Afghan forces, but to shake people's confidence and instill fear. The violence did show that the Taliban and their allies are still a determined enemy.

Shukria Barakzai, a member of the Afghan parliament's defense committee, says the ability of the Taliban to infiltrate the heart of the capital raises real concerns about the security challenge facing government forces as U.S. and NATO forces draw down. The majority of international combat troops are scheduled to leave by the end of 2014.

“Mentally you can put yourself in the position of Afghan people, who for 18 hours, non-stop fighting and war," said Barakzai. "It's unbelievable. It's really unbelievable.”

On Sunday, a Taliban spokesperson claimed responsibility for the multiple assaults on embassies, government buildings and NATO bases, saying the operation had been planned for two months to show the insurgency's power after NATO commanders called the Taliban weak.

It was the most widespread attack in the Afghan capital since an assault on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in September. That operation was blamed on the Haqqani network, a Pakistan-based insurgent group allied with the Taliban.

Afghan Interior Minister General Bismillah Mohammadi says the arrest and interrogation of a militant armed with explosives in Jalalabad indicates the Haqqini network may also be behind the latest attacks.

He says the man confessed that he came from outside of the Afghan border, and was trained and equipped there by elements of the Haqqani network.

The attacks come at a time of increased tension between international and Afghan forces over incidents including the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base and a deadly attack by a U.S. soldier that killed 17 Afghan villagers.

NATO and U.S. leaders say despite some setbacks, plans to shift international forces from a combat to support role are moving forward, and the capable response by Afghan forces to the latest attacks is a sign of progress.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jalal
April 17, 2012 9:07 AM
the sucide bombers have not succeded because they were killed. succsion means,you reach a goal while you are still alive.

by: Abdul Ghafar khan
April 16, 2012 5:38 AM
I think that some high rank official in Afghan Defence ministry
has connection with Taliban and there is no doubt about it.
it has been 80 years that the Pashtuns ruled the country but now
how come they sit aside, they want to regain their power which has been fallen in the of Northern alliance.

by: NVO
April 16, 2012 5:22 AM
The fighting ends in afganistan, WHAT A JOKE!!

by: sultan pervez
April 16, 2012 2:18 AM
It looks as though the end game is drawing to an end with clear signs that the message to the Taliban has been sent loud and clear. They have been defeated and i believe have paid very heavily for the wrong decisions of the past. These guys need education not weapons. Astep by step withdrawl from Afghanistan under the negotiated terms and conditions will send a clear message to all supporting extreme wing terrorists around the globe that CRIME does not pay and must be avoided at all costs.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs