Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Google



International
News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |

International Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Security in Kabul strengthened

Karzai praises troops’ response to Monday attacks


12 people, including seven militants, dead

Operation was Afghan-led, says NATO


KABUL: Afghan forces tightened security in Kabul on Tuesday, a day after a brazen Taliban assault on the capital left 12 people, including seven militants, dead and raised concerns about the government’s ability to protect even urban centres.

President Hamid Karzai ordered a review of the security plan for the capital but said Afghan troops should be praised for their performance in preventing an even bigger disaster.

Troops searched vehicles entering the city and increased the number of checkpoints, along with foot patrols and vehicle patrols, said deputy police chief Mohammad Khalil Dastyar.

The streets were otherwise calm, and traffic was back to normal following the attack, which left many roads deserted except for security forces as terrified Afghans raced for cover from explosions and machine-gun fire that echoed across the city. Afghan forces along with NATO advisers managed to restore order after nearly five hours of fighting.

The assault by a handful of determined militants dramatised the vulnerability of the Afghan capital, undermining public confidence in the ability of the government and its U.S.-led allies to provide security. A handful of gunmen — perhaps fewer than a dozen — paralysed a city of 4 million for hours, forcing Ministries to stop work as police used the buildings for firing positions.

Mohammad Nasir, a taxi driver, said the government must do more to stop foreign attackers from crossing the border.

“They always say that these attackers are coming from outside, but they don’t have wings to fly from the sky and come here, so they come from the ground,” he said. “If we had professional Afghan forces, they could stop them ... but we see we don’t have professional forces to keep them from coming.”

Mr. Karzai asked for the security review after he was briefed by the Defence and Interior Ministers.

The attack unfolded as Cabinet members were being sworn in despite Parliament’s rejection of most of Mr. Karzai’s choices in two rounds of voting.

With just 14 Ministers confirmed, the President has named caretakers for the 11 vacant posts amid pressure to assemble a Cabinet ahead of a January 28 international conference in London to discuss ways to shore up Afghanistan’s security and development.

Most of the caretakers were nominees who had been rejected by Parliament. Several also were officially appointed as deputies in the Ministries, meaning they will remain in office even after a new Minister is named.

Seven attackers either blew themselves up with suicide vests or died in fierce gunbattles.

The civilian casualty toll, meanwhile, was relatively low — two, including one child. Three security forces also were killed.

Most of the 71 people wounded suffered light injuries and all but three had been treated and released by Tuesday, according to Said Kabir Amiri, who oversees hospitals in Kabul.

NATO said the operation to secure the capital on Monday was Afghan-led, though it had explosives experts and other troops in supporting roles. — AP

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



International

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |



Hitachi Chandraayan I


News Update



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |

Copyright 2010, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu