Afghanistan: The successful start of the Taliban's spring offensive

world | Apr 17, 2012 | By Asia News

Kabul - The Taliban's spring offensive was a success, a source told AsiaNews, anonymous for security reasons. Foreign embassies and NATO bases came under attack in Kabul yesterday with the fight lasting until this morning.

"The attackers reached their goals. They hit wherever they wanted to hit and were taken down as expected," the source said. "What happened shows that they can do whatever they want." In the 18-hour attack, Taliban fighters carried out six simultaneous operations in various parts of the city.

The official death tolls stands at 47: all 36 attackers, eight Afghan security forces and three civilians. Sixty-five people, including 25 civilians were wounded.

The first explosions were in the capital's 'green zone' against the US, German and British embassies. A police school and the newly built Kabul Star Hotel were also targeted. One Taliban commando attacked the afghan parliament and the Russian embassy.

Sources told AsiaNews that the spring offensive "was a well-prepared and thought-out operation. Someone is behind it, coordinating and planning."

The attack resembles the one of 13 September 2011 when a suicide commando attacked the US embassy, NATO headquarters and a number of police facilities.

What is more, special forces acknowledge that the Taliban had announced their attack.

"The spring offensive came right on time and no one tried to stop it. The Taliban are not going after poor neighbourhoods or the bazaars. They are interested in embassies, military areas and government buildings. Yet, no special security measures were taken."

A few hours after the incidents, civilian life was back to normal. "This attack changes nothing," another source in Kabul told AsiaNews. As usual, people just wait until it is over. It is sad but we are used to it. Such attacks are unpredictable and trying to stop them would make no sense. We must start again." (GM)

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