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US Ambassador plays down Kabul attack

6 years ago105 views



The 20-hour siege of the Kabul diplomatic enclave ends with the death of the last Taliban fighters who launched the attack.
Six insurgents holed up in this multi-storey building in the Afghan capital early on Tuesday afternoon, launching rocket propelled grenades at western embassies in a dramatic show of strength.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said at least 11 civilians were killed in the attack.
The Ministry of the Interior said four policemen died, and that the toll was expected to rise.
The US Ambassador to Afghanistan played down the firefight.
"They got into the building and did some harassment fire on us and ISAF. You know, this really is not a very big deal, you know -- hard day for the embassy and my staff who behaved with enormous courage and dedication."
Although six or seven rockets hit inside the embassy compound during the attack, they were not considered a threat.
"Look, a half a dozen RPG rounds from 800 metres away, that isn't Tet, that is harassment. If that is the best they can do, you know, I think it's actually a statement of their weakness and more importantly, since Kabul is in the hands of Afghan security, it is a real credit to the Afghan national security forces."
The Ambassador said he believed the Haqqani network was behind the attack - a Taliban-allied insurgent faction that enjoys safe haven in parts of Pakistan.
There have been a number of large and fatal attacks in Kabul recently, including the bombing of the British Council headquarters in August, and an assault in June on a hotel frequented by foreigners.
Nick Rowlands, Reuters.