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Taliban attack signals shift from direct engagement to short suicide strikes

Washington/Kabul , Tue, 19 Apr 2011 ANI

Washington/Kabul, Apr. 19 (ANI): Monday's attack in Kabul suggests that the Taliban may have shifted from direct engagements with NATO and Afghan forces in favor of being able to infiltrate secure compounds and carry out suicide attacks.


It maybe recalled that a man dressed in an Afghan military uniform entered the Ministry of Defense in Kabul on Monday and opened fire, killing at least two people and injuring seven.


The incident marked the third time in four days that an attacker dressed in an Afghan police or military uniform had infiltrated a secure compound and carried out a lethal attack.


"The enemy has entered every part of the government. They are everywhere, whether it's government institutions or our villages. The enemy has even infiltrated the Afghan Army and police, working there for years and gaining trust, and now they can carry out attacks whenever they want," the Christian Science Monitor quoted Noor al-Haq Olumi, a former Afghan Army general, as saying.


He added: "This year, I believe it will be more violent because there will be more attacks like this one today."


Following last summer's military offensive and an active campaign against the insurgency over the winter, NATO officials say they have killed or captured large number of insurgents.


NATO and Afghan forces have also grown by 107,000 personnel, and this growth has likely cut into insurgents' freedom of movement, making covert, suicide attacks more feasible and easier to carry out than large military-style assaults.


"If they carry out large attacks on the roads and in the mountains, they will lose many people. They are trying to reduce their casualties by carrying out small attacks in more high-profile places," Saleh Mohamed Saleh, a member of parliament from Kunar Province, said.


Despite potential losses, reconciliation talks and the announcement of the withdraw of foreign forces in 2014 have likely given insurgents a morale boost, says Malim Mir Wali, a former member of parliament from Helmand and a former Hezb-e-Islami member.


"From one side, the international community announced that they would leave, and from the other side when there are reconciliation talks, the Taliban tries to carry out attacks to show they are strong and winning so people should not negotiate," he says. (ANI)


Read More: Kunar | Mon

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