Taliban Terror: Afghan poll Headquaters attacked in Kabul

5 killed in shootout; Taliban claims responsibility

Kabul: Taliban insurgents wearing burqas unleashed rockets and gunfire on the Afghan election commission's headquarters in Kabul on Saturday, in the latest major assault on the city one week before polling day.

Six hours after the attack began, security forces gunned down the last of the five gunmen who had occupied a nearby building and targeted the heavily-fortified election offices.

“There were five attackers, all of them used burqas as a disguise. They have all been killed,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqi said.
“Two members of special police units were slightly injured.”

Independent Election Commission (IEC) spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor said that its employees were unha-rmed after many hid for hours in reinforced saferooms.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack via a recognised Twitter account.

“I heard several explosions, and I saw insurgents armed with heavy and light weapons taking up positions in a private building, and they started firing,” one local driver who declined to give his name said.

As tensions rise in Kabul, some restaurants and shops popular with foreigners have shut for the election period due to the risk in the number of terror attacks by the Taliban.

John Hopkins prof allies with warlord, could be next President

Kabul: A Professor from the John Hopkins University, who has a warlord — General Abdul Rashid Dostum — for a running mate, could be the next Afghan President as he is running for oncoming Presidential polls that will see current President Hamid Karzai replaced, the New Republic reported.

According to the report, Ashraf Ghani, the professor is an impatient man. “I have a strange—because there’s no other way probably of describing ituh, temper,” he was quoted as saying by the news website. The report attributed his temper to him being Afghan and also that he was educated and had earned a living in the United States.

“He has an incredible reputation of having really angered every cabinet member he ever worked with,” Ronald E. Neumann, US envoy to Afghanistan from 2005-2007.

But perhaps that’s what it takes because Mr Ghani, Mr Neumann adds, “is enormously organised. Any time you go see Ashraf he has ideas and plans and the plans are developed, and they’re developed down to six levels of specificity.” As advisor to Hamid Karzai, he organised the Loya Jirga that approved the Constitution and elected Karzai.

( Source : AFP )
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