Pakistan Observer

US special forces must leave Wardak, Logar

US special forces must leave Wardak, Logar

Taliban target Afghan intelligence agency in 3 suicide attacks

Monday, February 25, 2013 - Kabul—Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded Sunday the withdrawal of US special forces from Wardak and Logar within two weeks, accusing them of fuelling “insecurity and instability” in the volatile provinces neighbouring the capital Kabul.

“In today’s national security council meeting… President Karzai ordered the ministry of defence to kick out the US special forces from Wardak and Logar provinces within two weeks,” said presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi.

“The US special forces and illegal armed groups created by them are causing insecurity, instability, and harass local people in these provinces,” he told a press conference.

The announcement would be another blow to the prestige of US-led forces as they prepare to withdraw combat troops from the war against Taliban insurgents by the end of next year.

A US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) spokesman said he was aware of the reported comments by Faizi.

“We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and go to great lengths to determine the facts surrounding them,” he said.

“Until we have had a chance to speak with senior (Afghan) officials about this issue we are not in a position to comment further.

Meanwhile, Taliban suicide bombers targeted Afghan security forces in three separate attacks on Sunday while the country’s intelligence agency said it prevented a similar strike in the capital’s diplomatic enclave.

Two suicide car bombings in eastern Afghanistan killed two intelligence agents and a police officer, officials said.

Although such bombings have long been a militant tactic, the gradual withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops and mild winter weather have allowed insurgents to be more active in various parts of Afghanistan than in past years.

One of Sunday’s suicide attacks targeted a building used by the country’s National Directorate of Security in eastern city of Jalalabad, where two intelligence agency guards died when a bomber exploded a vehicle near it, officials said.

Hours later, a second bomber tried to storm a police post in Logar province to the south of Kabul. Police fatally shot the bomber, but he was able to detonate his explosives, killing one officer.

Also in another, evidently coordinated attack in Logar, a suicide bomber detonated himself near a group of police officers, killing one and a civilian, authorities said.

The Taliban asserted responsibility for the attacks in Jalalabad and Logar province.

In Kabul, security forces killed a man inside an SUV they suspected was planning to stage an attack in front of a branch of the intelligence directorate in an area where several Western embassies are based.

Security forces blocked several roads for hours in the morning, opening them after they defused the explosives packed inside the Toyota Land Cruiser.

As foreign troops draw down here, the Taliban have more than in past years focused their attacks on Afghan security forces.

Last month in Kabul, six Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers were killed as they tried to storm the National Directorate of Security offices in another part of the city. Days later, insurgents raided the main traffic department, exchanging fire with security forces for almost nine hours. At least four bombers were killed, officials reported, as well as two policemen.—Agencies

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