Deadly Taliban Attack Shakes Faith in Afghan Security Forces

Infiltration of highly-guarded NATO-Afghan meeting leaves seven dead

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A Taliban suicide bomber, dressed as a police official, infiltrated a governor’s compound in northern Afghanistan Saturday, where top NATO and Afghan officials from the region were meeting. At least seven died in the attack, the New York Times reports. Among those dead are police commander Gen. Daoud Daoud, two NATO soldiers, and the provincial police chief, Shah Jahan Noori. And among the many wounded are the German commander of NATO’s force in the north, Maj. Gen. Markus Kneip, and governor of Takhar Province, Abdul Jabar Taqwa.

According to the Times, the death of General Daoud, who was named chief of the northern zone police, raises concerns about stability in the region as NATO begins turning over security to Afghan forces in July. Daoud was credited "with helping to shift the momentum in the region," and inspired "trust and confidence," according to former presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah.

Equally severe is the fact that this highly-guarded meeting, itself on the subject of security, could have been breached. The attack was only the latest occurrence where infiltrators in the Afghan security forces were able to penetrate heavily guarded government compounds. Last week, an Afghan Army soldier helped secure a uniform and fake identification for a bomber who blew himself up inside the national military hospital in Kabul, killing six people.

President Hamid Karzai called the attack as a “barbaric act of terror.” The attack happened the same day as Karzai instructed his defense minister to stop all night raids by NATO troops in Afghanistan and have only Afghan troops conduct such operations, the Washington Post reports. A spokesman for the U.S. military in Kabul, Maj. Sunset Belinsky, said NATO “fully supports President Karzai’s intent to have Afghan forces increasingly in the lead for operations.” Nonetheless, according to the Post, "the coalition did not signal any intention of making radical changes soon."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.