KABUL:Afghan authorities said that they would step up security Thursday after simultaneous Taliban attacks on three government offices in Kabul that left 26 people dead as well as eight of the attackers.
The strikes in the capital came ahead of an expected visit by US envoy Richard Holbrook as part of a regional tour aimed at crafting a new US policy for tackling extremist unrest in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan.
“We will have to take tougher security measures,” Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar said after the strikes, which sparked panic in the capital of the war-ravaged country. Atmar would not give details about the new measures but warned they would likely cause more disruptions to daily life.
The most deadly attack on Wednesday took place at the justice ministry, where five militants were gunned down by security forces and at least 10 ministry employees killed as the gunmen opened fire, the minister said. Intelligence Chief Amrullah Saleh told reporters that there had been information that a “spectacular attack” involving multiple suicide attackers was planned but that it had been too general to act on.
Authorities were still looking for 21 suspects, Saleh said.
President Hamid Karzai ordered quick action against the Kabul attackers and assured in a statement that the “security forces have the ability to protect the lives and property of the people of Afghanistan.” But the attacks were certain to increase fears about deteriorating security in the country despite the presence of nearly 70,000 international forces working alongside the fledgling Afghan army and police.-SANA