The security breach took place in one of the most fortified parts of Kabul, less than a mile from the presidential palace and the headquarters of the American-led coalition. It raised the prospect that the Taliban, which launched a series of high-profile attacks inside Kabul last year, plans to pick up where it left off as winter snows give way to spring, clearing the high mountain passes and opening the annual fighting season.
Compounding the fears of renewed violence in Kabul was the apparent complicity of Afghan soldiers in the plot. Afghan soldiers and police have been killing their colleagues from the American-led coalition at an alarming rate in recent months – only hidden bombs, the so-called improvised explosive devices, have killed more coalition service members this year.
The Wall Street Journal reports that 16 coalition members have been killed so far this year in such incidents, and 80 total since 2007.
Nine of those deaths came after last month’s burning of Qurans – said to include notes between prisoners – on an American base. After the incident, the Taliban urged Afghan forces to focus their anger on their coalition counterparts. Coalition commander Gen. John Allen acknowledged that the Quran burning was a factor in a recent slew of such attacks, the WSJ reports.
General Allen said yesterday that while such incidents are tragic, they are to be expected and do not mean the whole operation is flawed, The Telegraph reports.