U.S. Embassy in Kabul cancels services

Sept. 18, 2012 at 2:22 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Embassy in Kabul announced Tuesday that routine services there were suspended as a result of security threats in the Afghan capital.

Afghan rebel group Hezb-e-Islami claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Kabul that left at least 14 people dead Tuesday. The group told The New York Times that a female suicide bomber carried out the attack in response to a film produced in the United States that was seen as insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.

"Due to security incidents in Kabul, the consular section has canceled all appointments," the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in a Tuesday warning.

Regional tensions over the film have strained a fragile security situation in Afghanistan. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan said in a Tuesday statement it was responding to the reaction to the film by keeping a low profile.

ISAF has taken some prudent, but temporary, measures to reduce our profile and vulnerability to civil disturbances or insider attacks," a statement read. "This means that in some local instances, operational tempo has been reduced, or force protection has been increased."

Coalition forces in Afghanistan are reviewing their training program for national recruits following a series of attacks by Afghan forces on international troops. NATO, in a statement, said the structure of the training mission "has not changed."

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