Attacks on Kabul defeated; meaning unclear

April 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, April 15 (UPI) -- The commander of Western forces in Afghanistan said officials were analyzing the significance of Sunday's blunted Taliban raid on Kabul.

Guerrillas overran a major hotel in the city and attacked diplomatic compounds, including the U.S. Embassy, but were by and large driven off by the end of the day.

The Taliban announced the attacks were part of a major spring offensive; however, U.S. Gen. John Allen said in a written statement the circumstances were still being scrutinized. "No one is underestimating the seriousness of today's attacks, and we'll work hard to determine the circumstances that led to today's events," said Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force.

Afghan security officials said in a written statement that the attacks were "ineffective" and said about 13 militants had been killed and 15 captured, including two alleged suicide bombers who were nabbed before they could reach their targets.

Allen credited the skills of Afghan security forces in quelling the attacks, and said the attacks were a sign the Taliban was losing its ability to prevent Afghanistan from stabilizing.

U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker went so far as to question whether the attacks were even the work of the Taliban or rather the Haddaqi terror network. "The Taliban are very good at issuing statements, less good at fighting," he told CNN.

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