Taliban boast their attacks show strength

April 18, 2012 at 8:30 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, April 18 (UPI) -- A series of attacks in Afghanistan this week was intended to show enemies that they can hit secure locations, a spokesman for Taliban insurgents said.

A wave of bold attacks in Kabul and three other areas of the country Sunday were repelled by government forces.

The Taliban said they sent fighters to battle with suicide vests, rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades in the capital city and in Nangarhar, Paktia and Logar provinces, CNN reported Wednesday.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said targets were selected carefully by "our suicide-attacking friends."

"We wanted to demonstrate our power to the enemy that even their safest and securest places can become under our attacks," Mujahid said. "And also we could target [International Security Assistance Force headquarters] from one of those positions and that was very important for us, because ISAF HQ is the most important military base of our enemy."

While the Taliban said they were behind the attacks, NATO members and diplomats indicated others were more involved, CNN reported.

On Sunday, Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, said the Taliban were "very good at issuing statements, less good at fighting," suggesting the attacks may be the work of the Haqqani network because the Taliban did not have the capacity to conduct them.

In Washington, Defense Department spokesman George Little said the attacks seemed to have signatures of previous attacks carried out by the Haqqani network.

Four civilian, eight members of Afghan security forces and 35 insurgents died in the nearly 18 hours of violence, Afghan officials said. ISAF said that as many as seven locations in Kabul were attacked, including the Parliament building and the American, German and Russian embassies.

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