The Taliban claimed responsibility for two coordinated suicide assaults today at army recruitment centers in Kabul and Kunduz that killed 13 Afghan security personnel.
The larger attack took place at the main recruitment center in the northern city of Kunduz. At least four heavily armed Taliban suicide bombers dressed in Afghan Army uniforms attacked the base. Two of the suicide bombers are reported to have detonated at the main gate, while the other two entered the compound and sparked a gunbattle with Afghan and Coalition forces. Five Afghan soldiers and three policemen were killed in the fighting; another 20 security personnel were wounded.
In Kabul, a pair of armed Taliban suicide bombers opened fire on a bus carrying recruits just outside of the main training facility on the outskirts of the capital. Police at a nearby checkpoint returned fire, killing one suicide bomber. The other detonated his vest near the bus, killing five Afghan soldiers. The Taliban identified the two suicide bombers as Abdullah and Hanzallah.
The Taliban, in two statements released on their website, Voice of Jihad, claimed credit for both terror attacks. The Taliban said that 29 “puppets,” a term it uses for Afghan security personnel, were killed in the Kunduz attack and that another 13 were killed in Kabul. But the Taliban exaggerate Afghan and Coalition casualties on a daily basis, often claiming that scores of troops are killed and dozens of “tanks” are destroyed.
The attack in Kabul was likely carried out by the Kabul Attack Network, which is made up of fighters from the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, and cooperates with terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and al Qaeda. Top Afghan intelligence officials have linked the Kabul Attack Network to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate as well. The network’s tentacles extend outward from Kabul into the surrounding provinces of Logar, Wardak, Nangarhar, and Kapisa.
The Kunduz attack was likely carried out by the Taliban in conjunction with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which is an al Qaeda affiliate that is based in Pakistan and operates in northern Afghanistan. Top leaders of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have integrated into the Taliban’s shadow government in the northern provinces of Kunduz, Baghlan, and Takhar.
Over the past six months, Coalition and Afghan special operations forces have targeted the Kabul Attack Network and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan during a series of raids. Top leaders of both terror groups have been killed or captured.
Many killed in Afghan city attacks, Al Jazeera
Martyrdom attack on army recruitment center in Kunduz kills 29, Voice of Jihad