Afghan Foreign Minister Calls For Dismissals Of Top Security Chiefs After Kabul Attacks
RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan June 05, 2017
Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani has called for the dismissal of the country's top security chiefs after a wave of deadly attacks in the capital, Kabul.
Rabbani, speaking at a press conference in Kabul on June 5, said the attacks in the past week that killed or wounded over 600 people in the city had raised questions about the "security institutions and their abilities."
A deadly bombing in Kabul on May 31 killed at least 90 people and wounded more than 460, at least five people were killed and around 20 wounded on June 2 in deadly clashes between police and protesters, and at least seven were killed and around 100 injured after three suicide bombers detonated their explosives at a funeral on June 3.
The attacks in Kabul have exacerbated tensions between rival ethnically based political groups in Afghanistan.
Rabbani, who heads the mainly ethnic-Tajik Jamiat-e Islami political group, attended the funeral but escaped unhurt.
He blamed "terrorists within the system," suggesting elements in the government were behind the attack.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the two deadly attacks in Kabul, with the Taliban denying any involvement.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS), the country's main intelligence agency, said the suicide bombers who attacked the funeral were trained at the Mawlawi Ahmad madrasah, or religious school, in the southwest Pakistani city of Quetta.
The NDS has also blamed the Kabul bombing on May 31, the deadliest in the city since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, on the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, which is allied to the Afghan Taliban.
Rabbani specifically called for the dismissals of National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar, Interior Minister General Taj Mohammad Jahid, Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami, and intelligence chief Masoom Stanekzai.
He also demanded an investigation into the funeral blasts and called for President Ashraf Ghani to fully implement the national unity government agreement, including creating the position of prime minister for Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who is a member of Jamiat-e Islami.
The national unity government led by Ghani and Abdullah was brokered by Washington after the disputed election of 2014.
Police have locked down much of Kabul city, with armed checkpoints and armored vehicles patrolling the streets, although several dozen protesters on June 5 continued a peaceful sit-in near the blast site. Several other sit-ins were being held in other parts of the city.
Kabul will host a multinational peace conference on Afghanistan labelled the "Kabul Process," on June 6.
Representatives of around two dozen countries will attend the meeting, which aims to build international support for ways to restore security in the country.
With reporting by Tolo News and AFP
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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