As another suicide attack kills six, tension is high in Afghanistan and the government is being criticised for its failure to address militancy, after the recent assassination attempt against Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Investigators think al-Qaeda is involved. Meanwhile, the Taliban have promised to step up their offensive.
The Taliban have promised to step up their offensive in war-torn Afghanistan
Amrullah Saleh, the head of Afghanistan’s secret service, has claimed that the assassination plot was hatched in Pakistan but the investigation is currently taking place in Afghanistan.
Saleh told Deutsche Welle that three operations had been launched simultaneously since the attack, one of which resulted in a gun battle and an eight-hour siege.
He said three insurgents had been killed in their hideouts in the capital Kabul and six more had been detained.
Political analysts believe that the assassination attempt has undermined confidence in the Afghan government’s efforts to combat insurgency in the war-torn country.
At least three people, including a member of parliament and the head of the Qizilbash tribe were killed and 10 others were wounded in the attack on the Afghan president’s life.
Urmiz Turkistani, an expert based in the country’s north, thinks the government is powerless: “The government’s incapability has boosted the Taliban’s resolve to intensify their attacks.”
“We should expect more attacks within the next few days. However, the government will not resist. The Afghan president still has mercy for the Taliban”.
The government denies these allegations and has launched a full-scale investigation into the attack.
Stepped-up Taliban offensive
The insurgents are reportedly linked to militants operating out of Pakistan’s tribal regions. The Afghan intelligence services think the assassination attempt on President Karzai was organised in Peshawar in Northern Waziristan.
Amrullah Saleh would not say, however, whether he thought the Pakistani intelligence services were involved in the assassination plot.
For their part, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack on the military parade. They have also warned that they are stepping up their offensive in Afghanistan.
15 people were killed by a suicide attack in eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday and two explosions rocked Kandahar on Thursday, killing six.
“It does not matter if the attack on the parade was done by al-Qaeda or by the Taliban,” says Turkistani. “It was a terrorist act. But the important point is that the government failed to foil the attack. If the insurgents managed to kill the president, Afghanistan would once again plunge into destruction”.
The attack on the military parade has frightened many in Afghanistan. Experts fear people will continue to lose confidence in the government and the national army as a result.