US embassy attack in Kabul 'no big deal': Ambassador

By AFP
Published: September 14, 2011

US ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker gestures as he speaks during an interview at the US embassy in Kabul on September14, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

KABUL: United States ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker said Wednesday that his embassy was hit with six grenades in a Taliban attack, but played down the insurgents’ raid as “not a very big deal”.

The attack launched on Tuesday lasted for 19 hours and left 14 people dead in a barrage of gunfire and suicide blasts targeting the US embassy and the neighbouring headquarters of NATO-led troops in Afghanistan.

Crocker said at least six rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) landed in the embassy compound although officials had earlier said that injuries there were limited to three Afghan visa applicants and one Afghan security guard.

“This really is not a very big deal, a hard day for the embassy and my staff who behaved with enormous courage and dedication,” he said in a pooled media interview.

“Half a dozen RPG rounds from 800 metres away, that isn’t Tet (a key offensive in the Vietnam war), that’s harassment.”

Crocker blamed the attack on the Haqqani network, a Taliban-allied insurgent group with bases across the porous border in Pakistan that focuses on operations in eastern Afghanistan.

“The information available to us is that these attackers… are part of the Haqqani network, they enjoy safe haven in northern Waziristan (in Pakistan).”

Crocker also said he thought the nature of the attack showed a lack of strength among insurgents and paid tribute to the response of the Afghan security forces.

“If that’s the best they can do, you know, I think it’s actually a statement of their weakness and more importantly, since Kabul is in the hands of Afghan security, it’s a real credit to the Afghan National Security Forces,” he said.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted that the “brave” Americans working at the embassy in Afghanistan would not be deterred by the attack.

The raid was launched by a team of insurgents who holed up in a high-rise building which is under construction and overlooks both the US embassy and the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

It was eventually brought to an end by Afghan and coalition forces on Wednesday.

Reader Comments (8)

  • Word Life
    Sep 14, 2011 - 4:05PM

    Hey, what do you know

    We have another Babar Awan in Kabul as well …Recommend

  • Aamir
    Sep 14, 2011 - 4:49PM

    Why Babar Awan ?? Why not Abdul Rehman Malik??

    Recommend

  • Nahmed
    Sep 14, 2011 - 5:24PM

    I am sure this is also the work of US just to blame Haqqani group to put pressure on Pakistan. How is it possible that freedom fighters (Afghans fighting to clear their country from foreign occupation) taking positions on the under constuction building and having all the fighting material could not do any damage to the buildings housing US and other European Embassies in front of them. This is all selfmade stories like the one on 9/11 and other on the day they came to Abbotabad.

    The words of J.F.Kennedy are becoming true when he said that a very strong group was emerging in USA who wanted to rule the world by hook and crook, by using lies through media (CNN, Al-Jazeera etc) and by attacking other countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Yemen). He was shot dead after few days with no investigation report just like 9/11 and so called killing of OBL.

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Sep 15, 2011 - 2:48AM

    @Nahmen — Associating J.F.K. as a source of your Illuminati conspiracy nonsense is inappropriate — suggest you spend less time on conspiracy theory websites and more time reading Wikipedia.

    Recommend

  • Naz Ebr
    Sep 15, 2011 - 9:09AM

    The Taliban have no such capability to harm foreigners on a large scale, well yeah, they can blow up themselves in a crowded market, in a mosque or in a funeral. They can easily eliminate unarmed civilians but it took them one decade to reach the foreign troops causality count to two thousand; which is nothing comparing to fifty thousand civilians that got killed only in Taliban attacks since 2001.
    Yet, the Taliban have succeeded in dragging the war by sabotaging development process, country’s rebuilding and challenging the writ of government.

    Recommend

  • aa
    Sep 15, 2011 - 11:48AM

    yes of-course its always a bit deal if a crow sits on the wall of US Embassy in Pakistan. But bombs in Afghanistan is not a big deal. we should understand it. When Pakistan will be under the CIA like Afghanistan then bombs in Pakistan will not be big deal also…….

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  • Sep 15, 2011 - 3:18PM

    Something dragging out that long only sounds serious if given little thought. It actually means a lack of activity. It’s the initial attack that had some potential. The one who strikes first will have that advantage. What they did was probably more or less attack, hide and hope for an opportunity. It’s just too bad an embassy would have guards that usually have defensive strategy for attacks attacks and getting innocents away alive as their specialized focus. That procedure would follow a worst case scenario mindset and that attack was most certainly not of the worst case variety.

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  • nasir
    Sep 16, 2011 - 12:35AM

    @Cautious: so…was JFK was insane talking about conspiratorial group?

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