ISLAMABAD: The Taliban said on Sunday that the coordinated attacks in Kabul and three other provinces were a message to Nato forces, whose spokesman recently claimed that there would be no repeat of Taliban’s ‘spring offensive’.
“These attacks are the beginning of the spring offensive and we had planned them for months,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told The Express Tribune.
He went on to add that the onslaught was a revenge for a series of incidents involving American troops in Afghanistan – including the burning of the Holy Quran at a Nato base and the massacre of 17 civilians by a US soldier – and vowed that there would be more such attacks.
A Nato spokesman German Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson had said that Afghan insurgents have so far shown no sign of planning a repeat of last year’s spring offensive against foreign elements.
“It is a message to Nato forces, whose spokesman recently said that there are no signs of Taliban’s spring offensive,” Mujahid said.
“Mujahideen attacks have now been set in motion. We now ask Nato’s leadership to open their eyes,” he added.
He told The Express Tribune the real targets of the coordinated attacks were the US, British embassies, Isaf headquarters, presidential palace and parliament, adding that no other embassy had been targeted.
“After the Mujahideen offered to take revenge, our military commanders in four provinces – Kabul, Nangarhar, Paktiya and Lugar – coordinated major attacks simultaneously. The attacks were launched in four provinces in an hour,” Mujahid said.
Former Afghan defence minister Shahnawaz Tanai said the Taliban attacks were a show of their existence and capability as a force in Afghanistan. He told The Express Tribune that the Taliban highlighted their own capabilities while exposing the weaknesses of Afghan intelligence and security operatives.
Afghan opposition groups called upon president Hamid Karzai to resign after Afghan security forces were unable to handle the attacks.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2012.