KABUL: The US commander of Nato troops in Afghanistan on Friday accused the Haqqani network of orchestrating a 12-hour siege on a lakeside hotel in Kabul that killed 18 people.
General John Allen blamed the Haqqani network just weeks after US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said the US was running out of patience with Pakistan over its refusal to eliminate terror havens.
“Afghan national security forces and coalition military sources acknowledge that this attack bears the signature of the Haqqani network, which continues to target and kill innocent Afghans,” Allen said.
Nato confirmed that its troops and Afghan security forces had responded to the assault but Allen emphasised the role played by Afghan forces, seeking to downplay concerns about the ability of the local police and army to manage after Nato combat troops withdraw in 2014.
Allen said he had been “extremely impressed” with the Afghan response.
He condemned the “unspeakably brutal attack” on civilians and paid tribute to the security guards and law enforcement officers who died in order to protect women and children.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2012.
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