Afghan interior minister, intel chief quit over attack

The statement said Karzai had accepted the resignations of Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh after an investigation into Wednesday's attack.

Afghan interior minister, intel chief quit over attack

Afghanistan's interior minister and the head of intelligence have resigned over an insurgent attack last week on a national peace conference during its opening by President Hamid Karzai, his office said on a statement on Sunday.

Insurgents fired at least four rockets at a giant tent holding a traditional jirga (gathering) of 1,600 Afghan elders and notables on Wednesday. They all fell short, but the attack was followed up by a commando raid by three insurgents wearing suicide vests.

"The president lost confidence in our capability to provide security for the jirga and my explanation to the president was not convincing enough," intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh told a news conference.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which came despite a massive security blanket thrown over the capital.

While there were no casualties apart from the attackers, two were shot dead and one captured.

A statement from Karzai's palace said he had accepted the resignation of Saleh and Interior Minister Hanif Atmar.

Atmar is a Pashtun technocrat who has worked in humanitarian organisations and once served as a senior spy during the communist regime.

Saleh, an ethnic Tajik from northern Afghanistan, was an active member of the Northern Alliance, the main faction fighting the Taliban during the late 1990's.

He had served as Karzai's intelligence chief for more than five years.

The statement from Karzai's palace said the president had appointed Paswal Mohammad Munir Mangal as acting Interior Minister and Engineer Ibrahim Spinzada as acting head of the intelligence department.


Reuters

Last Mod: 06 Haziran 2010, 17:55
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