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Kabul siege ends

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 02:10

Sept. 14 - Siege ends after the longest sustained attack on the Afghan capital by militants since the U.S.-led invasion a decade ago. Paul Chapman reports.

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Echoing gunfire sounded the beginning of the end of the militant assault on the heart of Kabul's diplomatic and military enclave. Afghan security forces fought floor-by-floor, with the insurgents holed up inside this unfinished high-rise block. The attack on the Afghan capital took a long and deadly 20 hours to crush. Kabul's police chief said all the insurgents involved were now dead. SOUNDBITE: General Ayoud Salangi, chief of Kabul police, saying (Dari): "We have killed the six fighters who launched attacks yesterday from this high building where they were holed up. As you see, this was a better location for them to launch the attack but they could not blow up their car which was full of explosives in the area." The insurgents used the tower block to fire rockets at the U.S. and other embassies and at NATO's headquarters. It was part of Tuesday's co-ordinated assault that targeted other areas of the city as well. At least nine people were killed and more than 20 wounded in four attacks. It's a clear show of strength by the militants ahead of the handover of security to Afghan forces in 2014. Afghan political analyst Haroon Mir says the assault proves that Afghan forces aren't yet ready for such a task. SOUNDBITE: Afghan political analyst Haroon Mir saying (English): "Our worries are what will happen once NATO forces will leave the country because we all know that Afghan security forces will not be able to take full responsibility by 2014. This is why people are afraid and as long as NATO is here, we all know that the Taliban will not be able to take control of the country." The assault was the second big attack in Kabul less than a month after suicide bombers killed nine people in a raid on the British Council headquarters. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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Kabul siege ends

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 02:10