At 0630 this morning, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the form of the Kabul Critical Response Unit (CRU) finished off a crew of villains who had been fighting for the past 16 hours. These guys, most likely HIG militants, had barricaded themselves in a building under construction next to the Azizi Bank located on Zambaq Square, which is right next to the diplomatic quarter. This is the same tactic they used in the attack on the diplomatic quarter last September, but this time they attacked from the opposite direction.
ANSF had pinned the attackers in that building down at the start of this incident yesterday afternoon. When I climbed up Bibi Mahroo Hill for a look see all shooting (and there was a lot still going on) was being done by the ANSF. When a brick wall is all that separates you from the exploding RPG’s, anti tank rockets and heavy machinegun fire the concussive effect from the over-pressure is brutal. I doubt that the villains were in any condition to offer effective resistance by the time the CRU went in to finish them off. At 0630 local time, the scene was declared secure and ANSF announced that the insurgents had been terminated.
These attacks, like those before them, accomplished very little tactically but then again they don’t have to accomplish much of anything. Just mounting the attack is a victory for insurgents with the only audience that counts: the people of Afghanistan. Tactical victories are physical victories and at this point in the conflict physical victories don’t count only moral ones do. The Taliban are fighting against both infidel invaders and a thoroughly corrupt government. They have the moral high ground because we are too stupid or too tone deaf to fight on that level.
So we now have another problem. Not the attacks – they accomplished nothing, as usual, except to demonstrate the insurgents’ ability to stockpile weapons and ammunition inside the most secure parts of Kabul. That takes time, money, and access. They had to pay for that access and whoever they paid – that’s the problem and those kind of problems are endemic when central government corruption is so prevalent.
Here are the latest casualty figures for this series of attacks from Reuters;
Afghan security forces have killed 32 gunmen and arrested one more in operations to stop co-ordinated attacks by Taliban fighters that hit the capital, Kabul, and three other provinces, the defence ministry said on Monday. Eight members of the security forces have been killed and 44 others, including five civilians, wounded, Mohammad Zahir, Kabul CID chief, said on Monday.
Given the amount of ordnance the insurgents fired off that is an amazingly low count. This isn’t the last time Kabul is going to be targeted; we’ll be in the hot seat again soon. For now the local people are going about their business hoping that the next time insurgents decide to make a statement their luck continues to hold.