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Thursday
Jun302011

Hotel Attack Won't Deter Security Transition in Afghanistan

ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Afghanistan's government is determined to move ahead with plans to take over security chores from coalition forces in seven cities and provinces despite an attack by Taliban militants on a luxury hotel that is frequented by Westerners.

Tuesday night's surprise assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul left 12 people dead, while all eight enemy fighters were either killed by NATO helicopters or blew themselves up.

Afghan officials haven't figured out how the gunmen and suicide bombers managed to penetrate the circle of security surrounding the hotel, given that it's one of the most fortified buildings in Kabul.

The Taliban said a conference of 300 officials to discuss the security handover was the target but fewer than 40 had shown up at the time of attack.

It's possible the Taliban might have been tipped off by sympathetic officials about the hotel's security arrangements or were allowed access to the facility by the very forces assigned to protect it.

Despite all the questions left unanswered, the government said Wednesday that the police and army will take over protecting seven areas of the country, including Kabul, from U.S. and NATO forces on or around July 20.

Dr. Ashraf Ghani, who's in charge of the transition, said, "Our enemies should understand that they do not have the ability to block our national intentions."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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