Five NATO troops killed in Afghanistan

June 7, 2010

KABUL -- Five NATO soldiers were killed on Sunday in Afghanistan, in a day which left another six dead and 26 wounded. On the same day country’s spy chief and interior minister resigned, taking responsibility for failing to prevent the Taliban attack on a peace conference held in Kabul last week.

The soldiers, members of NATO's U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), were killed in two separate attacks and a crash, according to a NATO statement quoted by AFP.
“Three ISAF service members died today as a result of a vehicle accident in southern Afghanistan,” the NATO statement said.
“In a separate operation, one ISAF service member died today following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan. Another ISAF service member died today as a result of an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan.”
The deaths follow the killings of two ISAF soldiers on Friday by small-arms fire in the militant-infested south, where international forces are fighting an increasingly deadly insurgency led by the Taliban.
Three policemen died when their car hit a roadside bomb, the weapon of choice of the Taliban, in the northern province of Kunduz, the interior ministry said earlier.
Two civilians and another officer were killed by an improvised explosive device targeting police in the Taliban spiritual homeland of Kandahar, the provincial government said.
The bomb wounded 11 civilians, including six children.
Afghan spy chief, interior minister resign
Afghanistan's spy chief and interior minister resigned yesterday taking responsibility for failing to prevent an attack on a government conference held in Kabul last week, The Washington Post reported.
President Hamid Karzai said in a statement that Interior Minster Hanif Atmar and General Director for National Security Amrullah Saleh provided explanations for the security breach that were “not satisfactory.”
Both men were considered close to the U.S., and had earned a reputation for being reformists in a government widely regarded as ineffectual. Saleh has a close relationship with the CIA that dates back to Afghanistan's civil war in the 1990s.
The resignations come at a delicate time. Amid a spike in violence, the U.S. is deploying 30,000 new troops to bolster the international military presence in Afghanistan. One of the principal goals of the surge is to better train and equip the country's fledgling police forces, which fall under the Ministry of Interior.
Karzai's government, meanwhile, is attempting to lay the groundwork for an armistice with the Taliban and other armed groups. Last week's reconciliation conference, known as a “peace jirga,” was marred by a series of attacks during Karzai's opening remarks.
The Taliban took responsibility for the rocket attacks and gunfight that unfolded Tuesday morning near the tent where 1,600 delegates from around the country met. The delegates, who were appointed by Karzai's government, backed the president's peace plan, but failed to come up with a detailed strategy to negotiate a truce.
Karzai said he appointed Deputy Interior Minister Munir Mangal as interim minister and Ibrahim Spinzada, an engineer, as the new spy chief.
Photo: An Afghan policeman stands guard as a NATO military vehicle burns after its military convoy was hit by a suicide attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 6, 2010. (AP photo)