US Envoy Goes To Kabul To Assess Situation

Kabul, Afghan (RushPRnews) 02/12/09--Afghan troops are filling the streets of Kabul in preparation for the arrival of the new U.S. envoy to the region, a day after the Taliban carried out deadly attacks in the Afghan capital.

Richard Holbrooke is expected to visit Afghanistan Thursday for his first trip to the country.

Officials say they had already planned increased security for the envoy, but Holbrooke’s arrival comes after Wednesday’s near-simultaneous attacks on three government buildings in Kabul. At least 26 people were killed and nearly 60 others wounded in the Taliban assault.

Afghan officials say eight suicide attackers also died after they tried to kill as many people as possible. Some blew themselves up, while others were killed by security guards.

Shortly after the attacks began, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujaheed called VOA and other news outlets, saying the suicide bombers were trying to kill the justice minister. He was not hurt.

The United States and United Nations condemned the attacks against the Justice Ministry, Education Ministry and the office of prisons.
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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attacks as a “horrendous crime against civilians” and “a total disrespect of human rights.”

Interior Ministry officials said the attacks demonstrated a high degree of coordination, adding there are indications that some of the militants were foreigners.

Afghanistan’s security chief Amrullah Saleh said authorities are investigating the possibility militant groups in Pakistan are linked to the assault.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.