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Attack on mosque: Four key security officials suspended

Monday’s terror attack in Kabul was security lapse: Analyst

By Mansoor Faizy-KABUL: The Minister of Interior (MoI) on Tuesday suspended four key security officials following Kabul mosque terrorist attack, in which at least 32 innocent worshipers were killed and more than 80 others wounded.

“Following Monday’s terrorist attack in Kabul, the Ministry of Interior has decided to suspend police chief, intelligence officer, counter-terrorism officer and counter-criminal officer of the sixth Kabul police jurisdiction. They have committed negligence in their duty,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, a probe team has been established to investigate the attack and report back to the MoI leadership board.

“The probe team has been tasked to investigate Baqir-ul-Olum mosque attack within 24 hours,” the statement said.

Kabul security officials said that a suicide bomber targeted the Baqir-ul-Uloom mosque in Chahrqala area of Police District 6th at around 12:10 pm, killing dozens of worshipers.

Kabul police spokesman, Basir Mujahid said that praying ceremony was going on when the bomber blew himself up inside the mosque.

Soon after the attack, the Taliban insurgents rejected their involvement. But the Islamic State (IS), which is also known as Daesh, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group also claimed attack on Sakhi shrine. Around, 40 days ago gunmen attacked Shiite mourners in Sakhi shrine on the eve of Ashur in Kabul, where 14 mourners were killed and dozens other wounded. Again Daesh militants claimed responsibility for Ashur attack.

However, despite Afghan leaders, international community also slammed the attack in strongest possible terms.

Reaffirming India’s support to Afghanistan in fight against terrorism, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “We strongly condemn the heinous terrorist attack on a Shia shrine in Kabul and condole loss of innocent lives.”

“For regional peace and security, all sanctuaries, safe havens and support to such terrorists must be ended,” he added.

Likewise, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry in a statement has strongly slammed Monday’s suicide attack inside a Shia mosque in Kabul. “We strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack targeting innocent civilians in the midst of worship, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and convey our condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives, Afghanistan’s government, and the brotherly Afghan nation,” the statement added.

Moreover, China also condemned the terrorist attack. “China strongly condemns the terrorist attack, expresses profound condolence to the victims and sincere sympathy to the injured and the families of the victims,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular news briefing.

China hopes Afghanistan can achieve peace and stability on an early date, and will staunchly support the Afghan government and people to fight terrorism, maintain national stability and people’s safety, Geng said.

Furthermore, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi strongly condemned terrorist attacks on a mourning ceremony in Kabul, and voiced Iran’s concern over the recurrence of similar tragic incidents in the neighboring country.

“Growth and expansion of terrorism in the region is the source of concern,” Qassemi said on Monday in reaction to terrorist explosions in Afghanistan.

It is worth mentioning that Iran is reportedly accused of supporting Taliban militants in Afghanistan in order to suppress Daesh. The country sees Daesh as a biggest threat to her safety.

But irrespective of what militant outfits are doing and saying, the main question is here that why Kabul security officials are neglecting their duty, despite known the fact that the enemies of Afghanistan spare no efforts under their capacity to carry out terrorist attacks. The suspension of key security officials by MoI is a very right move, but not a cure to the security mishap.

A security affairs analyst, M. Nadeem Alizai, said, “It was a security lapse. The security officials have already acknowledged it by suspending four officials. The terrorist succeed because security officials committed negligence. Daesh has sent a suicide bomber and hit the target in the highly secure area of Kabul city. It is very strange because it was not the first attack.” The suspension of security officials at somehow is “right decision”, but more efforts are needed to improve law and order situation in Kabul, and other cities of the country, he said.

“Daesh is a declared enemy of Afghans. The terrorist group kill children, women, civilians, religious scholars, tribal elders, teachers and even journalists,” he said, adding that the group is becoming bolder with each passing day as the international community is fighting Daesh with words.

He said that Daesh could not be defeated unless the major regional players including China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan translate their words into actions.

Responding to a question, Alizai said: “No doubt, militants are clear enemies of the government and people of Afghanistan. There is no second opinion about this. But, we shall also look at the other side of the coin. What about those security officials who are not fulfilling their duties honestly? They are posing threat to national security.”

With due respect to the security officials, and their sacrifices aimed at having a secure country, security organs even failed to keep security of their employees, he said. “For instance, four people were killed and several others wounded in an attack on a vehicle carrying national security officials in Kabul, the capital city. It was second attack on the force. It was a clear wakeup call.” The analyst went on to say that the current security strategies are having loopholes. “To achieve the objects, the government must have a result-oriented and well-thought-out security plan for each and every city that is in the crosshairs of the terrorists,” he suggested.

In a response to a question that such attack can possibly give births to sectarian clashes in Afghanistan, Alizai said that Afghan people have given a befitting response to the terrorists by showing unprecedented unity. “Whenever an ethnic group came under attack, people of other ethnicities showed solidarity and donated blood to save lives of their brothers and sisters. We have many such examples. Unity against the enemy is in the blood of Afghans. No one can change that,” he opined.

It is obvious that Daesh by targeting a specific community is trying level best to fuel sectarian violence, but Afghans are facing the common enemy, he said. “Daesh is not only targeting Shia but also Sunni. They are killing Sunni in Nangarhar. They have gone on a rampage there. We shall not turn a blind eye to the ground realities because facts are sacred,” he said.

It is the duty of Afghan masses to exhibit unity than ever, and stand united against conspiracies engineering by outsiders, he added.

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