Mumbai Style Attack in Afghanistan: Jihadists Storm Government Building, Kill Twenty, 57 Wounded

Eight of the jihadists were killed. Paradise is guaranteed to those who “slay and are slain” for Allah: “Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth” (Qur’an 9:111).

72 virgins, 28 boyz (like pearls, untouched) lie in wait for every headbanger who kills and gets killed in the cause of Allah… are you envious already?

In typical jihadist fashion, the Taliban claims it was all just a response to provocation:

Zabiullah Mujaheed, a spokesman for the Taliban, said the attacks were in response to the alleged mistreatment of Taliban prisoners in Afghan government jails.


“We have warned the Afghan government to stop torturing our prisoners,” Mujaheed told the AP in a phone call from an undisclosed location. “Today we attacked Justice Ministry compounds.”…


“Suicide bombers, gunmen kill 19 in Afghan capital,” by Amir Shah and Rahim Faiez for Associated Press, 

KABUL: One by one, the perforated and mangled bodies of the Taliban attackers were carried out on stretchers. Hours earlier, the men had seized control of the Afghan Justice Ministry. Now they were viscous heaps of flesh, with large gashes and bullet holes, some with arms ripped partly from shattered shoulders.

The security men carried each stretcher to the open rear doors of ambulances that had been backed into the forecourt of the Justice Ministry. But the security men did not place the corpses in the ambulance.

Instead, with a heave, the men dumped each body on the concrete forecourt. Several corpses landed face down. Quickly the men grabbed those corpses and threw them on their backs, face up.

It was meant as a sign of deep disrespect to the Taliban gunmen. But it also seemed to be a way to let the hundred or so Afghan soldiers, police and intelligence officers gathered in the forecourt gaze for a moment at the guerrillas who had penetrated deep into the sanctums of the Afghan government, just a few hundred meters from the gates of the presidential palace.

The suicide bombers killed at least 20 people and wounded 57 in coordinated attacks that demonstrated the ease with which the insurgents can penetrate even Afghanistan’s heavily fortified capital.

At the Justice Ministry, five Taliban guerrillas armed with explosives and Kalashnikov rifles killed two guards, stormed the building, and took control of several floors for about an hour. Frightened employees, including the justice minister, barricaded themselves in their offices while the armed men stalked the halls for victims. They shot 10 people to death before being killed. Other victims were killed in the explosion of suicide devices.

Each time an attacker’s body was brought to the courtyard and dumped, the security men crowded around and pushed each other out of the way to find a sightline to stare at the bodies.

One guard, Abdul Raheem, toting his collapsible-stock Kalashnikov rifle, moved close in and exclaimed, “That’s the one I shot.”

The security men brought the next body out. Raheem pushed the men in front of him out of the way.

“Let me see the other donkey,” he said.

But for the most part, the security men did not mutter the condemnations that could be expected after such a bloody attack, where young children attending a kindergarten class inside the building had to hide for several hours before they were rushed outside, crying and calling for their parents.

Perhaps the security men were so expressionless because they knew their work was not done. One gunmen was still inside. A handful of different security forces – the police, the Afghan Army and national intelligence officers – coordinated a counterattack to kill the last Talib.

Coming on the eve of a scheduled visit by Richard Holbrooke, President Barack Obama’s special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan, the attacks underscored the deteriorating security in Afghanistan and the growing sense of siege in the capital.

The Taliban, who control much of the countryside, have steadily encroached on the capital and its outlying provinces. Holbrooke’s visit is part of a ground-up review of the war effort, as the Obama administration prepares to send as many as 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan this year in hopes of turning the war around. Obama was scheduled to meet with Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday to discuss troop levels in the torn country.

The attacks Wednesday, the most audacious and deadly here since last summer, highlighted how steep a challenge the Obama administration faces. The multiple strikes cloaked this city of four million in chaos and panic for the entire day. Kilometers of Kabul’s principal thoroughfares were blocked off, as the police and soldiers rushed to reinforce scores of checkpoints.

Hours afterward, there were fears that other bombers were still roaming Kabul. In addition to the eight suicide bombers who struck at the Justice Ministry, the Education Ministry and the general directorate for prisons, eight others were still “looking for a chance,” a Taliban spokesman said. Across the city, streets were empty as residents were too spooked to go outside.

Elsewhere, in Logar, a province south of Kabul, a roadside bomb exploded near a French military medical team’s convoy, killing one French officer and two Afghans, The Associated Press reported, citing Den Muhammad Durwesh, a spokesman for the provincial government. The French government said another soldier was seriously wounded.

The attacks in Kabul clearly shook Afghan government officials. “The enemy still has the capability to bring this amount of weapons and explosives inside the city of Kabul and find their way to government institutions,” said Hanif Atmar, the minister of interior.

He promised new and strict security measures that would be “uncomfortable” for residents, but necessary. Many parts of the capital are sectioned off for security, and foreign embassies sit behind layers of checkpoints and blast walls.

The most confidence-shaking attack, at the Justice Ministry, began about 10 a.m., when five Taliban took over three of the building’s four floors. The ministry is located in the heart of the capital, a few hundred meters from the grounds of the presidential palace.

“There’s chaos on all four floors,” Habib Mushakhas, a senior ministry official, said after the police rushed him out of the building. “I heard an explosion, then a firefight. There was a lot of blood in the corridors. I saw one dead body.”

Another survivor, a ministry employee named Hafizullah, was trapped in his office for two and a half hours. “There was lots of shooting, and there was blood everywhere,” he said.

Before the attackers began their rampage, they sent three messages to people in Pakistan “calling for the blessing of their mastermind,” said Amrullah Saleh, the head of the Afghan national intelligence service. He offered no other details on the messages, but said the authorities would investigate.

As the first police officers rushed to the scene, a mob gathered outside and security officers struggled to push them back. “Run away! They will shoot you!” one plainclothes intelligence officer screamed.

After a little more than an hour, scores of police officers and Afghan soldiers rushed into the building and scaled ladders onto upper floors. More than 20 shots were fired. Soon after, ambulances began taking policemen and soldiers away, their feet hanging off stretchers poking out the open doors. It was not clear whether they were wounded or dead.

Eventually, the police and soldiers took back enough of the Justice Ministry building to begin evacuating dozens of survivors. Then they rushed children out from the kindergarten classroom inside the ministry. Shrieking parents rushed to where the soldiers had corralled the children outside.

“Where’s my son! Where’s my son!” one woman shouted. Soldiers took her to the children, but the woman said her son was not there. The police also took several civilian corpses out of the building.

Taimoor Shah contributed reporting from Kandahar, Afghanistan, Sangar Rahimi from Kabul and Alan Cowell from Paris.