Sowing security fears less than a month before presidential elections, a wave of gunmen and suicide bombers staged coordinated attacks in two eastern cities Tuesday that killed at least six Afghan security officers and eight of the insurgents during hours of chaotic fighting.
The commando-style assaults in the provincial capitals of Jalalabad and Gardez, targeting a U.S. military base and several Afghan government compounds, demonstrated the insurgents’ ability to mount sophisticated, multi-pronged attacks over a wide geographical area. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks, which began moments apart in midmorning. [continued…]
Pakistan is objecting to expanded American combat operations in neighboring Afghanistan, creating new fissures in the alliance with Washington at a critical juncture when thousands of new American forces are arriving in the region.
Pakistani officials have told the Obama administration that the Marines fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan will force militants across the border into Pakistan, with the potential to further inflame the troubled province of Baluchistan, according to Pakistani intelligence officials.
Pakistan does not have enough troops to deploy to Baluchistan to take on the Taliban without denuding its border with its archenemy, India, the officials said. Dialogue with the Taliban, not more fighting, is in Pakistan’s national interest, they said. [continued…]