In retaliation for recent events, including the Kandahar massacre, burning of the Koran and the U.S. marines urinating on dead bodies, the Taliban launched coordinated attacks.
Sunday, April 15, 2012:
In one of the most serious Taliban assaults in the last 11 years, attacks were made on NATO headquarters in Kabul and on the diplomatic area, and also targeted adjoining provinces.
The Afghanistan International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has confirmed multiple attacks on 7 locations across Kabul.
In the attacks, the Afghan parliament was hit by rocket fire and residents reported explosions near the building. Attackers attempting to enter the building were driven back by security forces.
In the explosion on parliament a police office was killed and 10 others were injured.
In a separate attack, a witness has said that a rocket-propelled grenade his the residence of the British ambassador and 2 rockets reportedly hit the guard tower of the British Embassy.
According to Japan's Kyodo news agency, the Japanese Embassy was struck by 5 rockets but fortunately no one was hurt and the embassy's staff were safely evacuated to a nearby air raid shelter.
Smoke was seen coming from the direction of the German Embassy. A spokeswoman reported that the "grounds of the German embassy had sustained damage but that as far as we know (there have been) no injuries."
There were also reports of an attack on the Russian embassy, but diplomats later denied that the embassy was under fire.
Suicide bombers, launching rocket and rifle fire took over the Kabul Star Hotel, which is known to be popular with foreigners.
The Taliban also claimed that they attacked President Karzai's palace compound but later Karzai’s aide said that the Afghan president is under lockdown in Kabul.
Agence France-Presse reported that an intelligence official had advised that a grop of 3 targeted the home of Karzai deputy Mohammad Karim Khalili. All 3 attackers were arrested with guns, suicide vests and other explosives on them.
4 suicide bombers attempted to attack the Jalalabad airport in eastern Afghanistan, where a U.S. airfield based. 2 of the attackers blew themselves up after they were stopped at the gate, according to local officials said. 2 others were wounded and arrested.
Within hours of the initial attacks, fighting was still underway in the capital according to the police. Gunfire and several blasts were reported in central Kabul early today.
A Taliban spokeman told Reuters: "These attacks are the beginning of the spring offensive, and we had planned them for months."
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks shortly after they began and their spokesman claimed that many fighters were involved:
“In all these attacks, tens of mujahideen fighters equipped with light and heavy weapons, suicide vests, RPGs, rockets, heavy machine guns and hand grenades are attacking their targets.”
“It took two months to transfer the weapons and explosives and set up fighters in the specific areas that we planned to attack.”
However, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) has stated that the Taliban’s attacks in Kabul were “largely ineffective.”
According to the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs, at least 17 suicide bombers and insurgents were killed by the Afghan Police Force, including 4 in Kabul, 4 in Jalalabad, 3 in Paktia and 3 in Logar province. 2 attackers have been arrested, 1 police officer killed and 17 police officers were wounded. 14 civilians are also reported to have been injured in the attacks.
Monday, April 16, 2012:
Today, it is reported by RT that the most serious attack since the Taliban was ousted in 2001 is over. Coalition helicopters and government forces have put an end to the insurgents' 18-hour attack on Afghanistan.
Afghan Interior Minister Besmillah Mohammadi has told reporters today that a total of 36 insurgents were killed. 3 civilians were killed and 25 others wounded. Among the Afghan security forces, 8 officers were killed and 40 wounded.
According to one of the insurgents who was arrested by police, the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, based in Pakistan, was behind the attacks.