Kabul Attack on British Compound Linked to Pakistan, Police Chief Says
Eight killed in attack, including New Zealand special forces soldier.
Aug. 19, 2011 — -- Kabul's police chief claimed today the brazen dawn terror attack on a British compound in the Afghan capital that killed eight was planned and directed by senior Taliban members hiding out in Pakistan.
Gen. Ayub Slangi told ABC News the attackers, who used a truck bomb, suicide bombs and automatic weapons to besiege the British Council for hours, were in constant contact with their superiors in Pakistan based on cell phones recovered after Afghan and international forces retook the compound. Slangi has previously said attacks in Afghanistan were directed out of Pakistan.
Police had intelligence Thursday night that there could be a terror attack in Kabul Friday, but did not know where it would take place, Slangi said. The coordinated attack began when a terrorist driving an explosive-laden truck detonated his cargo at the compound's entrance. That breach allowed several attackers sporting suicide vests, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades and AK-47s to enter the compound.
The militants held the compound for hours, holing up in rooms with bullet-proof windows and walls as Afghan and international forces fought their way inside.
In the midst of the chaos, two female teachers and a male British bodyguard took shelter in a safe room in the compound as the militants and security forces did battle just feet away, according to an account by The Associated Press. Eventually, all three were rescued.
When it was over, all of the attackers, one New Zealand special forces soldier and seven others were dead. The Kiwi was a member of a special unit embedded with Afghanistan's Crisis Response Unit, the same unit that was called into action when militants overtook Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel in June.
The British Council is a government-funded cultural and educational institution where their main focus is "English language support."
Today is the anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from Britain.