Stunning Kabul Attack Shows Taliban Moving Into Cities
'Nobody is ready to make any kind of deal'
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2010 7:01 AM CST
Afghan security forces are at the scene of an attack in central Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Taliban militants struck the heart of the Afghan government in Kabul on Monday.   (AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud)
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(Newser) – Yesterday's militant assault in the heart of Kabul succeeded not only in paralyzing the city for hours—it also exposed the vulnerability of the US-backed Afghan government, demonstrated the resilience of the Taliban, and left the usually quiet city with a lingering sense of fear. The morning rush-hour attack offered a disturbing sign that the Taliban, who have traditionally made rural Afghanistan their stronghold, are now bringing the war to the cities, in a bid to show that no pocket of the country is safe, writes Dexter Filkins for the New York Times.

A Taliban spokesman said the assault by two suicide bombers and five gunmen, which came within 50 yards of reaching the gates of the presidential palace, was a response to US and Afghan proposals to reintegrate ex-Taliban fighters into mainstream society: “We are ready to fight, and we have the strength to fight, and nobody from the Taliban side is ready to make any kind of deal,” he said.