Afghanistan tightens security as Holbrooke arrives

February 13th, 2009 - 1:11 am ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Feb 12 (DPA) Afghan police boosted their presence on Kabul’s streets and erected new checkpoints Thursday as the new US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, arrived.
The beefing up of the security also came a day after eight Taliban suicide bombers breached the city’s defences in near-simultaneous attacks on three government buildings that left 26 people dead.

Holbrooke is on a fact-finding tour to discuss strategies with Pakistani and Afghan leaders in the fight against the resurgent Taliban.

Holbrooke was scheduled to hold informal meetings Friday before seeing Afghan President Hamid Karzai Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Sultan Ahmad Baheen said.

Holbrooke visited Islamabad earlier in the week and was expected to continue his regional trip to India next week.

Meanwhile, in southeastern province of Paktika, a Taliban suicide bomber attacked a police headquarters Thursday morning, killing one police officer and wounding 10, while a soldier died in a similar attack in southwestern Nimruz province.

In Kabul, Karzai chaired a meeting at the presidential palace with the defence, interior and intelligence chiefs to evaluate the recent attacks in Kabul.

The president instructed the security chiefs to use all their “abilities and possibilities,” in order to prevent a repeat of Wednesday’s “terrorist attacks” a statement released by the president’s office said.

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