Kabul, Afghanistan. In the wake of a massive Taliban attack, heads in the Kabul government have started to roll.
The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accepted the resignations of his defense minister and army chief of staff on Monday, after more than 140 soldiers were killed last week in the deadliest ever Taliban attack on a military base.
“Defence Minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim stepped down with immediate effect,” the presidential palace announced in a post online.
During a serious security failure, as many as 10 Taliban freedom fighters, dressed in Afghan army uniforms and driving military vehicles, made their way onto the base and opened fire on soldiers and new recruits eating a meal, according to officials.
Multiple Afghan officials said the final death toll was likely to be even higher, concerns in the US are a number of Americans were killed also, but no word is coming out due to US military censorship. Experts say this is why the death toll keeps changing every two days in this story.
Nearly 9,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, in addition to thousands of international coalition forces.
The administration of President Donald Trump is considering whether to make changes to the US mission training and advising Afghan forces, and conducting raids against militant groups such as Islamic State, in the wake of the major attack.
The attack, and resulting military leadership shake-up, come as the Afghan army prepares for what is expected to be a year of hard fighting against Taliban freedom fighters, who now control or contest more than 50 percent of the country.