Kabul, Apr 24: The Defense Minister of Afghanistan Abdullah Habibi and the country’s Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim resigned following the attack at northern Army base in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif that killed over 100 military and other personnel. The Taliban had claimed the responsibility of the attack. Also Read - Two Indian Nationals, Released From Captivity in Afghanistan on July 31, Return to India
“Defence Minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim stepped down with immediate effect,” the presidential palace announced in a post on its Twitter account. Also Read - Afghanistan: 3 Bombs Explode Outside Jail Compound in Jalalabad, 20 Injured
As per the latest reports, the resignations of both The officials say President Ashraf Ghani accepted the resignations on Monday. However, it is not yet clear as to who will replace Habibi and Shahim. Also Read - China Proposes 4-Point Action Plan to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal; Defends WHO Over COVID-19 Crisis
On April 21, the Taliban fighters, dressed in Afghan military uniforms and driving military vehicles, made their way into the compound before opening fire. At least 10 Taliban militants were also killed in the fighting and one attacker was detained.
Noteworthy, the Afghan defence ministry has not yet released exact figures for Friday’s attack, only saying more than 100 soldiers had died or been injured.
The attack came as the Afghan army prepares for what is expected to be a year of hard fighting against Taliban militants, who now control or contest more than 40 per cent of the country.