Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Maybe Afghanistan Isn't Going That Well, After All?

Updated at 3 p.m. edt

President Obama insists "the tide of war is receding," in Afghanistan, but admits there will still be some attacks like today's Taliban suicide mission at the Inter-Continental hotel in Kabul that killed 18 people.

"We understood that Afghanistan is a dangerous place, that the Taliban is still active, and that there is still going to be events like this on occasion," Obama told a White House news conference.

"And that will probably go on for some time. Our work is not done," he added.

end update

President Obama will likely face questions at a news conference today on just how much progress has really be made in the war in Afghanistan after a  brazen suicide attack on the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul left 18 people dead — including all eight attackers.

Two police officers were among the dead.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai blamed the attack on "mercenary terrorists who enjoy the bloodletting of innocent human beings." 

NATO helicopters with Special Forces aboard were called in to take out the heavily armed Taliban gunman who were positioned on the roof of the hotel that is frequented by diplomats and other Western officials. The attack helicopters killed at least three of the gunmen.

Afghan forces swept through the hotel, going room-to-room, floor-by-floor during nearly five-hour firefight  looking for the Taliban gunmen, who were armed with rocket-propelled grenades, rifles, and explosive suicide vests.

The attack came just days after Obama declared gains had been made in the war and announced some 33,000 U.S. troops would be pulled from Afghanistan through next year.

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