Afghan Army Chief and Defense Minister Resign

Gen. Faizullah Ghyrat, a provincial police chief in Khost, said that six other security guards were also wounded in the attack.

No group immediately claimed responsibility but both Taliban and Haqqani insurgents are known to be active in the area.

The official said the latest Afghan estimate of 144 Afghan soldiers killed is likely to rise. The Taliban claimed it carried out the attack.

He arrived as Afghan security forces, already paying a heavy price against the resurgent Taliban ahead of the spring fighting season, faced chaos with the resignations of Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi and army chief Qadam Shah Shaheem.

During his first visit Defense Secretary Mattis will meet President Ghani as well as other government officials.

Lawmakers in the upper house of parliament also questioned USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces to confine their anti-terrorist operations against the Islamic State (IS) and allow the Taliban to carry out more deadly attacks.

A senior American military official in Kabul said Monday that it appears likely the attack was either carried out by or planned by a Pakistan-based Taliban faction known as the Haqqani network, which is a US government-designated terrorist organization.

The official said it appears likely the attack was either carried out by or planned by a Pakistan-based Taliban faction known as the Haqqani network, which is a USA government-designated terrorist organization.

In a serious security failure, as many as 10 Taliban 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 and leaving a mosque after Friday prayers, according to officials.

The Taliban has redoubled its efforts as the US scaled back involvement in Afghanistan in recent years.

The US commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has called for "a few thousand" more troops. The Trump administration is still reviewing possible troop decisions.

The general didn't exactly answer the question of what the Pentagon was "going to do to stop the Russians from sending these weapons", but said he was "not refuting" the accusation. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis looks out over Kabul as he arrives via helicopter at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan Monday, April 24, 2017. They ended their combat mission against the Taliban in 2014 but are increasingly involved in backing up Afghan forces on the battlefield.

  • Leroy Wright