KABUL — The police chief of Afghanistan's capital quit on Sunday, according to his spokesman, following a spate of deadly Taliban attacks in Kabul. Police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai told NBC News that Gen. Mohammed Zahir Zahir had submitted his resignation last week and made clear he no longer wanted to stay in his post. Zahir's resignation was approved on Sunday, Stanekzai added — one day after gunmen and suicide bombers stormed a foreign NGO's Kabul compound in an attack that left at least three hostages dead.
Partnership in Academics & Development (PAD) confirmed the deaths of three staff members and injuries to several others in Saturday's assault, saying in a statement on its website that the organization remains "committed to providing educational resources for Afghan citizens." It did not specify the nationalities of the victims.
Weeping foreign nationals visited the burned-out compound on Sunday, where a heavy police presence remained in place. Noorullah, an Afghan next door who witnessed the attack, told NBC News he had seen a man in military uniform breach the compound's main gate and let in another armed attacker.
"One of them took a pistol out and ran towards the building and shot the unarmed guard at the door of the building," he told NBC News. Noorullah, who would only give his first name, said there were families living in the compound who kept a low profile but he did not know their nationalities. "I saw two foreign staff of the NGO who were knocking on the door not knowing what was happening inside, I pulled away and told them to get away as their home is under attack."
The attack capped off an especially violent week for Kabul as insurgents stepped up their attacks ahead of the withdrawal of foreign combat troops from Afghanistan.
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— Fazul Rahim and Cassandra Vinograd