Afghanistan’s President, Ashraf Ghani, has dismissed a number from his country’s national security agency following claims of duty neglect.
On Thursday 26th November, an unknown number of officials were fired due to their lack of action when Taliban militants briefly captured the northern city of Kunduz in September.
The overrule led to a prolonging of Washington’s 14-year-old US military engagement in Afghanistan as the area was recaptured by government forces after days of fighting.
Many were killed in the resulting conflict, including 30 people in a US air strike which hit a hospital.
Speaking in Kunduz last week, Ghani slammed the actions of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the intelligence agency, and confirmed the pending dismissals.
“There was a lack of unified command, and even though there were many Afghan troops in Kunduz, we failed,” he said.
“I have issued an order to dismiss all NDS personnel who neglected their duties,” he added to cheers from the crowd.
Despite not stating exact figures, the Afghan leader added that some officials would be prosecuted under the military code rather than dismissed.
Prior to Ghani’s announcement, Afghan investigators had ruled that ‘leadership failings’ were the reason behind the Taliban’s capture of Kunduz.
The investigative team did not single out military or government officials for blame, but proposed reforming the National Security Council, a body headed by the president that oversees national security.
Deteriorating security and a stalling economy have shaken confidence in the government, and driven about 150,000 people to leave this year to seek a better life abroad.