Kabul police chief back in job despite militant attacks on Afghan capital

Kabul's police chief general Zahir Zahir (2nd left) arrives at the site of a suicide attack at the entrance of a foreign-run compound in Kabul on Nov 18, 2014. PHOTO: AFP
Kabul's police chief general Zahir Zahir (2nd left) arrives at the site of a suicide attack at the entrance of a foreign-run compound in Kabul on Nov 18, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

KABUL (AFP) - The Kabul police chief who tendered his resignation after a string of attacks in the city will stay on in the role, officials said Monday, as Afghanistan struggles to respond to rising militant unrest.

Zahir Zahir had been under pressure due to attacks in the capital targeting foreign guesthouses, embassy vehicles, US troops and a female member of parliament, as NATO ends its 13-war in Afghanistan.

Kabul has been hit by at least nine attacks in the last two weeks, including one in which a South African father and his two teenage children were killed by the Taleban at their home on Saturday.

"Based on the request of high-ranking officials and in order to avoid disruption of security affairs, General Zahir was asked to continue his duties," Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanakzai told AFP.

"His resignation was rejected and he continues his duties as the police chief of Kabul." On Sunday Stanakzai said that Interior Minister Omar Daudzai had accepted Zahir's resignation, but the decision was reversed by Monday morning.

President Ashraf Ghani reacted to the spate of attacks by describing the Taleban as "a small minority who want to hijack the nation".

"We won't allow that," he vowed.

The NATO force in Afghanistan will change on December 31 from a combat mission to a support role, with troop numbers cut to about 12,500 - down from a peak of 130,000 in 2010.