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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 17:38 UK

Senior Afghan officials suspended

Troops running for cover as shots ring out
The attack caused panic among troops at the tightly guarded event

Eight top Afghan government officials have been suspended over last month's attack by the Taleban on a military parade attended by President Karzai.

The move came after the attorney general took over an investigation into the attack. Among those suspended are defence and intelligence heads.

All eight are being questioned about alleged negligence over the Kabul attack, in which three people died.

President Hamid Karzai and a number of Western diplomats escaped unharmed.

Arrests

The investigation had been in the hands of a specially appointed commission but has now been taken over by the attorney general.

He began by immediately suspending the eight officials.

They include Kabul's chief of police, the head of the Interior Ministry's counter-terrorism department, along with generals and colonels in the Ministry of Defence and National Security.

A spokesman at the attorney general's office said they were suspended so they could be questioned as they had responsibility for security at the parade.

The BBC's Alastair Leithead in Kabul says the Taleban claimed responsibility for the brazen attack which was shown live on Afghan television. Three people including a young child and a member of parliament were killed.

President Karzai was unhurt, but despite high security, gunmen were able to fire shots at foreign ambassadors, dignitaries and high-ranking Afghan officials who were watching the military parade in the centre of Kabul.

Two government employees have also been arrested for their alleged involvement.

The head of the Afghan secret service linked the attack to al-Qaeda militants based over the border in Pakistan.


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