The Taliban's brazen 18-hour offensive is over and now NATO and Afghan officials are scrambling to figure out how the insurgency struck at the heart of Afghanistan's capital.
All told, the offensive claimed the lives of 36 insurgents, eight policemen and three civilians, across multiple targets throughout Kabul and other Afghan cities. Here's the latest on how the sophisticated attack was carried out, from battleground evidence and Taliban statements.
Planning It's safe to say the Taliban did their homework on this one. A Taliban spokesman speaking to Reuters says the insurgents rehearsed the attacks for months, built "small military-style models" and pre-positioned their weapons ahead of the attack."Our military experts sketched maps of the targets and also created a mock-up of them where fighters carried out practice before carrying out the large-scale operations in four provinces," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters' Hamid Shalizi. "The fighters also learned how to enter their targets and hold them." He said heavy duty machine guns, rocket grenades and ammunition were planted in advance of the attacks and the suicide squad was handpicked from the best-trained fighters. "Ordinary fighters can't obviously carry out these important missions," he said. "The fighters who were assigned for this mission received special training on how to use heavy machine guns, suicide bomb vests and other tactics."Once everything was in place, the fighters were able to occupy a perch in a high-rise construction site (pictured above) and fire on the city at will