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Afghan ministers, head of security service survive impeachment vote

The combo image released in Afghan media shows (from L) Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Jahid, Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi and Masson Stanekzai, head of the National Directorate for Security.
Two Afghan ministers, along with the head of the country’s security service, have survived a vote of no-confidence in parliament amid growing concerns that militants seem poised to seize control of more areas.
The Afghan legislature summoned Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi, Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Jahid and Masson Stanekzai, head of the National Directorate for Security, on Monday over their failure to tackle mounting insecurity and the Taliban insurgency in the country in recent months.
The impeachment came less than a month after a massive attack on Kabul's 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital, Afghanistan’s largest military health facility. Around 50 people were killed in the attack, which took place just across the road from the heavily-fortified US embassy. The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed the attack.
Two Afghan men weep for their relatives in front of the main gate of a military hospital in Kabul on March 8, 2017, after a deadly attack that killed about 50 people. (Photo by AFP)
Afghan Parliament Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the chamber had called the impeachment vote over "weakness in management and the worsening security around the country,” especially in relation to the hospital attack.
The vote also came after reports said that Taliban militants had overrun the district of Sangin and government facilities in the southern province of Helmand following months of fierce fighting. However, spokesmen for the Kabul government denied the claims that the district had fallen to the militants.
According to estimates, the government in Kabul controls less than 60 percent of the country while militants, mainly from the Taliban, either control or contest the rest.
The UN says nearly 3,500 civilians, including 923 children, were killed and about 8,000 were wounded as a result of insurgency in Afghanistan last year.

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