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Taliban Threatening To Attack Karzai Inauguration

6 December 2004 -- Remnants of the ousted Taliban regime have threatened to launch attacks during the swearing in of Afghan President-elect Hamid Karzai.

Mullah Dadullah, the most senior Taliban military commander, warned today that people should stay away from government and military installations throughout Afghanistan during the inauguration tomorrow, according to Reuters. Dadullah said Taliban guerrillas have been given orders to disrupt the ceremony. The agency did not say where the Taliban leader made his comment.

However U.S. military spokesman, Major Mark McCann, today expressed confidence in the security arrangements.

"Complementing the ANP [Afghan National Police] and the ANA [Afghan National Army], the International Security and Assistance Force [ISAF] and coalition forces will provide support with additional Quick Reaction Forces, both on the ground and in the air," McCann said. "ISAF and coalition forces also stand ready to provide assistance in the areas of explosive ordnance disposal, medical, command, and control."

The inauguration will take place at Karzai's presidential palace in Kabul. It will be witnessed by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, as well as other dignitaries. Cheney will be the most senior U.S. official to visit Afghanistan since American-led forces overthrew the Taliban in late 2001 for failing to give up al Qaida leaders, including Osama bin Laden. The United States holds bin Laden responsible for the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.