On January 10, insurgents assaulted and captured a telecommunications building in the city of Sharana, in the southeastern province of Paktika. The assault, which claimed the lives of 10 people, demonstrated both the growing capabilities of the Afghan military and the insurgents’ continued ability to strike hard where least expected.
At 8:45 in the morning, five insurgents – at least three of them dressed in Afghan National Army uniforms – opened fire on policemen guarding the Paktika Communications Directorate building, across the street from the Kabul Bank and just a block from a government command post and the local offices of the National Directorate of Security. Two policemen died instantly. The insurgents seized the building and 10 people working inside.
The attack was unexpected. Not only did it strike at the heart of government power in Paktika, it came at the height of winter, traditionally a period of relative calm in Afghanistan, as conditions prevent insurgents from easily moving around.