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In Wake of Obama’s Afghanistan Visit, Suicide Bomb Kills 7 in Kabul

May 2, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
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GWEN IFILL: Now, as the ink dries on the new joint agreement signed yesterday in Kabul, we look at what that means for the Afghan government.

Ray Suarez has the story.

RAY SUAREZ: Explosions and gunfire shattered the early-morning calm in Kabul just 90 minutes after President Obama ended his surprise visit to Afghanistan.

A suicide bomber and gunman attacked a compound housing foreigners, the so-called Green Village, killing at least seven people. It was a stark challenge to the president’s assertion in his televised address earlier that the risk had dwindled.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We broke the Taliban’s momentum. We have built strong Afghan security forces. We devastated al-Qaida’s leadership, taking out over 20 of their top 30 leaders.

RAY SUAREZ: The president spoke after he and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed an agreement running through 2024, a decade beyond the scheduled withdrawal of U.S. combat troops in 2014.

The agreement calls for unspecified U.S. military and financial commitments, but also for a crackdown on corruption by the Afghans.

BARACK OBAMA: It includes Afghan commitments to transparency and accountability and to protect the human rights of all Afghans, men and women, boys and girls.

Within this framework, we’ll work with the Afghans to determine what support they need to accomplish two narrow security missions beyond 2014: counterterrorism and continued training.

RAY SUAREZ: As for the Afghan view, there were definite doubts on the streets of Kabul today.

MOHAMMAD SHAZAD, Afghanistan (through translator): I think this partnership is not good, because look at what we have achieved in the last 10 years when the Americans are already here. So this partnership will also fail.

RAY SUAREZ: But one member of the Afghan Parliament said she’s hoping lawmakers will approve the agreement.

SHUKRIA BARAKZAI, Afghanistan Parliament member: It’s very early to say that the Parliament may pass or not, but, from my point of view, as long as it is good for the country and good for the Afghan people, we would like to vote for it.

RAY SUAREZ: Meanwhile, as President Obama arrived back at the White House this morning, the Taliban announced its spring offensive will begin tomorrow.