The new acting defense minister and the Afghan National Army Chief of Staff were introduced a day after defense minister Abdullah Habibi and Qadam Shah Shaheem resigned from their positions.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) officials said Tariq Shah Bahrami has been introduced as the acting Minister of Defense to replace Habibi and Mohammad Sharif Yaftali has been introduced as the new army chief of staff.

MoD spokesman Gen. Dawlat Waziri said the two new officials were formally introduced during a ceremony on Tuesday by Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish.

The ceremony was also attended by National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Jahid, NDS Chief Masoom Stanikzai, security affairs adviser Mohammad Afzal Lodin, presidential administrative affairs deputy Haroon Chakhansuri, and other high level government officials.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Monday approved the resignation of defense minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Shaeem, days after a deadly attack was carried out on the 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan army in northern Balkh province of Afghanistan.

A group of at least ten Taliban insurgents reportedly stormed the base by initially launching a suicide attack and allowing the remaining militants to start shooting spree.

The exact number of the casualties has not been announced by the security officials so far but reports indicate more than 100 soldiers and officers lost their lives in the attack.


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