The Presidential Palace on Monday morning confirmed the Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim have tendered their resignation with immediate effect.
In addition, the ministry of interior’s Tariq Shah Bahrami has been appointed as acting minister of defense and general Sharif Yaftal as army chief of staff – also with immediate effect, a source confirmed.
This comes after Friday’s deadly attack on the Afghan National Army 209 Shaheen Military Corps Headquarters in Dehdadi district in Balkh which claimed at least 150 lives.
Habibi has served as defense minister since June last year and Shahim has been army chief of staff since early 2015.
On Sunday MPs said Major General Mohmand Katawazai, the commander of 209 Shaheen Army Corps, Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor, Habibi, Shahim, Minister of Interior Taj Mohammad Jahid and the Head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Masoom Stanekzai must all be held accountable for Friday’s deadly attack on the Balkh army base.
Meanwhile, immediately after the news broke of Shahim and Habibi’s resignations dozens of Afghans took to social media and welcomed the move.
One facebook user, Abdulahi, said on facebook: “(President Ashraf) Ghani also needs to resign.”
Another facebook user, Mardoomdar, said: “It is very good news. How many other youths would have died (had they not resigned).”
On Monday a demonstration was held in Kabul calling for the dismissal of security officials.
Protestors also slammed President Ashraf Ghani, CEO Abdullah Abdullah, former president Hamid Karzai and the Taliban.
The presidential palace issued a statement Monday and confirmed the two officials' resignation.
The statement said the Ghani chaired a security meeting early Monday. In attendance was CEO Abdullah Abdullah, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, the national security adviser, defense minister and army chief of staff.
The statement said that at this meeting, discussions centered on the current situation in the country and on the reinforcement and development of security forces.
During the meeting, Habibi and Shahim handed their resignation to the president.