At 9:25 in the morning, a landmine was detonated beneath the ISAF Patrols' armored "Wolf"-vehicle that was on a patrolling mission with seven other vehicles close to the local district-chiefs house in the northern Afghan city. Only hours after the attack, German news media received a call from Taliban-spokesperson Zabiullah Mojahid claiming full responsibility for the attacks.
Germany has stationed up to 3500 soldiers as part of the NATO lead ISAF Forces in northern Afghanistan. The German Government plans on increasing the forces by another 1000 soldiers later this fall. The Parliament must also decide on prolonging the general mandate for the army's engagement in Afghanistan. With the German public, military engagement in general remains a highly controversial topic, as polls repeatedly show.
The attack is seen as part of Taliban strategy to influence public opinion and increase pressure on parliamentary decisions. Defense-Minister Franz Josef Jung spoke of "cowardly and devious attacks". In the past months, German forces were what high-ranking officials of the German Army in an interview with Spiegel Online called "just incredibly lucky". Just three weeks ago, three soldiers survived an attack in the same region. This incident brings the death toll of German Soldiers in Afghanistan to 28 since 2002.