BRUSSELS - UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday strongly condemned coordinated attacks by Taliban across Afghanistan, saying this showed the need to beef up Afghan security forces. Ban decried “in the strongest possible terms” the attacks so far responsible for at least 47 deaths, warning: “We need to strengthen the capacity of counter-terrorism efforts and of Afghan security.” “These issues will be discussed in detail at the forthcoming NATO summit in May” in Chicago, he told a press conference in Brussels. “The UN remains committed to supporting the efforts of the (Afghan) govt to consolidate peace and democracy,” Ban added.

International forces fighting a Taliban insurgency are due to withdraw all combat troops by the end of 2014, and NATO insisted Monday this deadline would not change.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said the attacks showed an intelligence failure on the part of both Afghan and NATO forces.