Wed, Jul 09, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Afghans blame foreign spy agency for Kabul bombing

DENIAL A presidential spokesman did not name names, but Pakistan’s prime minister denied his country had any role in the Indian embassy attack


Afghan officials have evidence that foreigners were behind a massive suicide bombing against India’s embassy in Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman said yesterday, implying that Pakistan orchestrated the attack.

The spokesman, Humayun Hamidzada, did not name Pakistan’s intelligence agency but told reporters it was “pretty obvious” who was behind Monday’s bombing, which killed 41 people and wounded 150.

An Afghan security report released earlier yesterday found that the bombing could not have succeeded without the support of foreign intelligence agencies, another reference to Pakistan.

“The sophistication of this attack, and the kind of material that was used in it and the specific targeting, everything has the hallmark of a particular intelligence agency that has conducted similar terrorist acts inside Afghanistan in the past. We have sufficient evidence to say that,” Hamidzada said.

“The project was designed outside Afghanistan. It was exported to Afghanistan,” he said.

Among the victims of Monday’s blast were four Indians working in the embassy, including the military attache and a diplomat.

Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani denied yesterday that his country’s intelligence service was behind the attack.

Speaking in Malaysia at the D8 summit, he said his country has no interest in destabilizing Afghanistan when both countries are fighting terrorism.

“We want stability in the region. We ourselves are a victim of terrorism and extremism,” Gilani said.

A senior official at Pakistan’s powerful spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, said Afghanistan’s allegations were part of a smear campaign against Pakistani security agencies.

“If they have any evidence to back up what they are claiming they should share it with Pakistan,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Kabul has accused Pakistani agents of being behind the April assassination attempt against Karzai, a mass jail break in Kandahar last month and a string of other attacks.

The bodies of the four Indians killed in the bombing were flown back home late on Monday aboard an Indian military plane, said General Ahmad Zia Aftali, the head of Kabul’s main military hospital. He said senior Afghan government officials were at the airport to see off the plane.

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