Pakistani military officers were behind an attack on the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif last week, a top Afghan police official said on Tuesday.
One Afghan policeman was killed and nine others, including three civilians, were wounded in the attack on January 4 that coincided with an assault by militants on an Indian airbase in Pathankot.
Sayed Kamal Sadat, the police chief of Balkh province, said the attackers in Mazar-e-Sharif were well-trained military men “from across the border” who fought Afghan security forces during a 25-hour siege. All three attackers were killed by the Afghan troops.
“We saw with our own eyes and I can say 99% that those attackers were from Pakistani military and used special tactics while conducting their operation,” Sadat was quoted as saying by Tolo News channel.
“The attackers were military personnel. They were educated and well prepared and had intelligence. They fought us and only by Allah’s grace were we able to control them and eliminate them.”
Sadat said efforts are underway to track down, identify and detain those who assisted the attackers to gain access to a building located opposite the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of Balkh.
“We are jointly working with the NDS (National Directorate of Security) director and have spoken about this – especially as they came here not able to speak in Dari or Pashtu but speaking in Urdu. It means obviously there is someone who guided those attackers and helped the attackers,” he said.
The attackers stormed a multi-storey building and began firing at the Indian consulate with automatic weapons and rocket launchers. Afghan forces eventually gunned down the attackers, who had holed up on the fourth floor.
The attackers scribbled a message in blood on the walls of a room that said the assault was carried out to avenge Afzal Guru, who was hanged for his role in the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament. The attackers in Pathankot too spoke of attacking the airbase as revenge for the execution of Afzal Guru.
Indian authorities have blamed the Pathankot attack on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed.