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American varsity attack: Afghan prez asks Pak Army to act against terrorists

world Updated: Aug 25, 2016 20:00 IST
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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai addresses a gathering in Kabul. (AFP File Photo)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday asked the Pakistan Army chief to act against terrorists who organised the attack on the American University that killed 13 people and injured dozens more.

Ghani called Pakistan Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif while he was chairing an extraordinary session of the Afghan National Security Council and “asked for serious and practical measures against the terrorists organising the attack”, according to a statement from the presidential palace.

“Evaluation of evidence and findings from traces of the attack by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) show that it was organised and orchestrated from the other side of the Durand Line,” the statement said, referring to the boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Sharif “promised that Pakistan will evaluate the case and brief Afghanistan on the taken measures”, the statement added.

The development reflected the strained ties between the two countries in the wake of the breakdown of a Pakistan-based process to engage the Afghan Taliban. Afghan leaders have accused Pakistan of supporting and sheltering the Taliban and other groups such as the Haqqani Network that target foreign forces in Afghanistan.

Thirteen people, including one professor and seven students, were killed when a group of militants stormed the American University in Kabul on Wednesday night, the statement said. Forty-five people, including 36 students and staff, were injured in the brazen attack.

The attack underscored how despite efforts by Afghan authorities to improve security, militants are still able to stage large-scale and complex attacks, including in the capital.

No group has claimed responsibility for the assault but suspicions are pointing to the Taliban. The group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the Taliban are “investigating.”