Haqqani behind the attacks

  • PTI, Kabul
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 17, 2012 01:14 IST
  • Afghan security forces rush to the site of a battle in Kabul, Afghanistan. Taliban militants launched a series of coordinated attacks across Kabul, targeting at ...

  • A Nato soldier runs to the scene of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP/Ahmad Jamshid

  • An Afghan man examines the remains of a car after three suicide bombers were killed before they reached Jalalabad airport, which security forces say was ...

  • Afghan woman

    An Afghan woman cries as she talks on the phone during a gun battle in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP/Ahmad Jamshid

  • Nato soldier

    A Nato soldier stands guard at the scene of a attack by Taliban militants in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Taliban launched a series of coordinated attacks ...

  • Afghan security force

    A member of the Afghan security force prepares to return fire in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP photo

  • Kabul street

    (TV grab) People run for cover on a Kabul street in Afghanistan, following attacks by Taliban militants. A series of coordinated attacks were launched in ...

  • Smoke rises from a hotel after it was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP photo

  • Afghan policemen

    Afghan policemen arrive at the scene of attacks in Kabul. The Afghan capital came under coordinated attack with explosions and gunfire rocking the diplomatic enclave ...

  • Afghan police

    Afghan police head to the scene of an attack in Kabul. AFP/Johannes Eisele

The Pakistan-based Haqqani network is suspected to have carried out the brazen suicide attacks on western embassies and Parliament here, the Afghan interior minister has said.

Bismillah Mohammadi said that one of the militants arrested during the latest attacks on the Afghan capital and three other cities had told the authorities that al-Qaeda linked Haqqani network was behind the assaults.

The minister told reporters that 36 militants and eight members of the Afghan security forces had been killed in the 18-hour operation to flush out the holed-up militants.

The involvement of the Haqqani network, Mohammadi said, was corroborated by another militant caught in Nangarhar Province.

Western officials also said that the attacks bore the hallmarks of the Haqqani network, which has focus on attacks against high-profile Afghan government and foreign targets.

New York Times quoting the officials said that the network based in Pakistan was a source of tension between Washington and Islamabad.

The Haqqani network, officials said, have now become the focus of American military effort.

The Haqqani network was directly involved in one of the last major attacks in Kabul - an assault on the American embassy in September, and the paper said that the incident also involved militants raining down rockets and gunfire from an unfinished building nearby.

"This does have all the hallmarks of the Haqqanis on it," said Colonel Daniel J W King, spokesman for the Nato. "It is been over 150 days since the Haqqanis launched a successful attack on Kabul, they have to do this if they are going to have any credibility."

The US Ambassador in Kabul Ryan C Crocker told CNN that the attacks like this strengthened the case for Americans staying until the Afghans were fully ready to handle the situation on their own.

Admitting that Taliban still retained control of some areas in eastern Afghanistan, Crocker said, "There is a very dangerous enemy out there with capabilities and with safe havens in Pakistan."

"To get out before the Afghans have a full grip on security, which is couple of years out, would be to invite the Taliban, Haqqani and al-Qaeda back in and set the stage for another 9/11. And that, I think, is an unacceptable risk for any American," the Ambassador said.

 

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