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Afghans probe Pakistan link

Afghan intelligence agents said on Thursday they are investigating links between Pak and Taliban militants who killed 26 people in three simultaneous suicide bomb and gun raids on state offices in the capital Kabul.

world Updated: Feb 13, 2009 01:25 IST

Afghan intelligence agents said on Thursday they are investigating links between Pakistan and Taliban militants who killed 26 people in three simultaneous suicide bomb and gun raids on state offices in the capital Kabul.

“As they were entering the Ministry of Justice before starting their indiscriminate killing of the civilians in there, they sent three messages to Pakistan calling for the blessing of their mastermind,” Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh said.

The National Directorate of Security is investigating the possible link to Pakistan, a spokesman for the state intelligence agency said.

Since the beginning of last year, the Taliban and their allies have launched fewer attacks inside the heavily guarded capital, but those they have carried out have tended to be against high-profile targets designed to grab media attention.

“These suicide bombers were not the ordinary Taliban type of suicide bombers who come and blow themselves up somewhere. They had rifles as well and their aim was not to immediately explode themselves,” said Haroun Mir, political analyst and co-founder of the Afghanistan Centre for Research and Policy Studies.

Afghan officials have repeatedly accused Pakistan of allowing Taliban militants to train and equip in the lawless tribal regions. Elements within Pakistan’s intelligence services secretly back the Afghan Taliban in order to keep Afghanistan weak and secure Pakistan’s rear, allowing Islamabad’s forces to concentrate on defending the border with India, analysts say.

US envoy in Kabul

US envoy Richard Holbrooke arrived in Kabul on Thursday, as part of a tour to craft a new policy to combat extremism in the region. Agencies