Hezb-i-Islami claims Kabul suicide attack to avenge film | world | Hindustan Times
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Hezb-i-Islami claims Kabul suicide attack to avenge film

world Updated: Sep 18, 2012 10:21 IST

Afghan insurgent group Hezb-i-Islami on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in Kabul targeting foreigners, saying it was carried out by a woman to avenge a US-made film deemed insulting to Islam.

The claim was made by spokesman Zubair Sidiqi in a telephone call to AFP from an undisclosed location. It is extremely rare for the faction to claim a suicide attack in Afghanistan. It is also rare for women to carry out suicide attacks.

"The bombing was carried out by a woman named Fatima. The bombing was in retaliation for the insult to our Prophet," he said.

The attack came a day after protests turned violent for the first time in Afghanistan over "Innocence of Muslims", as hundreds of angry men hurled stones at a US military base, clashed with police and shouted "Death to America".

The movie, believed to have been produced by a small group of extremist Christians, has sparked a week of furious protests outside US embassies and other American symbols, killing 19 people in at least 20 countries before Tuesday's bombing.

Hezb-i-Islami is Afghanistan's second-biggest insurgent group after the Taliban and is led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister.

Earlier this year, he told the Afghan Islamic Press news agency that he was ready for meaningful talks with all parties to end the decade-long war in Afghanistan, but was dismissive about the results of contacts he said had already been had with Washington and the Afghan government.

Hekmatyar, a marginalised Afghan warlord whose party was first established in the 1980s to resist the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, leads thousands of fighters in the east and northeast of the country.