Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday blamed a Pakistan-based group for bomb attacks in three Afghan cities that killed at least 59 people on Tuesday, an allegation that could stoke new tensions with Islamabad.
The blasts were the worst sectarian attacks in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban government.
“Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which is based in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for this attack ... We will investigate the issue very carefully and will discuss it with the Pakistani government,” Karzai said, after cancelling meetings in London to rush home and meet the victims .
A caller who identified himself as a spokesman for the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s suicide attack in Kabul, in a telephone call to a Reuters reporter hours after the attack. The caller, who identified himself as Abu Bakar Mansoor, said the Shia community was the target.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is one of Pakistan’s most violent anti-Shia groups and part of an al Qaeda-linked nexus of militants.
In a separate incident on Wednesday, a roadside mine killed 19 civilians and injured another five when it exploded in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on Wednesday, the provincial government said, taking the death toll to 78 in just two days.