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Explosives used in Kabul attack came from Pakistan: Afghan spy agency

The National Directorate of Security said it had found the vehicle used by the Taliban attackers to enter the hotel compound in Kabul on Saturday.

world Updated: Jan 23, 2018 22:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Terrorism,Intercontinental Hotel,Taliban
An Afghan security guard stands in front of the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on January 23, 2018.(Reuters)

Afghanistan’s spy agency said on Tuesday that the explosives used by Taliban fighters in the attack on Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul came from Pakistan.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said it had found the vehicle used by the attackers to enter the hotel compound on Saturday. Twenty-two people, including 14 foreigners, were killed by the attackers.

“The explosive materials seized in the vehicle shows that the material is made in Pakistan,” the NDS said in a statement, according to Tolo News.

The statement added that the explosives used by the attackers were produced by Biafo Industries Limited, a private company based in Islamabad.

According to Biafo’s website, the company is a modern state of the art explosive manufacturing company. It describes itself as highly automated and capable of producing more than 2,500 metric tons of explosives per shift annually.

Biafo also states that it manufactures Tovex water gel explosive at its plant in the Hattar Industrial Estate in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Multiple American citizens were among the dead and injured in the 13-hour siege of Intercontinental Hotel over the weekend that left 22 dead, the US state department said on Tuesday.

No exact figures were immediately available for the US fatalities or injuries. The dead included 14 foreigners, Afghan officials said. Eleven of the foreigners had been previously identified as employees of the private Afghan airline KamAir.

The siege of Intercontinental Hotel ended on Sunday with Afghan security forces saying they had killed the last of six Taliban fighters who stormed the hotel in suicide vests, looking for foreigners and Afghan officials to kill.

More than 150 people, including 41 foreigners, were rescued or managed to escape. Some hid in bathtubs or under mattresses as the attackers roamed the hotel’s hallways killing people.

Afghanistan’s interior ministry said an investigation was underway to find out how the attackers got into the building so easily. Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said security forces had defused a vehicle full of explosives near the hotel after the siege ended.

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 22:57 IST