Afghanistan says it has proof attackers trained in Pakistan

AP News
Posted: Feb 01, 2018 7:09 AM
Afghanistan says it has proof attackers trained in Pakistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan has given neighboring Pakistan confessions and other proof showing that the militants who carried out a recent series of attacks were trained in Pakistan and that Taliban leaders there are allowed to roam freely, Afghan officials said Thursday.

Interior Minister Wais Ahmed Barmak told a news conference the evidence was presented at a meeting a day earlier in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Afghanistan's spy chief, Masoom Stanekzai, also attended the meeting, along with senior Pakistani military and intelligence officials.

Stanekzai, addressing the same news conference, said Afghanistan laid out its proof and asked Pakistan to take action to prevent further attacks. There was no immediate comment from Pakistan, which has expressed condolences over the recent attacks. A Pakistani delegation is due in Kabul on Saturday, said Stanekzai.

Nearly 200 people have been killed over the past month in attacks claimed by the Taliban and a rival Islamic State affiliate. Afghan authorities say they detained one of the gunmen who attacked a military academy on Monday, killing 11 people in an assault claimed by IS.

"The Taliban, with these actions, cannot call themselves a political organization," Stanekzai said. "They are a terrorist organization."

"We expect action, not just talk," he added.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have long accused each other of failing to combat militants operating along their porous border. The United States has also accused Pakistan of harboring militants, and suspended military aid last month.

The Afghan officials said some of the latest evidence came from confessions by captured militants. They said they told the Pakistani side that some of the militants had been trained at Islamic seminaries in the Pakistani border town of Chaman.

Earlier in the week, Afghanistan's U.N. envoy Mahmoud Saikal tweeted that the father of one of the insurgents involved in the bloody Jan. 20 assault on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel "conceded his son was trained in Chaman" by Pakistan's InterServices Intelligence.

"We have all options on the table to secure the national interests of Afghanistan," Stanekzai said, without elaborating.


Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report.