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Afghanistan accuses 'foreign intelligence' over Kabul attack

  • An Afghan member of a civil society organization puts flowers outside of the La Taverna du Liban restaurant, during an anti terrorism demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

KABUL: Afghanistan's National Security Council, which is chaired by President Hamid Karzai, on Sunday accused "foreign intelligence services" of being behind the deadly attack on a Kabul restaurant, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

Pakistan was the main supporter of the former Taliban regime and Afghan officials have long voiced suspicions about the connections between the hardline movement and Islamabad's powerful intelligence services.

"The NSC said such sophisticated and complex attacks are not the work of the ordinary Taliban, and said without doubt foreign intelligence services beyond the border are behind such bloody attacks," a statement for the palace said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Friday's suicide assault on a popular restaurant in central Kabul in which 21 people, including 13 foreigners, were killed.

Desperate customers tried to hide under tables as one attacker detonated his suicide vest at the fortified entrance to the Taverna du Liban and two other militants stormed inside and opened fire.

Among the dead were three Americans, two British citizens, two Canadians, the International Monetary Fund head of mission, and the restaurant's Lebanese owner.

A female Danish member of the European police mission in Afghanistan and a Russian UN political officer also died in the massacre, which was the deadliest attack on foreign civilians since the Taliban were ousted in 2001.

 
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