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By Jon Hemming
KABUL, July 8 A suicide bomb attack on the
Indian Embassy in the Afghan capital bore all the hallmarks of
a foreign intelligence agency, Afghanistan's presidential
spokesman said on Tuesday in a likely reference to Pakistan.
Afghanistan has accused Pakistani agents of being behind
the April assassination attempt against President Hamid Karzai,
a mass jail break in Kandahar last month and a string of other
Karzai threatened last month to send troops across the
border to attack militants there if Pakistan did not take
"Everything has the hallmark of a particular intelligence
agency that has conducted similar terrorist acts inside
Afghanistan in the past," Humayun Hamidzada told a news
conference a day after the embassy attack that killed 41
A suicide car bomb rammed into the gates of the Indian
embassy in Kabul on Monday, killing two Indian diplomats and
two Indian guards.
Most of the other victims were people waiting in line for
visas and shoppers at a nearby market.
It was the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since
U.S.-led and Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban in 2001.
"We believe firmly that there is a particular intelligence
agency behind it," said Hamidzada. "I'm not going to name it
anymore, I think it's pretty obvious."
Afghan analysts say Pakistan is unsettled by the close
relations between its main rival India and Afghanistan, a
country it sees as being in its own sphere of influence.
Pakistani agents, they argue, are aiding Taliban insurgents
so that Pakistan is able to achieve strategic depth and allow
its forces to concentrate on defending the border with India.
CIVILIANS THE MAIN VICTIMS
Pakistan rejects the Afghan accusations and strongly
condemned Monday's attack.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani denied his
country had any role in the Indian Embassy attack and said
Islamabad's interests were in a stable Afghanistan.
There is no firm evidence of official Pakistani backing for
the Taliban, Western analysts say.
But they add that without the sanctuaries insurgents enjoy
inside Pakistan's lawless tribal border regions, they would
have much less ability to operate and mount attacks inside
NATO warned last month there could be no security in
Afghanistan while the Taliban had sanctuaries in Pakistan.
The Taliban denied responsibility for Monday's attack, as
they have in the past whenever a large number of civilians have
"It was interesting to know that the Taliban denied
responsibility," Hamidzada said.
"But the suicide attack in the Afghan capital Kabul and the
other provinces are conducted by the same people, that is the
Taliban movement and their foreign instructors who pave the way
While some 80 percent of suicide attacks are aimed at
international and Afghan security forces, more than 80 percent
of the victims are Afghan civilians, security experts say.
(Additional reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Editing by Jerry