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Afghanistan hints at Pakistan link to hotel attack

Published on Mar 23, 2014 11:40 PM
Drops of rain disolve ink on a printout bearing the image of Afghan AFP reporter Sardar Ahmad afixed to a window of a car during a convoy at his funeral in Kabul on March 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

KABUL (AFP) - Afghanistan on Sunday said an attack on a Kabul hotel that left nine civilians dead, including an AFP journalist, was planned "outside the country" in a veiled reference to Pakistan.

The National Security Council (NSC), which is chaired by President Hamid Karzai, also alleged that a Pakistani diplomat was seen scoping out the corridors of the Serena hotel ahead of the Thursday night raid.

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

The NSC said the attack on the hotel, which was carried out by four teenage gunmen and claimed by the Taliban, was in fact the work of "foreign intelligence services" - a phrase normally meant to mean neighbouring Pakistan.

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