Bomb-making factories in Pakistan are killing Afghans, says Ghani
Kabul : Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accused Pakistan today of sending “messages of war” and harbouring bomb-making camps, after a wave of devastating blasts in Kabul killed at least 56 people.
A Taliban suicide car bomber claimed lives of five people today near the entrance of Kabul’s international airport, the latest in a barrage of violence that has convulsed the Afghan capital since Friday.
The Taliban are stepping up their summer offensive amid a bitter leadership dispute following the announcement of the death of longtime supremo Mullah Omar.
Since coming to power last year Ghani has actively courted Pakistan, which has historically backed the Taliban in what experts call a calculated gambit to pressure the militants to the negotiating table.
But in a volte-face today, Ghani slammed Pakistan for failing to rein in the Taliban as peace talks falter and insurgents step up attacks that are a test for beleaguered Afghan security forces.
“The last few days have shown that suicide bomber training camps and bomb-producing factories which are killing our people are as active as before in Pakistan,” Ghani told a news conference.
“We hoped for peace but we are receiving messages of war from Pakistan…. We can no longer see our people bleeding in a war that is exported from outside.”
In today’s attack a suicide car bomber tore through a crowd during the lunchtime rush at a checkpoint where passengers undergo the first round of body checks before entering the airport.
Smoke billowed from the scene of the explosion, which killed at least five people, with officials warning that the toll could rise further.
An AFP photographer saw pieces of charred flesh littered around the checkpoint. Ambulances with wailing sirens rushed to the site and were seen removing bodies from the area, which was strewn with the twisted and mangled wreckage of burning vehicles.
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Rumblings continue in Afghan Taliban
Islamabad: Afghan Taliban will not change its decision to appoint Mullah Akhtar Mansour as the group’s chief as he was elected by a ‘clear majority’ with only a ‘few people’ opposing him, Mullah Omar’s former spokesman has said. “The ‘Amirul Momineen’ (leader of the faithful) has been elected with a clear majority at a very sensitive time, and opposition to his election is aimed at sabotaging the system as there is no possible alternative”, Abdul Hayee Motmaen, a senior Taliban political adviser and former spokesman for Mullah Omar said.
The statement in strong support to Mullah Mansour’s leadership came as the rift within Taliban ranks over succession after the group and the Afghan government announced Mullah Omar’s death last month widened. Motmaen said Mullah Mansour had been practically in charge of all organisational matters for five or six years and all commissions, all shadow governors and all senior leaders had been working under his leadership even when Mullah Omar was alive.
“The opinion of Mujahideen and those who had an active role during the resistance and are uninfluenced is credible and they are united on the election (of Mullah Mansour). A few people who have been misled by someone will oppose the new leader”, Motmaen said. The senior Taliban leader’s assertions came amid reports that a group of top pro-Taliban Afghan Ulema has started mediations to resolve differences over the successor of the movement’s longtime leader Mullah Omar.
Motmaen also disclosed that Mullah Mansour had initially refused to shoulder the responsibility of being the chief but the majority of the shura (council) members and ulema convinced him to lead the movement. “The entire ‘Islamic Emirate’, its active commissions and their heads, all shadow governors, and Jihadi commanders and influential faces were unanimous on the election of Mullah Akhtar Mansour and have sworn allegiance to him”, he said.