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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sectarian massacre: Kabul says up to Pakistan to investigate LeJ involvement

By AFP / APP
Published: December 8, 2011
Afghans run from an explosion during a religious ceremony in Kabul city center on December 6, 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE
KABUL / ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan on Thursday hit back at Pakistan after a shrine bombing killed at least 55 people in Kabul, saying it was up to Islamabad to act after the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) purportedly took responsibility.
Pakistan on Wednesday urged Afghanistan to provide hard evidence to support claims that the militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was behind the devastating attack on Shia Muslims after President Hamid Karzai demanded justice.
But in a developing war of words between the neighbours, whose relations are frequently tense, Kabul said Thursday that it was up to Pakistan to investigate without waiting any longer.
“It was the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which claimed responsibility,” Aimal Faizi, Karzai’s spokesman, told AFP.
“It’s up to Pakistan to take action and find out where and how the contact was made by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi from inside Pakistan. They shouldn’t wait for us to provide them with evidence.”
Faizi said an Afghan investigation was under way but it is thought officials do not currently have evidence of the group’s involvement.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an outlawed militant group which has links to al Qaeda and the Taliban, has been blamed for killing thousands of Shia Muslims and whipping up sectarian hatred in Pakistan.
But there has been no confirmation of a purported claim of responsibility for the Kabul attacks from Lashkar-e-Jhangvi splinter group al-Alami.
Pakistan condemns Mazar-i-Sharif, Kabul bombings
Pakistan has strongly condemned the terrorist incidents in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.
The Foreign Office spokesman in a statement issued on Thursday said, “We strongly condemn the reprehensible terrorist actions in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif resulting in the loss of over 60 innocent lives.”
The foreign office spokesman said the government and the people of Pakistan were grieved and stood by the brotherly people of Afghanistan.

The Express Tribune

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