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Afghanitan president Ashraf Ghani vows revenge after 11 detained over deadly attacks in Kabul

Kabul: Eleven people have been detained over a spate of deadly attacks in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani said on Friday, as he vowed to take revenge for the bloodshed.

The government is under growing public pressure to improve security in the Afghan capital after three major attacks in the past two weeks demonstrated the ability of militants to strike at the heart of the country.

File image of Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. Reuters

File image of Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. Reuters

Since 20 January, militants have stormed a luxury hotel, bombed a crowded street and raided a military compound in Kabul, killing more than 130 people. A British charity in the eastern city of Jalalabad was also attacked. Officials said five people were killed. "People will not forget. Even if it takes a hundred years, the Afghans will take their revenge," Ghani said in a televised address to the nation after Friday prayers. He gave no further details about the 11 detained.

Officials would submit a new security plan for Kabul on Sunday, Ghani said, speaking inside the heavily fortified presidential palace — eight months after a devastating truck bomb in the city triggered a similar move.

Afghans "demand" peace and wanted "practical actions (from Pakistan)", he added. His remarks came a day after Afghan officials said they had handed "undeniable" evidence to Pakistan that they claimed showed the recent attacks were planned on Pakistani soil.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the Intercontinental Hotel on January 20 and the street bombing last Saturday. The Pakistani embassy in Kabul said the information was "being examined for its authenticity".

Kabul, along with Washington, has long accused Islamabad of providing safe havens to leaders of the Taliban and other militant groups. Pakistan denies the charges, insisting it has eradicated safe havens in the tribal region along the border with Afghanistan. The area is largely inaccessible to foreign journalists.

But Islamabad is widely believed to retain links to the Taliban as a bulwark against arch-nemesis India, which it rivals for influence in Kabul. US President Donald Trump has ratcheted up the pressure on Pakistan in 2018 with a freeze on aid.

But some analysts warn there may be no real way to pressure Islamabad, which believes keeping Kabul out of India's orbit is more important than clamping down on cross-border militancy.


Published Date: Feb 02, 2018 18:02 PM | Updated Date: Feb 02, 2018 18:02 PM

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