January attack on UAE diplomats' guesthouse in Kandahar: Taliban offered chef $30,000 to carry out blast, says report


In January this year, an explosion at a guesthouse in Kandahar left 11 people dead — including five diplomats from the UAE and the country's ambassador to Afghanistan Juma Mohammed Abdullah al-Kaabi, who succumbed to his injuries a few weeks after the blast (see here, here and here). The spokesperson for the Kandahar governor, Sameem Khpalwak, who was among those wounded in the attack, had then said that the incident took place during a meeting between senior officials and diplomats from the UAE embassy.

Kandahar governor Humayun Azizi was also wounded in the attack. He recuperated and returned home two months later after undergoing treatment in India.

Afghanistan’s intelligence agency NDS released its report of the investigation into the terror bombing. This was a joint investigation conducted by the NDS, Afghan Police and a foreign investigation team from the UAE.

Addressing a press conference in Kabul, NDS chief Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai called the attack heinous and said the main operative behind the attack was Sayed Mahboob Agha, the cook at the guesthouse. Stanikzai said the Taliban promised to give the cook $30,000 and a house in Pakistan in return for carrying out the explosion. He received specific instructions to kill the UAE ambassador. Further, Stanikzai added that the explosives had been carried into the guesthouse in bread baskets by the cook’s co-workers, and had been detonated remotely.


The English translation of the report follows:

Afghanistan's intelligence agency NDS on Thursday released the results of the investigation into the Kandahar guesthouse blast in January which claimed at least 12 lives. Addressing a press conference in Kabul, NDS chief Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai called the attack heinous and said the main operative behind the attack was Sayed Mahboob Agha, the cook at the guesthouse.

Stanikzai said the Taliban promised to give the cook $30,000 USD and a house in Pakistan in return for carrying out the explosion. He added that the explosives had been detonated remotely.

According to him, Mahboob had worked at the guesthouse for several years. The explosives had been carried into the guesthouse by the cook’s co-workers inside bread baskets.

"Someone came to me and I went to Quetta (city of Pakistan) with him and we visited a Taliban leader there. They told me that there are rumors that the Emirate’s ambassador is coming to Kandahar. They said that this person (the ambassador) should be eliminated. He said that their elders have decided that the individual (the ambassador) must be killed," the suspect Mahboob was quoted by Stanikzai as having said.

Mahboob went to Chaman, the capital of Qilla Abdullah district in Balochistan province of Pakistan, three times ahead of the attack and there he met with two members of the Quetta Shura (Quetta Council). Also he met with a key member of the Taliban. He got the order for the attack there, the findings reveal.

The findings of the investigation show that the explosives were placed in one of the sofas in the guesthouse and was detonated by remote control. The team has found that three main plotters of the attack are in Pakistan. Kabul and UAE​ have asked Pakistan to help Afghanistan in arresting the three suspects. The explosion in Kandahar guesthouse left 11 people dead including five UAE diplomats and the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan, Juma Mohammed Abdullah al Kaabi, who succumbed to his injuries a few weeks after the blast.

The victims of the Kandahar guesthouse attack were all high-ranking officials and diplomats who had gathered to welcome the UAE ambassador. 

Kandahar governor Humayun Azizi was also wounded in the attack. He returned home two months later after treatment abroad.


Published Date: Jun 16, 2017 02:22 pm | Updated Date: Jun 16, 2017 02:22 pm



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