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Afghanistan Says Foreign Agency Had Role in Indian Embassy Bombing

Pakistan's government is denying it played a role in Monday's suicide bomb attack on India's embassy in Afghanistan. But Afghan officials say it is "pretty obvious" who was behind the attack. VOA's Barry Newhouse reports from Islamabad.

A day after a massive suicide car bomb attack killed more than 40 people and wounded scores more outside India's diplomatic mission in Kabul, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai said investigators believe that a foreign intelligence agency was behind it.

Humayun Hamidzada said that although the investigation is still continuing, officials believe they already have evidence that the attack had significant foreign support.

"The sophistication of this attack and the kind of material that was used in it and the specific targeting - everything has the hallmark of a particular intelligence agency that has conducted similar terrorist acts inside Afghanistan in the past," he said.

In June, Afghan officials accused Pakistan's spy agency of being directly involved in April's assassination attempt against President Karzai. But at a news conference in Kabul, Hamidzada refused to directly blame Pakistan in the bombing targeting its historical rival India.

"We believe firmly that there is a particular intelligence agency behind it. I am not going to name it anymore. I think it is pretty obvious," he said.

Pakistani officials have strongly denied the government was involved in the Karzai assassination attempt or the Indian embassy bombing. The head of Pakistan's Interior Ministry, Rehman Malik, told a group of reporters in Islamabad that no part of the government played any role in the bombing.

He said Pakistan does not involve itself in such acts because it is not in its interest. He said that for Pakistanis, a safe Afghanistan is a guarantee for a safe Pakistan.

Pakistan's top intelligence agency, called the ISI, had fostered close ties with Afghanistan's Taliban government until 2001. Pakistan officially turned against its ally before the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. Since then Pakistan has been praised as a partner in the war against terrorism.

But in recent years, continuing attacks by Taliban militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan have strained relations between the two countries and raised questions about whether Pakistan's intelligence agency truly cut all ties with its former Taliban allies.