ISLAMABAD - Afghanistan’s intelligence chief said three suspects in a bombing in southern Afghanistan in January that killed several diplomats, including an ambassador, are now living in Pakistan.
Masoom Stanekzai, chief of the National Directorate of Security, said the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as the United Arab Emirates government assisted Afghanistan in the investigation into the attack on the Kandahar governor’s house that killed 11 people. Five of those were diplomats from the UAE, including the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan Juma al-Kaabi. Afghan casualties included two politicians, a diplomat and a deputy governor.
Stanekzai said his government has shared details of the investigation with Pakistan and asked for the three suspects to be handed over.
"I do not want to [publicly] identify these three persons because of fear that they might disappear," he added.
Nafees Zakaria, the spokesman for Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said blaming Pakistan for the fugitives does not help the situation. Instead, he said it helped those who do not want peace in Afghanistan.
Pakistan, he added, had nothing to gain from instability in Afghanistan. “If Afghanistan is unstable, Pakistan will be unstable,” he said.
The January attack was carried out by a chef in return for a promise of $30,000 as well as a house in Pakistan, according to Stanekzai.
Sayed Mahboob Aga, the chef, told investigators that he met the three men in Chaman, a Pakistani town bordering Afghanistan in Baluchistan province. He said he brought back two types of explosives, TNT and RDX, and hid them in couches in the governor’s house.
Stanekzai said Afghan authorities arrested 65 people as part of their investigation and questioned the former governor of Kandahar.
The Taliban denied carrying out the attack, blaming it on local rivalries instead.