Pak-based ring leader directed, planed Kabul strikes
Kabul, Mar 19 (ANI): Last month's attack on government buildings in Kabul were planned and directed from Pakistan and Afghanistan's intelligence agency has arrested seven people in connection with it.
The attackers were in telephone contact with a Pakistan-based ringleader during the simultaneous attacks on the Justice Ministry, Prisons Directorate and Education Ministry, said Afghanistan's intelligence agency spokesman Saeed Ansary.
The February 11 attacks, claimed by Taliban insurgents, killed 26 Afghans in one of the most brazen assaults on Kabul since the hardline movement was overthrown in the 2001 US-led invasion.
"Seven terrorists were arrested and one was killed during the arrest operation," The News quoted Ansary, as saying.
The alleged ringleader, whom Ansary identified only as Harris, is based in Pakistan's Waziristan tribal area on the Afghan border and is still at large there.
Some of the suspects told authorities that they had received military training in Waziristan, he said.
"I met Harris in Waziristan and received training in using weapons," one alleged suspect said in a video recording handed to media.
Ansari said the five men who stormed the Justice Ministry were equipped with loudspeakers, food and weapons, and were planning to take employees, including the minister, as hostages.
They also had the telephone numbers of several Kabul-based media, he said. "They wanted take hostages for days and demand the release of Taliban prisoners in exchange, and make media propaganda out of it," he said.
Afghan officials have said that the attacks were an attempt to copy the Mumbai terror attacks carried out by 10 Pakistani gunmen in November, which lasted three days killing overt 170 people.
Afghanistan says much of its insurgent violence, including attacks on US and European soldiers, are planned in Pakistan, where Taliban leaders have taken refuge since their overthrow. (ANI)