ISI behind Kabul hotel attack: NDS
KABUL (Pajhwok): The National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Tuesday accused Pakistan’s Inter-services Intelligence (ISI) of masterminding Thursday’s attack on the Serena Hotel that claimed nine lives.
Afghan journalist Sardar Ahmad, his spouse, two of their children, another Afghan, two Canadians, an American and a Paraguayan were killed in the assault, claimed by Taliban.
NDS spokesman Lutfullah Mashal told a news conference in Kabul intelligence agents had proven ISI’s direct involvement in the attack.
He said usually 40 to 50 Pakistanis spent nights at the hotel, but there was none at the time of the assault. “Every night, five to six Pakistani diplomats stayed at the hotel before the attack, but none was present that night.”
He added most IT managers at the hotel were Pakistanis and one of them responsible for running the hotel’s club had been in contact with the ISI. All these officers had left the hotel before the attack.
The official said a dozen similar plots involving new techniques to target the Serena hotel during Nawroz celebrations had been thwarted.
“All these attacks were planned on a high level that exceeds Afghan Taliban’s ability to plan,” Mashal said.
He said the Taliban were not involved in planning the attack and they claimed credit for it because they had been directed to do so.
He said their primary investigation showed the attackers had been transferred in a red-coloured corolla car to the hotel.
About the attackers’ nationalities, he said, the ID cards of two of them showed they were Kandahar residents, but the cards’ validity remained unclear.
Mashal said negligence in duty by the hotel guards also helped the attackers to easily enter the facility.
The hotel’s 99 guards were under investigation to know how the teenagers gained entry to the hotel, he said, promising complete information would be shared with the media.
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