“The US strikes support Afghanistan in reassuring its neighbors that it is not a safe sanctuary for terrorists who want to carry out cross-border operations,” Afghanistan’s NATO-led mission said in a release.
Taliban militants in the camps were plotting attacks inside Afghanistan as well as aiding the militants of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement operating along the border with China and Tajikistan, a US-led coalition statement said Thursday.
It said Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi called Ghani last night to pass on his condolences but Ghani refused to take his call. Instead Ghani sent a delegation including the interior minister and the intelligence chief to Pakistan to handover evidence relating to the recent attacks.
The visit on Wednesday by Masoom Stanikzai and Wais Ahmed Barmak comes a day after Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said it handed over 27 insurgents to Afghan authorities last year, including members of the Haqqani network.
Donald Trump told reporters: “I don’t see any talking taking place. I don’t think we’re prepared to talk right now. It’s a whole different fight over there. They’re killing people left and right. Innocent people are being killed left and right.”
Pakistan, which denies accusations that it fosters the Afghan war to undermine old rival India’s growing influence there, condemned the attack and called for “concerted efforts and effective cooperation … to eradicate the scourge of terrorism”.
Kabul blast: The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, a week after they claimed the attack on the International Hotel in which more than 20 people were killed.
Five gunmen dressed in army uniforms made their way through two checkpoints before getting in to the hilltop Hotel Intercontinental on the weekend, killing at least 20 people, including 13 foreigners.
Kabul attack highlights: The Intercontinental Hotel was previously attacked by Taliban fighters in 2011. Located on a hilltop, the hotel is heavily protected like most public buildings in Kabul.
Kabul blast: Earlier in the day, an explosion went off at an office of the Afghan Voice news agency in Kabul, killed at least four people, officials and witnesses told Reuters.
Allies have warned that unless Ghani reverses his decision, he risks civil unrest that will threaten security and allow Taliban and Islamic State militants to gain a foothold in Balkh.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but recent attacks in the capital have been claimed both by Taliban insurgents and Islamic States group fighters who have stepped up their attacks against Afghan security forces.
“Waziristan is bleeding once again,” said police official Tahir Khan in Peshawar, the main city in the northwest, who said he had heard about the blast but had no details. No militant group claimed responsibility.
Explosion took place shortly after a pro-government rally ended at the soccer stadium.
Describing Pakistan as an important part of his strategy, Donald Trump had said the US can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond.