KABUL - Afghanistan blamed a foreign intelligence agency for the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, making a veiled but clear reference to its eastern neighbor, Pakistan.
Yesterday's accusation came as the commander of the NATO military mission in Afghanistan, US Army General David D. McKiernan, said increased violence in Afghanistan is due in part to a porous border that allows insurgents to resupply in Pakistan and cross freely into Afghanistan.
President Hamid Karzai's spokesman said Afghan officials have evidence showing foreigners were behind Monday's suicide bombing at the embassy that killed 41 people, the deadliest attack in the capital since 2001. He did not provide any specifics.
Humayun Hamidzada did not mention Pakistan's intelligence agency by name but told reporters it was "pretty obvious" who was behind the attack. Afghanistan previously blamed Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, for a recent assassination attempt on Karzai.
"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. We have sufficient evidence to say that," Hamidzada said.
"The project was designed outside Afghanistan. It was exported to Afghanistan," he added.
Among the blast's victims were four Indians working in the embassy, including the military attaché and a diplomat.
Pakistan's prime minister denied its intelligence service was responsible. Speaking yesterday in Malaysia, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said his country has no interest in destabilizing Afghanistan when both countries are fighting terrorist groups.
"We want stability in the region. We ourselves are a victim of terrorism and extremism," Gilani said at a summit of eight developing Islamic nations.
His government has condemned Monday's attack, saying it wants to push forward with a four-year effort to reach peace with longtime rival India.
But Gilani's comment were unlikely to bridge a growing divide in Afghan-Pakistani relations. Afghanistan's latest allegation came only weeks after Karzai threatened to send Afghan troops after Taliban leaders purportedly hiding in Pakistan.
US officials have blamed rising violence in Afghanistan on peace deals that Pakistan's government has negotiated in its tribal regions along the border. June was the deadliest month in Afghanistan for foreign troops since the US-led invasion ousted a Taliban regime in late 2001.
McKiernan said he believes Pakistan's military leadership recognizes it has a problem with militants in the tribal regions along the frontier with Afghanistan.