National Security

Afghanistan To Execute 11 Terrorist Prisoners In Response To Kabul Bombing

REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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The Afghan government will execute 11 terrorist prisoners in response to Wednesday’s bombing in Kabul which killed more than 90 people and injured approximately 400.

President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree ordering the execution, which includes members of the Taliban and Haqqani network, according to Afghanistan’s TOLO news. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, yet the government believes the Haqqanis are responsible, aided by backing from Pakistan. The Taliban denied involvement.

“According to the information released yesterday by NDS [National Directorate of Security], the Afghan intelligence organization, they say that their … investigation shows that the Haqqani network, with direct help from Pakistan, mainly ISI [Inter-services Intelligence], is behind this attack,” Sediq Seddiqi, the director of government media and information center at Afghanistan’s presidential palace, told India Today in an interview Thursday.

Seddiqi did not offer any direct evidence of Pakistan’s involvement, noting that the public will have to wait for more details to come forward as the investigation continues. He added that Afghanistan’s relationship with Pakistan has been “low” due to the Pakistani government’s refusal to crack down on terrorist groups.

The Haqqani network is an insurgent group loosely affiliated with the Taliban, particularly at an ideological level. It is also known to have ties to al-Qaida. The network has existed since the mid-1970s and was started by the Jalalludin Haqqani and his family in southeast Afghanistan.

ISI is Pakistan’s top intelligence agency and is accused of having ties to jihadist groups throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It is unclear which Taliban and Haqqani prisoners will be killed, but TOLO reported that Anas Haqqani, the group’s number two who was detained in 2014, will not be among them.

The Kabul bombing was one of the deadliest in the country’s history, and occurred just as the traditional Afghan fighting season and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began.

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