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Haqqani Network Denies Role in Latest Terror Attacks on Afghanistan | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Foreign security forces and Afghan private security personnel stand near the scene of a truck bomb attack in Kabul on May 31, 2017, which killed more than 150 people when the lorry bomb detonated in Kabul’s diplomatic quarter on May 31, 2017. Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Kabul – The head of the Haqqani network has denied insurgents’ involvement in recent bloody attacks in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.

The Afghan government has blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani network for the deadly bombing in Kabul’s diplomatic quarter which left more than 150 people dead.

The attack was the deadliest in Afghanistan since 2001.

The Taliban disavowed any responsibility with Taliban deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani repeating the denial in an audio message posted on the group’s website on Sunday.

“We have already condemned the [attacks]. The Islamic Emirate [Taliban] is not behind them,” he said.

A day later, at least seven people were killed when suicide bombers sneaked through a row of mourners who were attending the funeral of one of the protesters.

The statements ruling out any Taliban hand in the bombings have fallen on sceptical ears in Kabul.

“Despite the Taliban’s categorical denial, the attack bears all the hallmarks of the movement,” Borhan Osman of the Afghanistan Analysts Network stated.

“The movement’s operational capacity and logistical access to plan and execute such a bombing is beyond question.”

Since the Kabul lorry bombing, protesters have set up sit-in camps in at least six locations around the capital, including one near the bombing site, demanding the resignation of president Ashraf Ghani’s government.

In an apparent effort to appease the protesters, the Afghan government on Sunday sacked two top security officials including Kabul police chief over the killing of demonstrators on June 2.

As many as three Afghan civilians have been killed when American troops opened fire after their vehicle struck a roadside bomb.

A man and his two sons were killed at their home in Ghani Khel, a district in the south of Nangarhar, on the border with Pakistan, said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

“After the bomb blast hit them, the American forces then started shooting and killed one man and two children nearby,” he said.

The US military command in Kabul said it was investigating the reports.

Civilian casualties have run at near record highs as fighting spreads to more areas of Afghanistan, according to the United Nations.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani generally has been less vocal than his predecessor, Hamid Karzai, in publicly criticising the US military when troops are involved in incidents where civilians are killed.

On Saturday, three American soldiers were killed and one wounded when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them in Nangarhar, where elite US troops have been helping Afghan forces battle Islamic State militants.