Khalid Assassin Was Former Prisoner: Saleh

News - Afghanistan


The man who attempted to kill Afghan spy chief Asadullah Khaled last Thursday was a Taliban prisoner who was released by the Afghan government, former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh claimed Thursday.

In an interview with TOLOnews, Saleh said he had information that the prisoner was released from a prison in Afghanistan and went to Pakistan's city of Quetta to plot the attack on the head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

"According to my information, the suicide attacker who targeted NDS chief Asadullah Khalid was a Taliban member pardoned by the Afghan government and released from the prison. He then went to Pakistan and planned the attack with the Quetta Council," Saleh said.

He did not provide details on where he received this information from.

He criticised the government for the practice of pardoning prisoners, and asking on what guarantee the Taliban prisoners were released.

"I support the Afghan government's call on Pakistan to provide information over the attack. I also urge the government to find out about the roots of the attack inside of the country," he said.

This comes as President Hamid Karzai met with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari in Turkey for peace and trade talks, and is understood talked about the investigation with him.

According to some reports, a suicide bomber in his early 20s was to meet with Asadullah Khalid for peace talks but he was looking suspicious and scared. He was ordered to change his clothes, which he did, but the bomb was hidden in his underwear and the personnel monitoring him in the dressing room with a camera missed this.

Experts have criticised this method of search and have suggested that there may be a possible insider in the NDS.

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