Afghanistan + 1 more

Arabs and Pakistanis involved in Afghan violence, government claims

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Kabul (dpa) - The Afghan presidential spokesman on Tuesday claimed that Arabs and Pakistanis have been involved in recent attacks and violence in the war-torn country.

Speaking at a regular press conference, Jawid Ludin the spokesman told reporters that to fight terrorism, Afghanistan needs Pakistan and visa-a-versa.

"We do need Pakistan and Pakistan needs Afghanistan. We, both Pakistan and Afghanistan, need the rest of the world to join hands together in fight against terrorism,'' Ludin said.

Despite an increase in attacks by insurgents in recent months, Ludin said that security in Afghanistan is much better compared to the past, but violence in some provinces is a matter of concern to the Afghan government.

"We do realize and it is a matter of concern for us that there are some new things emerging. There are more suicide bombers than there were before. In the past we did not have suicide bombers,'' Luding said.

"There are foreign elements that are involved in these attacks, like Arabs and Pakistanis,'' he added.

Ludin also said that Afghanistan and the international community have received cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.

"We have done well together (with Pakistan), specially with regards of the al-Qaeda network and initial campaign against terrorism in this region. Afghanistan and the international coalition that is present in Afghanistan have received excellent cooperation from Pakistan,'' Ludin said.

"What we see, however, is a continuation of terrorism in various forms and Afghanistan, of course, is suffering from it. Our people are dying, our schools are getting burnt, our mosques are getting blown up. Our clergy, mullahs, are getting assassinated,'' he said.

On Monday, Colonel James Yonts, the U.S. military spokesman said that there were outside influences behind attacks in Afghanistan, but declined to name a country or organization.

Last Thursday, the outgoing Afghan-born U.S. ambassador to Kabul, Zalmay Khalilzad, also blamed some groups in Pakistan for interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

After nearly three decades of armed conflict, Afghanistan is scheduled to hold its first parliamentary election on September 18.

The ousted Taliban regime in recent months has accelerated military attacks against Afghan and U.S. troops, mainly in south and southeastern region of the country. dpa km jh

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