Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Afghanistan to consult Pakistan over claim for Kabul massacre

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said Wednesday his government will discuss with Pakistan a militant group's reported claim of responsibility for a deadly suicide strike at a Shiite shrine in Kabul.

An offshoot of the Pakistani-based Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the strike in a call to a radio station, according to news reports. Karzai's spokesman told CNN the Afghan government wants to huddle with Pakistan over the issue. It is not yet clear if the claim by the group was valid.

Afghanistan said it is investigating the mass-scale sectarian attack on Shiite worshipers, which was unlike anything the country has seen in its decade-long war -- in contrast to Iraq, where violence between Shiites and Sunnis has been a major feature of the conflict.

At least 56 people were killed and 193 were wounded, when a suicide bomber detonated a device at a Shiite shrine in Kabul on Tuesday, Afghan Health Ministry spokesman Kargar Norughli said.

Four people also were killed in a Tuesday explosion at a roundabout on a busy street in Mazar-e Sharif, the provincial capital of Afghanistan's northern Balkh province, police official Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai said. Another 21 were wounded in that attack.

"The enemies tried to spread fear in this important holiday in the city," Ahmadzai said. more