KABUL, (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency said yesterday that a senior commander from the Pakistani Taliban sold a suicide bomber to an Afghan militant network, to carry out an attack on a local commander in eastern Afghanistan.
Relations between the neighbours are already strained by weeks of cross-border shelling of Afghanistan’s east. Pakistan denies more than “a few accidental” rounds have landed in Afghanistan; Kabul says hundreds have hit.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, said the bomber was a Pakistani national and was detained by NDS agents in Jaji Maidan district of eastern Paktia province before he could carry out his mission.
Sher Hassan was sent by the Haqqani network, considered one of the most dangerous insurgent groups fighting in Afghanistan, but had not signed up to join them, the NDS said in a statement.
Instead he said he was bought by the group to target “Azizullah”, a commander whose affiliation and rank were not given by the NDS. Hassan then spent a month after his sale training with the Haqqani network.
“The detained man added that a commander under Hakimullah Mehsud sells suicide bombers at 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 Pakistani rupees ($70,000 to $93,000), to the Haqqani network for suicide missions,” the statement said.