Karen Brulliard of the Washington Post reports that Afghan intelligence now believes that Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani militant group, may have been behind the attack that killed more than a dozen people in Kabul on February 26.
“The Afghan Taliban asserted responsibility for the assault, which left 16 people dead, within hours of its start. But Afghan intelligence spokesman Sayed Ansari said investigators had reached a different conclusion based on evidence that the attack was carried out by a team of suicide bombers who spoke Urdu, a Pakistani language, and who were searching for Indian victims,” Brulliard reports.
Meanwhile, Indrani Bagchi, in the Times of India, writes that Saudi Arabia may have had a role in the recent arrests of top Taliban militants by Pakistani intelligence.
“The action was less because Pakistan suddenly saw the light that the US and others have been telling them all these years. It had to do with the fact that Saudi Arabia's powerful intelligence chief Prince Muqrin Abdelaziz conducted some serious lobbying to influence Pakistani behaviour,” Bagchi writes.
Some other news reports and perspectives:
- Zahid Hussein (Wall Street Journal): “Pakistan seizes insurgent stronghold”
- Tom Bowman (NPR): “Marjah effort shows values, flaws of Afghan forces”
- Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times): “In Marjah, a vice president speaks, but reaps cool”
- Mark Thompson (Time): “As Afghan role dwindles, doubts grow about NATO's future”