ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan’s government has not yet accepted senior UAE security officials’ repeated requests to question the Kandahar police chief and his associates about last month’s deadly bombing which killed five Emirati diplomats and seven other people. UAE Ambassador Juma Mohammed Abdullah al Kaabi and Kandahar Governor Dr Humayun Azizi were among the scores injured in the attack.
Officials had later confirmed that the explosives were taken inside the governor’s compound, a comprehensive security zone, and were hidden in a sofa. No one could have entered the governor’s office without a thorough search and high-level clearance.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. Two UAE teams, comprising senior security officials, had been in Kandahar and Kabul to investigate the bombing that shocked the Gulf state.
Dubai police blames Afghans for Kandahar atrocity
"UAE security officials had sought permission to question [Kandahar police chief] General Abdul Raziq and some senior Afghan security officials but President Ashraf Ghani did not accept the request," an Emirati diplomatic source, privy to the visits of the UAE investigators, told The Express Tribune on Sunday. The source said the UAE officials wanted to question the Kandahar police chief as he was directly responsible for the security of the diplomats.
“The [UAE] security personnel wanted to know how explosives were taken inside the compound and who had allowed the people to enter the guesthouse during the high profile visit. The investigation will be incomplete until UAE security officials question Gen Raziq and officials close to him,” the source said.
"Gen Raziq had left the guest house just five to 10 minutes before the bomb ripped through the building. He had also arrived at the guesthouse before the arrival of the governor," they said.
Abdul Hanan Muneeb, who has been appointed as acting Kandahar governor, has not yet shared the result of the bombing investigation and whether it has uncovered the perpetrators who was behind it.
Regional proxies or inside job? Kandahar attack reveals intricacies of Afghan conflict
Ghani’s UAE trip
The Kandahar bombing investigation was believed to be on top of the agenda of President Ghani's visit to the UAE. The Afghan leader was in the gulf state on Saturday and Sunday. His entourage consisted of security officials – including National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar and intelligence chief Mohammad Masom Stanikzai – Director General of the Administrative Office of the President Abdul Salaam Rahimi and Adviser to the President Ajmal Ghani.
Taliban rush to Abu Dhabi
Just days after the attack, the Taliban sent a group of their Qatar-based political representatives to Abu Dhabi to personally deny involvement in the incident and to assure they would help investigation, diplomatic sources said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2017.
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