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Afghan leader: Terror attack 'plotted in Pakistan'

Afghanistan has linked an attack against its spy chief back to Pakistan. Although Kabul stopped short of directly blaming Pakistan's government, it said the assault had been planned within its neighbor's borders.

President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday that a suicide attack that wounded Afghanistan's intelligence chief had been planned in the Pakistani city of Quetta and that his government would raise the incident with Islamabad.

"Of course we will be seeking clarification from Pakistan because we know this man who came in the name of a guest to meet Asadullah Khalid came from Pakistan," Karzai said. "We know that for a fact."

"We will be firmly and clearly seeking clarification and asking for any information that they may have," he added.

Karzai disputed Afghan Taliban claims that its group had been responsible.

"Apparently the Taliban claimed responsibility like many other attacks but such a complicated attack and a bomb hidden inside his body, this is not Taliban work," Karzai said.

"It's a completely professional [job] ... Taliban cannot do that and there are bigger and professional hands involved in it," he added.

The Taliban often makes false claims about assaults on government and foreign targets.

Cross-border attacks and speculation that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence covertly supports Afghan insurgent groups have taken their toll on ties between Kabul and Islamabad. Quetta is a particular sore point - Afghan Taliban leaders fled to Quetta after NATO-supported forces toppled their government in 2001.

Pakistan denies allegations that it helps the Taliban and that there are Taliban leaders residing in Quetta.

sej/hc (Reuters, AP)