As Afghanistan reels from fresh violence today, al-Qaeda has said it was behind last week’s suicide attack that killed seven CIA officers.
The group’s Afghan wing said the blast was revenge for the deaths of leading militants in US drone attacks.
Visiting Kabul, US Senator John McCain said: “Clearly the involvement of al-Qaeda or other elements seems to be apparent here. But we continue to be grateful for the work that the CIA continues to do here and their employees, and these brave young people who put their lives on the line, every single day.”
Reports say suspected suicide bomber Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, who has been linked to al-Qaeda, was a double agent working for the CIA. Having associated with Islamists in the past, spy agencies thought the Jordanian had been “de-radicalised.”
As the US pursues its new military strategy in Afghanistan, a rocket attack in Kabul wounded four civilians. And an acting governor was hurt in a blast in Khost, the same province in which the CIA officers were killed.