Afghan president says talks with Taliban useless; NATO nabs a Haqqani leader
“The Haqqani network and its safe havens remain a top priority for Afghan and coalition forces,” NATO concluded.
The NATO statement said security forces have conducted more than 500 operations so far in 2011 in an effort to disrupt the Haqqani network leadership, resulting in the deaths of 20 operatives and the capture of nearly 300 insurgent leaders and 1,300 suspected Haqqani insurgents.
In a related development, Afghanistan’s intelligence service said Saturday it has given Pakistan hard evidence that Rabbani’s assassination was planned in the southern outskirts of Quetta where key Taliban leaders are based.
Lutifullah Mashal, a spokesman for the Afghan intelligence service, provided the first details about where the assassination was allegedly planned at a news conference.
“The place where Professor Rabbani’s killing was planned is a town called Satellite near Quetta, Pakistan,” Mashal told reporters. “The key person involved in the assassination of Rabbani has been arrested and he has provided lots of strong evidence about where and how it was planned. We have given all that evidence to the Pakistan embassy.”
The Afghan intelligence documents handed over to Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul include the address, photographs and a layout of a house in Satellite, Mashal said. He said the Pakistanis also have been provided with the names of individuals who discussed Rabbani’s assassination at the house in Satellite.
Satellite Town is an upscale residential area very close to the city center and it is known to residents that Afghan Taliban live there.
He said additional details would be released soon by a commission set up to investigate Rabbani’s death.