Ghani accuses Pakistan of sending ‘messages of war’

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accused Pakistan on Monday of sending “messages of war” and harbouring bomb-making camps, after a wave of devastating blasts in Kabul killed at least 56 people.

A Taliban suicide car bomber claimed lives of five people Monday near the entrance of Kabul’s international airport, the latest in a barrage of violence that has convulsed the Afghan capital since Friday.

The Taliban are stepping up their summer offensive amid a bitter leadership dispute following the announcement of the death of long-time supremo Mullah Omar.

In a volte-face Monday, Ghani slammed Pakistan for failing to rein in the Taliban as peace talks falter and insurgents step up attacks that are a test for beleaguered Afghan security forces.

“The last few days have shown that suicide bomber training camps and bomb-producing factories which are killing our people are as active as before in Pakistan,” Ghani alleged at a news conference.

“We hoped for peace but we are receiving messages of war from Pakistan…. We can no longer see our people bleeding in a war that is exported from outside.”

In Monday’s attack a suicide car bomber tore through a crowd during the lunchtime rush at a checkpoint where passengers undergo the first round of body checks before entering the airport.

Smoke billowed from the scene of the explosion, which killed at least five people, with officials warning that the toll could rise further.