Explosives packed in a vehicle used by the Taliban fighters who attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul over the weekend came from Pakistan, Afghanistan’s spy agency has said.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said it had found the vehicle used by the attackers to enter the hotel compound on Saturday. Twenty-two people, including 14 foreigners, were killed by the attackers before the siege was ended by security forces on Sunday.
“The explosive materials seized in the vehicle shows that the material is made in Pakistan,” the NDS said in a statement, according to Tolo News.
The statement added the explosives used by the attackers were produced by Biafo Industries Limited, a private company based in Islamabad.
An unnamed Afghan security official told Pajhwok Afghan News agency on Wednesday that three militants had driven to the hotel with the van full of Pakistan-made explosives but failed to detonate them.
A team of detectives seized the van and used jammers to disable the remote-control device the attackers had, the official said.
According to Biafo’s website, the company is a modern explosive manufacturing company. It describes itself as highly automated and capable of producing more than 2,500 metric tons of explosives per shift annually.
Biafo also states that it manufactures Tovex water gel explosive at its plant in the Hattar Industrial Estate in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Multiple American citizens were among the dead and injured in the 13-hour siege of Intercontinental Hotel that left 22 dead, the US state department said on Tuesday.
No exact figures were available for the US fatalities or injuries. The dead included 14 foreigners, Afghan officials said. Eleven of the foreigners had been previously identified as employees of the private Afghan airline KamAir.
The siege of Intercontinental Hotel when Afghan security forces killed the last of six Taliban fighters with suicide vests who stormed the building, looking for foreigners and Afghan officials to kill.
More than 150 people, including 41 foreigners, were rescued or managed to escape. Some hid in bathtubs or under mattresses as the attackers roamed the hotel’s hallways killing people.
Afghanistan’s interior ministry said an investigation was underway to find out how the attackers got into the building so easily.