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Islamabad Rejects Kabul Attack Claim

A view of the Serena Hotel in Kabul on March 21, one day after it was attacked by gunmen
Islamabad says it is "highly disturbing that attempts are being made" to implicate Pakistan in a deadly attack on a Kabul luxury hotel.

Afghanistan on March 23 said the attack on the downtown Serena Hotel was planned "outside the country."

Afghanistan's National Security Council didn't say who purportedly was behind the attack.

But it said a Pakistani diplomat was seen surveying the hotel's corridors before the night raid on March 20.

"The tendency to immediately blame Pakistan is unhelpful, and should be discarded," Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

Nine people, including children, were killed in the attack that was carried out by four teenage gunmen.

Afghan officials accuse Pakistani government of backing militants who launch terrorist attacks inside Afghanistan.
Based on reporting by AFP and RFE/RL