| KABUL, March 12
KABUL, March 12 A little-known militant group on
Wednesday claimed responsibility for killing a Swedish
journalist in the Afghan capital, saying he was a spy for
Nils Horner, 51, who worked for Swedish Radio and had dual
British-Swedish nationality, was shot dead outside a restaurant
one Kabul's most heavily guarded districts on Tuesday,
underscoring growing insecurity threatening next month's
"Nils Horner was killed in this attack. He was not a
journalist. He was a spy for (MI6)," the group, Fedai Mahaz
Tahrik Islami Afghanistan, said on its website.
Fedai Mahaz, or "Suicide Front", describes itself as a
splinter group of the Afghan Taliban-led insurgency but the
Taliban denied any connection.
"This group is not part of the Islamic Emirates. They only
try to defame us," said a Taliban spokesman.
Kabul's police chief said he heard Fedai Mahaz had claimed
responsibility, but did not have information about them because
they were not active in the Afghan capital.
Horner was working for a Swedish broadcaster and had only
been in Afghanistan for a couple of days.
Fedai Mahaz's website contains material outlining the
group's opposition to the opening of an office for the Taliban
in Qatar for peace talks in June last year.
More recently, the same group claimed responsibility for
assassinating the provincial governor of Logar province in
October. The attack was subsequently condemned by the Taliban
because it was carried out in a mosque.
A Western embassy official said the group's suggestion that
Horner was a secret agent was "fanciful" but the episode could
point to a sinister new trend in which militants were now
seeking to pick off random Westerners from the street.
"It kind of all points to being opportunistic, but we can't
be sure," the diplomat said. "This whole claim on the website
about him being in the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and not
a journalist is just complete nonsense."
Tuesday's attack came as Afghanistan prepares for the
withdrawal of NATO forces and landmark presidential elections
scheduled for April 5. The Taliban have threatened to attack
anyone who takes part.
(Editing by Maria Golovnina and Nick Macfie)