Suicide bomber kills police chief in Afghanistan

Suicide bomber kills police chief in Afghanistan
# 15 April 2011 23:19 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. The attack in Kandahar, where security has been a high priority for NATO forces, also kills two other officers, APA reports quoting “Los Angeles Times”.
The Taliban claim responsibility for the bombing, the latest in a string of assaults.
A suicide bomber killed the provincial police chief of Kandahar and two other police officers Friday, stunning Afghanistan’s second-largest city, whose security has been a top priority for NATO forces.

At about 2 p.m. local time, the bomber made his way inside Kandahar police headquarters to attack Police Chief Khan Mohammad Mujahid, according to Zamarai Bashari, an Interior Ministry spokesman. Three officers were wounded in the attack, according to a statement from President Hamid Karzai’s office.

Karzai condemned the attack, which he blamed on "enemies of peace and stability in Afghanistan" fueled by "outsiders’ provocation and direction," a reference to Pakistan echoed in his condemnations of other bombings in recent days.

"They will not reach their targets because this country has thousands more brave sons to render services and protect the country," Karzai said in the statement, praising Mujahid, who he said had served on the police force and as a tribal elder for the past decade.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the "martyrdom attack" on Mujahid and said it also killed a dozen police officers, according to spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi.

The bombing came a day after Kandahar police foiled another suicide attack on a local police station, shooting the would-be bomber and detonating his explosives before he could kill or seriously injure anyone. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that attack.

Last week, three Taliban suicide bombers attacked a police complex on the city’s outskirts. Police shot the bombers as they attempted to force their way inside the complex April 7, before they could detonate their explosive vests. But as rescuers responded, an ambulance rigged with a bomb exploded, killing two police officers, a soldier and three intelligence officers, Mujahid said at the time, adding that a dozen police officers were also injured.

The Taliban said the attack targeted the "puppet" forces of the Afghan government.

Kandahar and its surrounding province were the focus of a U.S. troop buildup last year, and military officials claimed to have made significant gains against insurgents from several key districts surrounding the city, which the Taliban movement considers its spiritual home.

Afghanistan has seen more than half a dozen significant bombings in the last week as NATO and U.S. troops continued to target insurgent strongholds in the south and east.

On Friday, NATO officials confirmed they had captured a Taliban leader during a security operation in Kandahar’s Maiwand district Wednesday.

They said Afghan and coalition forces also captured Taliban leaders in eastern Logar and Wardak provinces this week and a Haqqani Network leader in eastern Paktika province who helped move fighters and supplies for his group and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
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