by Yu Zhixiao
KABUL, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- A suicide bombing killed
Hakim Tanewall, governor of the eastern Paktia province of Afghanistan, and his
two bodyguards on Sunday, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry told Xinhua.
The spokesman, Yusuf Stanizai, said the incident
happened at around 1:00 p.m. (0830 GMT) when an attacker belted with explosives
rushed to the car carrying Tanewall.
Three other bodyguards were injured in the attack,
which occurred before the governor's office in Gardez city, the capital of
Paktia province, he added.
Hakim Taniwaal, governor of Paktia province, cuts
the ribbon during the grand opening of the Sadet Khail School, April 16,
2005, in Ahmad Aba, Afghanistan.(File Photo)
Tanewall is the first Afghan governor killed in an
attack after the Taliban regime collapsed in late 2001, according to Afghan
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the
Mohammad Hanif, a purported Taliban spokesman, told
Xinhua by telephone from an unknown location that a Taliban fighter named Ghulam
Khan, who is from Paktia province, had carried out the blast.
Hanif said the explosion killed Tanewall, his nephew
and another unidentified man, and injured eight others.
Monday is the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks in New York, which touched off the U.S.-led Afghan War
toppling the former Taliban regime.
Taliban insurgents have frequently carried out
attacks in this already volatile country before the anniversary.
A suicide car bombing killed 15 people including two
U.S. soldiers just outside the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Friday. The Taliban said
one of its fighters launched the blast.
Other senior Afghan officials killed in recent years
are Mirwais Sadiq and Abdul Rahman, both of whom were minister for aviation and
Sadiq was killed in an ambush by gunmen in the
western Herat province in March 2004, while his predecessor Rahman was beaten to
death in Kabul International Airport in February 2002 by a number of "pilgrims,"
who some believed were his political rivals.
Meanwhile, in southern Afghanistan, 94 insurgents
were killed in Kandahar province from late Saturday to early Sunday, the
NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.
The rebels were killed in Operation Medusa, which was
launched Sept. 2 by around 2,000 ISAF and Afghan troops to wipe out militants in
Panjwai and Zhari districts.
The operation is the largest one against Taliban
militants since ISAF took command in southern Afghanistan from the U.S.-led
coalition forces on July 31.
Over 430 Taliban militants have been killed and at
least 80 others captured in the operation, according to ISAF, while a senior
Taliban commander has denied the casualties, saying only a dozen of militants
have lost their lives.
Afghanistan is suffering from a rise of
Taliban-linked violence this year, during which more than 2,300 people, mostly
Taliban militants, have been killed. Enditem
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