Afghan governor killed by suicide bombing 2006-09-10 18:14:13

    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)
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    Tanewall is the first Afghan governor killed in an attack after the Taliban regime collapsed in late 2001, according to Afghan officials.

    The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    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 tourism.

    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

2 coalition soldiers killed in S. Afghanistan 

    KABUL, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Two soldiers of the U.S.-led coalition forces were killed while conducting combat operations in south Afghanistan, which is ISAF's command region, ISAF said in a statement on Sunday. >>>

U.S. military: Suicide bombers' cell active in Kabul

    KABUL, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S.-led coalition forces said Sunday that a potential suicide bomber group has been working in Afghanistan's capital Kabul to target foreign troops. >>>

94 insurgents killed in operation in S. Afghanistan

    KABUL, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- A total of 94 militants were killed in Operation Medusa in the southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan, Mark Laity, the spokesman for NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, told a press conference on Sunday. >>>

Editor: Yangtze Yan
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