Kandahar deputy governor killed in suicide bombing

KANDAHAR: A suicide bomber killed the deputy governor of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province and wounded six others on Saturday, officials said.

Deputy governor Abdul Latif Ashna was on his way to work when an explosive-laden motorcycle hit his vehicle at about 9 a.m. local time. He died on the scene and six other people, including his driver and a guard, were wounded.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack while President Hamid Karzai denounced Ashna's assassination as a "cowardly act." The U.S. Embassy in Kabul also condemned the attack, calling it a "vicious assassination."

"The United States will continue to stand side-by-side with the people of Kandahar and Afghan people across the nation against terrorism and violence," the statement added.

General David Petraeus, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), also condemned "the barbaric attack of the Taliban" and pledged to bring those responsible to justice.

In recent months, a number of government officials and tribal elders have been killed in a series of insurgent attacks in the volatile southern province, which is the birthplace of the Taliban movement.

In early October, Kunduz Governor Mohammad Omar was killed when a bomb exploded near him at the Shirkat mosque in neighboring Takhar province. More than a dozen others were also killed.


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