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    Deputy governor among 5 dead in Ghazni blast

    GHAZNI CITY (PAN): A deputy governor was among five people killed in a suicide attack on the main Kabul-Kandahar highway in southern Ghazni province early Tuesday morning, an official said.

    Muhammad Kazim Allahyar, his son, nephew, guard and driver died in the bombing that took place as he travelled to his office in the fourth police district, a spokesman for the governor told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Ismail Jahangir said at least one civilian was also killed and eight others including two guards were wounded in the brazen assault, carried out by a motorcyclist.

    The provincial police chief, Col. Zarawar Zahid, confirmed the suicide attack, but offered no other details.

    A former commander of the Harakat-i-Islami party, Allahyar was a resident of the Taliban-infested Jaghatu district. He also served as Qarabagh district chief before being named as deputy governor five years ago.

    A witness said Allahyar was killed in a roadside bomb, not a suicide attack. "I saw a flame second before a huge blast jolted the area," said Abdul Hai, owner of a nearby shop. Police blocked the highway for two hours after the explosion that was heard in remote areas.

    A Taliban mouthpiece, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the bombing and said it was not a suicide attack. He added the explosives placed in a rickshaw were detonated as soon as Allahyar arrived at the scene.