Kunduz police chief among 4 killed in suicide blast
KUNDUZCITY(PAN): Four people, including a police chief, were killed and nine others wounded in a suicide attack in northern Kunduz province, a senior official said on Friday.
The bomber blew himself up near the police headquarters in the provincial capital, Kunduz City, at 8.30pm, Deputy Governor Hamidullah Danish told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Kunduz police chief, Brig. Gen. Syedkheli, was killed along with three others, as the bomber jumped on a police contingent the city. Syedkheli wanted to speak with municipality officials about preparations for the Afghan new year "Nawroz".
Police coordination officer, Col. Kabir Khan, and two other policemen were killed in the attack, Danish said. The injured include deputy police head, Abdur Rahman Aqtash.
Syedkheli's body was sent for burial to his native province of Kunduz, Public Health Director Humayun Khamosh said. The injured were taken to Kabul hospitals. Aqtash is under medical treatment at an ISAF health facility.
The assailant's head and body parts lay scattered at the scene, which was cordoned off by police. The bomber seemed to be 18-year-old, residents said. Nearby houses were damaged by the powerful blast.
As usual, Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the attack. Their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the police chief and 17 of his subordinates were killed. Several policemen were wounded, he added.
Last year, the worst year for civilians in the Afghan war, saw a 15 percent jump in the death toll. A UN report on Wednesday said 2,777 people were killed in 2010, with the rebels responsible for 75 percent of all civilian deaths, up by 28 percent.
Meanwhile, President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the assault and praised Syedkheli's role as important in defeating the insurgents in Kunduz.
"The opponents of the government have killed someone who played a significant part in vanquishing them," Karzai said in a statement from the Presidential Palace. The Taliban could not achieve their "nefarious designs through such dastardly acts", he said.
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