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    Bomb that killed Jamal was hidden in Quran: NDS

    KABUL (PAN): A day after Logar governor Arsala Jamal was killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in the central province, the spy service claimed on Wednesday the explosives had been hidden in a copy of the holy Quran.

    In a statement issued to Pajhwok Afghan News, the National Directorate of Security or NDS said initial investigation into the blast showed the terrorists had used a copy of the holy book to carry out the blast.

    The NDS has released a video showing burnt pages of the Quran at the main mosque in Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital, where the blast took place, also injuring 20 others people.

    The statement said the attack showed the terrorists had no respect for the holy book and places (mosques).

    Local officials earlier said a bomb hidden in a microphone killed Jamal as he made a speech after Eid prayers to congratulate worshippers on the occasion of Eid. The injured people said to be included civilians and government employees.

    Jamal, a former governor of southeastern Khost province, assumed charge in April as the governor of Logar, seen as a key strategic region, often described as a “gateway to Kabul” for Taliban militants based in strongholds across the south and east.

    President Hamid Karzi, Cabinet ministers, governors, lawmakers and Kabul-based foreign diplomats have strongly condemned Jamal’s assassination.

    No group claimed immediate responsibility for the blast, though Taliban militants often target provincial government officials as well as Afghan soldiers and police.

    Security in Logar has deteriorated in recent years with the Taliban holding sway in some areas despite sustained Afghan and US military pressure.

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