Afghan governor escapes bomb attack en route to funeral
KANDAHA – A bomb attack on Wednesday hit the motorcade of a key Afghan governor en route to the funeral of President Hamid Karzai’s brother, wounding two Afghan troops, the government said.
The governor of Helmand province, Gulab Mangal, and the provincial chief of Afghan intelligence escaped unhurt, said an official statement, and the group attended the funeral of Ahmed Wali Karzai in neighbouring Kandahar province.
Mangal and the Helmand chief of the National Directorate of Security intelligence agency were travelling together when the bomb exploded in the neighbouring province of Kandahar, where Wali Karzai was killed on Tuesday.
The bomb was detonated by remote-control in the Maiwand district, wounding two soldiers attached to the NDS detached unit, the governor’s office said.
Cheaply made roadside bombs are the weapon of choice for the Taliban, fighting a near 10-year insurgency against Afghan and foreign forces that has been largely focused in the southern heartlands of the country.
Analysts warn that Wali Karzai’s death could make the south even more dangerous at a key juncture in the war, with NATO missions starting to withdraw combat troops and the United States looking for a political solution.
NATO troops also discovered two mines next to a road taken by the funeral convoy in Kandahar, detonating them in controlled explosions, said provincial police chief Abdul Rezeq.
He said one device was found in a plastic bottle and that a land mine was planted on a track next to the road taken by the cortege en route from funeral prayers in the city to the burial in the nearby village of Karz.
Karzai led thousands of mourners in burying his younger half-brother in the family cemetery in Karz, one day after the regional powerbroker was shot dead by a guest in his home.
NATO also announced the death of two more foreign troops in the south, one in an insurgent attack on Wednesday, and a second in a bomb attack on Tuesday.
The latest deaths bring this year’s toll to 301 foreign troops killed in Afghanistan, according to an AFP estimate based on data compiled by independent icasualties.org.
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