ISSN 2330-717X

Afghanistan: Suicide Bomber Kills 23 In North


By Sharon Behn

A suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a wedding party in Afghanistan’s northern Samangan province Saturday, killing a regional commander and 22 other people.

One of those killed in the explosion was commander Ahmad Khan Samangani, a member of parliament who once fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and also fought against the Taliban.

An eyewitness, who gave his name only as Hussen, described the attack.

He says he was in the wedding reception hall with arriving guests when there was a loud explosion. He says he fell to the ground, and does not know what happened after that.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack, but the group has assassinated minority leaders before.

The provincial police chief, General Khalil Andarabi, said the explosion was so powerful it was hard to determine exactly how many people had died.

“It was a very brutal explosion, and it is difficult to identify who was killed. Only after the bodies of the wounded are taken to Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif will they be able to tell who is dead,” said he.

President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned Saturday’s attack in the northern provincial capital of Aybak.

Also killed was General Mohammed Khan, the province’s national security director. Another 40 people were wounded.

The latest killing came one day after the assassination of a leading women’s rights official, Hanifa Sadi. She and her husband were killed when a magnetic bomb exploded in their vehicle.

Karzai lashed out at the killing, saying in a statement Saturday that targeting women was against Islamic teachings. He described those responsible for the attack as “weak” and “cowardly,” and ordered an investigation into the incident.

Amnesty International’s Horia Mosadiq said the attack further threatened women’s rights.

She said Hanifa Safi was clearly a target of individuals or groups determined to undermine the fragile gains made in furthering women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Gran Hewad of the Afghan Analysts Network said all government officials are considered targets by the Taliban.

“At this stage, according to the directions and the conduct and the codes that the Taliban have for their attacks and fight and war, those who are working the government, with the ‘puppet’ government, and with the foreigners are [potential targets].”

Hewad said it is not clear what tactics the Taliban will use once international combat forces leave the country in 2014.

Samangani was celebrating his daughter’s marriage when the bomb went off. The commander was an ethnic Uzbek, one of several ethnic factions that make up Afghanistan.

The United States Embassy in Kabul also condemned the bombing – the latest in a long list of attacks that have left civilians, international troops and Afghan forces dead.

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One thought on “Afghanistan: Suicide Bomber Kills 23 In North

  • July 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    World knows that these attacks are orchestrated by ISI/Pak military consanguinity through these non state players. US knows their intention is on 2014 calendar. Pak military wants to twist the arm of west to tilt the balance of power in their favour. Post 2014, Pak wants a puppet in Kabul with nothing to do with outside world other than the hard core Islamists. Thus they hope to use LeT goons to spread the terror more and wider. Will they succeed, is the matter for the world powers to see?


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