Afghan minister survives attack


An Afghan government minister survived a bomb attack on his motorcade in northern Afghanistan today in the second assault on a high-profile politician in two days, provincial officials said.

Higher Education Minister Obaidullah Obaid was travelling from Baghlan to Kunduz province when one of the cars in his convoy hit a roadside bomb, Munshi Majid, the provincial governor of Baghlan who was in the same motorcade, told Reuters.

"The minister is safe," Mr Munshi said. "Two policemen were wounded in the bomb attack," he said, adding that the bomb exploded on a highway outside Baghlan city.

Today's attack came a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a wedding reception in Samangan province, also in the north, killing a top Afghan official and 22 others.

On Friday, a car bomb killed a regional head of women's affairs in the east of the country.

Insurgents have spread their reach from their traditional strongholds in southern and eastern areas of Afghanistan to northern parts of the country once considered relatively safe.

Homemade bombs are by far the most lethal weapons deployed by insurgents and remain the single biggest killer of civilians, as well as foreign and Afghan troops.

Violence in Afghanistan is at its fiercest since US-led Afghan troops overthrew the Taliban government in 2001.