Bomb attack in Afghanistan kills influential governor
Killing of such a senior official will raise fresh fears
Afghan police and officials examine the mosque in Puli Alam, Logar province, where a bomb hidden in the base of a microphone killed governor Arsala Jamal yesterday. Photograph: Ahsanullah Majuze/AP
A bomb attack on a mosque in Afghanistan killed the governor of a province south of Kabul, a friend of the country’s president, yesterday as he was making an address on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, officials said.
Arsala Jamal was governor of Logar province, strategically important and home to one of Afghanistan’s richest mines.
He had previously been governor of violence-plagued Khost province on the Pakistani border and the killing of such a senior official will raise fresh fears for Afghanistan’s security as foreign troops prepare to leave by the end of next year.
“When the governor was giving a speech it detonated. He is martyred,” said Jamal’s spokesman, Din Mohammad Darwish. He said one other person had been killed.
No one claimed responsibility.
Jamal was a close friend of President Hamid Karzai and served as his campaign manager during his successful run for re-election in 2009.
He had survived at least one attempt on his life when a suicide bomber in a car attacked him, killing his guards in 2007.
Mr Darwish said the bomb had been planted inside the mosque and detonated remotely. Police initially said a suicide bomber had been responsible.
A group supporting Afghanistan’s development said it suspected Jamal’s work to get the Aynak copper mine up and running was behind the killing.
Jamal spent part of his life in Canada, where his wife and two children continue to live. – (Reuters)