Bomber posing as peace envoy wounds Afghan spy chief

Thu Dec 6, 2012 3:30pm EST
 
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By Michael Georgy

KABUL (Reuters) - A Taliban suicide bomber posing as a peace messenger wounded Afghanistan's intelligence chief in Kabul on Thursday, another sign that the government is struggling to improve security ahead of a NATO pullout in 2014.

Asadullah Khalid was wounded when the bomber struck in a meeting at a guesthouse used by the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

"The bomber was a peace messenger sent by the Taliban to the Afghan government, around 3 p.m. in a meeting with the head of NDS, detonated his explosives," said NDS spokesman Shafiqullah Tahiri.

"Right now the head of the NDS is in good condition. The surgery was a success."

The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, which highlighted Afghanistan's ongoing instability as U.S.-led NATO troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.

After more than 10 years of war against Western forces as well as Afghan troops, militants are capable of striking in the heart of the capital.

The attack was almost a carbon copy of last year's assassination of Afghanistan's chief peace negotiator, Burhanuddin Rabbani.

He died at his Kabul home when an insurgent posing as a peace envoy detonated explosives concealed in a turban.   Continued...

 
Afghan policemen stand guard near the site of a suicide attack that wounded Afghanistan's Intelligence Chief Asadullah Khalid in Kabul December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail