Security

Kabul deputy governor killed in targeted sticky bomb attack

Salaam Times and AFP

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A photograph taken December 10 shows Mahbobullah Mohebi, deputy governor of Kabul Province, in his office in  Kabul. [Kabul provincial governor's office]

KABUL -- Deputy Governor of Kabul Province Mahbobullah Mohebi and his aide were killed Tuesday (December 15) in Kabul, officials said, the latest in a wave of targeted killings in the country.

Mohebi was on his way to his office at about 9.40am when a bomb attached to his vehicle detonated, the Interior Affairs Ministry and Kabul police confirmed.

Mohebi's secretary, who was travelling with him, was also killed, and two bodyguards were wounded.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the bombing in a statement posted on Twitter.

He blamed the Taliban for "not accepting the call of the people and government of Afghanistan and the international community for a permanent ceasefire" and for a spate of recent terrorist attacks in cities, on highways, and against civilians and public facilities.

"The Taliban cannot shirk responsibility for these events," the ARG Presidential Palace tweeted.

No group, including the Taliban, has claimed responsibility.

Hours later, a similar bomb killed Abdul Rahman Akshan, the deputy chairman of the Ghor Provincial Council.

Akshan was killed and his two bodyguards were wounded when a "sticky bomb" attached to his vehicle detonated in Firoz Koh, a local official said.

In a separate incident in Kabul December 15, a policeman was killed and two others wounded when gunmen attacked their checkpoint, officials said.

Surge in violence

Violence has surged across Afghanistan since the government and the Taliban launched peace talks in Qatar in September.

Afghanistan -- and especially Kabul -- has seen a spate of murders of prominent figures, including journalists, clerics, politicians and rights activists.

Last week female news anchor and activist Malalai Maiwand was fatally shot in Jalalabad, the second Afghan journalist to be murdered in less than a month.

Maiwand's murder came just weeks after Azadi Radio reporter Aliyas Dayee was killed in a car bombing in Lashkargah, Helmand Province, on November 12.

Dayee had previously been threatened by the Taliban, said Human Rights Watch.

Yama Siawash, a former television presenter in Kabul, was killed in a similar car bombing near his home last month.

No group so far has claimed those murders.

Kabul has been hit by rockets twice this month and recently battled major assaults on educational institutions, including a massacre of students at Kabul University and an attack on Kawsar-e-Danish education centre in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood of western Kabul.

The "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) claimed responsibility for those attacks.

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The situation of the country, especially Kabul is very worrying. When government officials cannot take their own security, then how ordinary people and businessmen can take their security. It is a shame for this government that cannot provide security in the capital of the country. Every day there are explosions and rockets in Kabul. What is the duty of Kabul police? The interior minister must resign, because he is a computer engineer, but he came and became the interior minister. An experienced military officer who has at least twenty years of military experience and has studied in a military school should be at the leading role of the Ministry of Interior.

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