25 February 2020

Bomber kills religious official, body guard in eastern Afghanistan

KONFRONTASI-A bomber has killed a senior religious official and his bodyguard and wounded nearly a dozen others in eastern Afghanistan.

Nangarhar governor's spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said that the attack was carried out in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Wednesday.

The causalities were caused as bomber approached Abdul Zaher Haqqani, head of the Nangarhar provincial director of religious affairs and the Haj pilgrimage, and detonated his explosive vest.

"He was coming off a bridge when the attacker approached him and blew himself up close to his car," Khogyani said.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack

On January 20, a blast at a hotel in Jalalabad killed at least three tribal elders and injured two others.

Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan, has long been beset by militancy and violence. Both Taliban and Daesh Takfiri terrorists are present in the province.

A new study has found that the Taliban militants are openly active in 70 percent of Afghan territory, fully controlling four percent of the country and maintaining presence in another 66 percent.

Daesh has so far claimed responsibility for several terrorist attacks in Jalalabad, including a January 24 attack targeting an office of the Save the Children aid organization in the city.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai recently said the US was colluding with Daesh terrorists in Afghanistan and allowing the Takfiri group to flourish in the country. 

Karzai also told the Washington Post in an interview published last week that the US was not in Afghanistan to defeat Taliban but was there because America’s main rivals such as China, Russia, and Iran were in the neighborhood.

Russia, too, has pointed to indications that the US military is allowing members of Daesh, who have suffered serious defeats in Syria and Iraq, to infiltrate into Afghanistan.[mr/ptv]

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