The top police
official in Afghanistan's Logar Province says a remote controlled bomb planted
by the Taliban has killed the province's governor and three other people. VOA's
Barry Newhouse reports from neighboring Pakistan that Taliban militants claimed
credit for the attack.
General Mustafa Khan told reporters that Logar
province governor Abdullah Wardak was killed by a bomb planted near his home
just 20 kilometers outside Kabul.
He says when his vehicle
turned onto the gravel road in front of his house, a remote controlled bomb
exploded, killing the governor, his driver and two guards.
The governor is a former cabinet minister in President Hamid
Karzai's government and had led Afghan forces alongside U.S. troops during the
invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. General Mustafa Khan says this was the second
assassination attempt against Abdullah Wardak in recent months.
He says about two months ago enemies fixed a mine in his
office, but police and coalition forces were able to defuse it. He says four
people were arrested in connection with that case, but two other suspects remain
Hours after Saturday's blast,
a Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility in a phone call to reporters.
Afghanistan has experienced a surge in violence this year with
frequent clashes in eastern provinces bordering Pakistan and an effort by
Taliban militants to destabilize areas around Kabul.
Among many Afghans, there is also concern over coalition
airstrikes blamed for killing innocent civilians.
On Friday, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry announced that three
men have been arrested on charges of providing false information used in last
months' controversial airstrikes in Azizabad village.
Afghan and United Nations officials say the strikes killed 90
civilians, most of them children. U.S. forces have said five to seven civilians
were among about 30 militants killed in the raid, but after new evidence
recently emerged top military officials have agreed to reopen the investigation
into the incident.
In recent weeks residents in
the village have released cell phone video footage that the locals claim shows
dozens of fresh graves and the bodies of woman and children killed in the