Bomb in Afghanistan kills Afghan governor
A bomb at a mosque on Tuesday killed the governor of Logar province.
The explosion at the mosque in the provincial capital of Pul-i-Alam in eastern Afghanistan happened in the early hours when Arsallah Jamal, the governor of Logar province, was delivering a speech at the mosque to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The governor’s spokesman, Din Mohammed Darwesh, said: “The bomb had been planted inside a microphone in the front part of the mosque and detonated remotely. The governor was giving a speech when it exploded. He is martyred.”
It has been reported that one other person was killed, and several others injured, whilst five worshippers are in critical condition.
Jamal, 47, was a close confidant of the president Hamid Karzai and served as his campaign manager during the presidential elections in 2009.
Prior to his current post, he was the governor of Khost province on the Pakistan border and survived a number of assassination attempts in the past, including a suicide bombing against his office in Khost in 2009 and a car bomb attack that targeted his convoy in August 2007.
No-one has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack at the mosque. Police suspect the Taliban, as the militant group has been targeting government officials, military and NATO troops as part of their campaign to expel foreign forces from Afghanistan.
Over the past ten years around 1000 leaders in Afghanistan have been assassinated, including provincial and district governors, religious scholars and tribal leaders.
Recently, Taliban rejected the government calls for peace talks and denounced the presidential election, which is due next year in April, as “illegitimate”.
A Taliban leader, Mullah Omar in his message to mark the Eid holiday, urged his fighters to step up their fight against the government. Omar said: “My advice to all mujahedeen is to stand up to the enemy firmer than before.”
Analysts say Jamal was known as an active and competent politician and he could have been the top target because he supported the Chinese investment project of the world’s second largest Aynak copper mine worth $3million in Afghanistan.
The production was scheduled to start this year but is now unlikely to happen before 2019 after Tuesday’s bomb attack.