Suicide bomber hits memorial for slain Afghan general

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 10, 2011 3:34 AM
Suicide bomber hits memorial for slain Afghan general

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a memorial for the assassinated police chief of north Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least three policemen and wounding several, a spokesman for the provincial police chief said.

The attack appeared to be an attempt to kill the police chief of Kunduz province, Sameullah Qatra, whose predecessor in the post was assassinated by a suicide bomber in March, but Qatra escaped unhurt, his spokesman said.

The bomber detonated his explosives outside the mosque where people had gathered to mourn General Dawood Dawood, who died in a massive bomb attack late last month in neighboring Takhar province, along with the Takhar police chief.

Four civilians were also hurt in the blast in the provincial capital, Kunduz city, said Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini.

A string of targeted assassinations has taken out critical and respected police leaders at a time when Afghan forces are preparing to start taking security control for some parts of the country from international troops.

It has also demonstrated insurgent reach in a once relatively peaceful part of the country, after a stepped up NATO-led campaign reduced their power in their traditional southern heartland around Kandahar city.

A hospital source who asked not to be named said the toll might be higher as four dead bodies in police uniform had been brought to the morgue, and 14 wounded were being treated, six of them civilians.

(Editing by Nick Macfie)