Suicide bomber kills senior official, 14 others in Afghan north

Reuters News
Posted: May 20, 2013 5:49 AM

POL-E-KHOMRI, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber blew up a senior official and 14 others outside a government office in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan on Monday, police said.

The bomber targeted Mohammad Rasoul Mohseni, head of the provincial council office, a consultative body that reports to the provincial governor.

He was killed immediately at the building's front gate when the militant detonated explosives strapped to his body. Thirteen people were wounded in the mid-morning attack.

"He was dressed in the uniform of the Afghan national police," provincial police spokesman Jawid Basharat said of the bomber.

Bodies of the wounded and dead were rushed to a nearby hospital, resident doctor Mohammad Shah said.

Insurgent attacks against civilians and government workers have increased in recent months as the Islamist Taliban, toppled by a U.S-led force in 2001, exerts increasing pressure on the Afghan government.

Concerns are mounting over how the 352,000-strong Afghan security forces will cope once foreign combat troops leave by the end of next year.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack in Baghlan in a statement, calling it "un-Islamic".

(Reporting by Zakiria Nasiri and Folad Hamdarad, writing by Miriam Arghandiwal, editing by Amie Ferris-Rotman; Editing by Ron Popeski)