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Central & South Asia

Suicide blasts rock eastern Afghanistan

Taliban claim responsibility for one of two attacks in the east which targeted a spy agency facility and a police base.
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2013 14:59
Security officials were on the scene where a car bomb killed two people in Jalalabad [AP]

Car bombings in eastern Afghanistan have killed at least two intelligence agents and a police officer, officials said.

In the first attack on Sunday, a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a facility of the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan spy agency, in the eastern city of Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province.

It was followed by a similar attack on a police base in Logar province.

"There was a suicide car bombing in the intelligence facility in city district two," Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, Jalalabad police spokesman , told the AFP news agency of the attack which occurred just before sunrise.

"Two intelligence workers were martyred and three others were wounded."

Guards shot and killed the driver but he managed to detonate the explosives-packed vehicle.

Logar

Police in Logar said the first attack in the province just south of Kabul, hit a police base along the highway leading to the capital, killing a police officer.

"A suicide bomber driving a van hit the gate of the police post near Pol-i-Alam," Abdul Saboor Nasrati, Logar provincial police chief told AFP.

"One police was killed and two other police were wounded."

Also in Logar province, a man wearing a suicide vest was stopped by police as he tried to force his way into the police headquarters for the Baraki Barak district, said Din Mohammad Darwesh, the provincial government spokesman.

The attacker detonated his vest while being searched, wounding one policeman, according to Darwesh and the NDS.

"Once again the enemies of peace and stability in Afghanistan ... staged coordinated attacks against the Afghan security forces and the Afghan people,'' the intelligence agency said.

Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the Logar and Jalalabad bombings.

Journalist harassment

In the capital itself, Afghan intelligence officials shot a would-be suicide bomber as he attempted to drive a vehicle loaded with explosives into a diplomatic area in Kabul.

Local media reported incidents of attacks against journalists reporting from the scene in Jalalabad.

The Pajhwok news agency, a local wire service, reported several journalists having been physically attacked or having their cameras tampered with by NDS officials at the site.

The journalists have issued a joint statement asking the Kabul government to try those responsible for the harassment.

Ustad Lal Pacha, head of the journalists and writers union in the east, condemned the attack..

"It is not for the first time that journalists are insulted and abused; it has become a matter of routine," Pacha remarked, referring to an earlier case of journalist harassment by NDS officials after the attempted assassination of Asadullah Khalid, NDS chief.

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