Blast kills Afghan deputy spy chief

Suicide attack leaves at least 23 dead, including senior intelligence official.

    Security forces in Afghanistan are battling an increasing number of attacks [File, AFP]

    Several other government officials were also thought to have been killed.

    Targeted attack

    The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had targeted senior officials.

    In depth

      Video: McChrystal's Afghan ideas
      Afghanistan: How the East was lost
      Karzai in his own words

    The attack came as a group of government officials were inaugurating a mosque in the city of Mehterlam, 100km east of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital.

    Lutfullah Mashal, the governor of Laghman, who witnessed the attack, told Al Jazeera: "The deputy chief of the NDS is from Laghman province.

    "He came to Laghman this morning to participate in the reconstruction of the central mosque. He wanted to visit the mosque.

    "But before entering the mosque the suicide attacker rammed into his vehicle and exploded himself in a big crowd of religious scholars and tribal elders."

    An Associated Press photographer at the site said US troops and Afghan officials had surrounded the blast site.

    The NDS is headed by an ethnic Tajik, and analysts warn that the killing of Laghmani, a Pashtun, could further exacerbate ethnic tensions in the country.

    Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, condemned the incident and the United Nations in Afghanistan said the attack was "indefensible" during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Pie peace: My last argument with my sister

    Pie peace: My last argument with my sister

    In a family of 13 siblings, Lori was militant in her maternal agenda; making prom dresses and keeping watch over pie.

    From the US to Afghanistan: Rediscovering the mother who left me

    From the US to Afghanistan: Rediscovering the mother who left me

    Tracee Herbaugh's mother, Sharon, abandoned her when she was born, pursuing a career from which she never returned.

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.