Afghan suicide attack kills 7, including police commanders
Seven people, including two top police commanders, were killed, while nine others, including the provincial governor for the northern Afghan province of Takhar, were injured Saturday in a suicide blast, officials said.
General Mohammed Daud Daud, the police commander for Afghanistan's northern region, and Shah Jahan Noori, provincial police chief of Takhar, were among the dead, said Faiz Mohammad Tawhidi, spokesman for the provincial governor.
Others confirmed the death.
"Yes the commander (Daud) was martyred in the blast," Ahmad Hamid, Daud's personal secretary told the German Press Agency DPA.
Tawhidi said that Governor Abdul Jabar Taqw was among nine injured, while another official said that the top German military commander for northern Afghanistan had at least suffered injuries in the blast.
The suicide bomber detonated his explosives in Taleqan, the provincial capital, as the officials walked out of the governor's office after a security meeting, said Zalmai Wessa, commander for Afghan national army forces in the northern region, who was also at the meeting.
"I was wearing my body armour and I was a few metres behind the other officials when the suicide bomber struck," Wessa told dpa. "There was dust everywhere and several people were lying on the ground."
Wessa, who was unharmed in the attack, said that Daud, Taqwa and the German commander were all knocked over in the attack, with all receiving at least some injuries.
"There were casualties among German forces," Tawhidi said, without elaborating.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, took responsibility for the attack, saying that one of the group's bombers carried out the bombing.
"Several Afghan and foreign officials who were at a security meeting were killed and injured," Mujahid told dpa by phone from an undisclosed location.
Abdul Basir Wafi, a doctor in Taleqan's provincial hospital, said that four dead bodies, including Daud's were brought to his facility.
Taleqan was deserted in the aftermath of the attack, with all main roads inside the city cordoned off by Afghan security forces.
Daud, a former jihadi commander, served for years as deputy interior minister before being appointed as the top commander for police forces in the country's northern region.