Afghan government investigating attack on police, NATO commanders
Afghan officials said Sunday that an investigation was underway into a suicide attack that killed seven people including two senior police commanders and at least two German soldiers, dpa reported.
Governor Abdul Jabar Taqwa and German General Markus Kneip, the top NATO official in northern region, were also injured when a bomber detonated his explosives inside a government building in Taleqan, the provincial capital for Takhar.
Taqwa, who had received burns to his face and hands in the explosion, appeared before media in Taleqan Sunday, saying he had intelligence that insurgents had planned to carry out a suicide bombing in the province.
"We are investigating to find out that how the attack took place," he said.
General Zalmai Wessa, top army commander in northern region, who was also at the meeting and survived the attack, said Sunday "our initial information indicates that the bomber was wearing a security uniform."
General Daud Daud, top police commander in the northern region, was the highest ranking security official to have been killed since the ouster of Taliban regime in late 2001 in a bombing.
A security official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to talk to media, said that the bomber had disguised himself in a police uniform.
The attacker got access inside the building after he introduced himself to security forces guarding the building as a bodyguard for one of the senior Afghan officials attending the meeting inside the governor's office.
Police spokesman Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai said "it is too soon to say that what triggered the explosion," adding that the team was also investigating to see if explosives were placed in the building.
The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, saying one of their bombers breached security and struck the meeting room.
Attacks by Taliban infiltrators have raised concerns about the security of higher officials. An insurgent in a police uniform killed the provincial police chief of Kandahar last month.
A militant sleeper agent tried last month to kill Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, but was shot dead after he killed three soldiers.
Daud, a former jihadi commander, served for years as deputy interior minister before being appointed as the top commander for the country's north. He had also served as influential commander in the former Northern Alliance in fight against Taliban government in late 1990s.
Kneip was the most senior NATO official to have been injured in a direct Taliban assault since international forces were deployed to Afghanistan nearly 10 years ago.