Afghan wedding suicide attack kills MP, 16 others

A suicide bomber killed a prominent Afghan lawmaker and 16 other people at his daughter's wedding party in the north of the country on Saturday, officials said.

The attacker embraced MP Ahmad Khan, a former militia commander, in front of wedding guests before detonating the explosives strapped around his waist, a security forces spokesman said.

President Hamid Karzai's office said in a statement 17 people were killed and around 43 wounded, revising an earlier statement that said 23 were killed in the attack in Aybak, capital of normally peaceful Samangan province.

"Latest reports indicate that 17 people were killed and about 43 others were wounded," the statement said.

Provincial intelligence chief Mohammad Khan was among those killed at the celebration attended by other high-ranking government officials.

The statement blamed the "terrorist" attack on the "enemies of Afghanistan", a term used by Afghan officials to refer to the Taliban.

Karzai also appointed a delegation to investigate the attack.

An ethnic Uzbek, Khan was a militia commander during the decades of conflict in Afghanistan, when his forces held sway in the area.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, told AFP that he was "unaware" of an attack by the militant group in northern Afghanistan.

Witnesses at the scene told AFP the windows of the two storey wedding hall were shattered and blood-stained turbans, shoes and clothes could been seen around the hall.

The attacker apparently disguised himself as a guest and blew himself up at the entrance of the hall, where high-ranking local officials were welcoming guests.

Northern Afghanistan is relatively peaceful but suffers sporadic violence.

The attack in Samangan suggests an emboldened Taliban insurgency spreading to the north from the south and east, where they traditionally hold sway.

But the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a key ally of Al-Qaeda, is also active in Afghanistan's northern provinces.

In March, Afghan and international forces killed Makhdum Nusrat, a senior IMU leader in Afghanistan, in Faryab province, to the west of Samangan. The following month a suicide attack in Faryab killed 12 people, mostly civilians.

Last year, a Taliban suicide attack killed General Daud Daud, a regional police commander and once Afghanistan's most powerful anti-drug czar, in Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province, also in the north.

The wedding attack came the day after a provincial women's affairs official in Laghman, east of Kabul, was killed and her husband and daughter critically wounded when a magnetic bomb attached to her vehicle exploded, police said.

Laghman provincial government spokesman Sarhadi Zwak blamed Taliban insurgents for that attack.

The Taliban have waged a bloody insurgency since their ouster from power following a US-led invasion shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

Attacks by the Taliban kill hundreds of civilians every year, but many Afghans worry that security will worsen, or that civil war could reignite, when foreign forces pull out.

There are currently around 130,000 international troops in Afghanistan and all NATO-led combat forces are due to leave by the end of 2014.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better
    Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    President Benigno Aquino Wednesday hailed renovations to the Philippines' main international airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport. Almost a year after he personally apologised for the failure of air-conditioning at Terminal 1 of Manila's international airport, Aquino said the facility appeared to be completely different. "It is like I have entered a completely different airport," he told reporters as he inspected the …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon Avenue
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon Avenue

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6
    The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6

    Yamaha Motor Philippines (YMPH) recently held the first leg of the Yamaha Grand Prix 6 at the SM Sta. Rosa compound in Laguna. The racing categories for this year are the following: Automatic Inter-Club RaceUnderbone Inter-Club Race115 Superstock ATVega Force i SuperstockSniper 150 Open UB130 Open UBMio 125 MX i …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines
    Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines

    The Filipino Gran Turismo gamer just became eligible to become a Pro Race Car driver as Nissan Philippines Inc. launched its GT Academy here in the Philippines. The object is to find the best Grand Turismo players in both the online qualification process and participating in the live events after which they’ll compete with each other in National Finals to see who gets to attend the 3 month Race camp.  The winner gets to stay in the UK near Silverstone and will take part in UK national and club …

  • Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT
    Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT

    Sen. Sergio Osmeña III wants electricity to be exempted from value added tax under a proposed measure that will amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 and the Reformed VAT Law. He said the move aims to ease the burden of the public in paying high electricity rates in the country. “VAT on electricity is another burden on the already over-taxed shoulders of our people, especially those whose incomes are barely enough to cover their basic needs. Osmeña, chairman of the Senate …

  • No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday
    No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday

    No lotto tickets will be sold and no lotto draws made starting tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, up to Easter Sunday in observance of Holy Week. In a statement, Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, acting Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman and general manager, said the selling of lotto tickets and lotto draws will resume on April 6,  Monday. “We thank all Lotto players for your trust and confidence in the PCSO games, and we count on your continued support of our efforts to raise funds for …

  • Quake rocks C. Visayas
    Quake rocks C. Visayas

    A magnitude-3.2 earthquake rocked parts of Central Visayas yesterday. State seismologists said the quake was an aftershock of a powerful tremor that hit the region in 2013. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake occurred at 7:54 a.m. Its epicenter was located 10 kilometers  southeast of Buenavista, Bohol. Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said the quake was an aftershock of the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol on Oct. 15, 2013. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options