Sun, Dec 24, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Afghan politician escapes an assassination attempt

NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , KABUL

A member of the Afghan Parliament avoided an assassination attempt on Friday when a suicide bomber jumped on his car and blew himself up, the police said.

A passer-by was killed and seven other people were injured, including three relatives of the politician, who was still in his house at the time, the authorities said.

The explosion occurred just days after another man was charged with being part of a plot to kill the politician Padshah Khan Zadran, a former warlord from eastern Afghanistan who was a close ally to US-led coalition troops when they overthrew the Taliban government in 2001.

Zadran also fought the Soviets when they occupied the country.

The explosion on Friday took place just outside Zadran's house on the eastern side of the capital. His son, grandson and nephew were leaving the house in a car and the bomber, wearing explosives, leapt at the car and detonated his charge.

"It was a very loud explosion with smoke all over the street," said Juma Gul, 25, a barber who was replacing the shattered windows of his shop.

Rassoul Mohammad, 27, who was selling firewood, said that a friend chopping wood with him suffered a head injury and that a "a 21 year-old-boy who was passing by was injured, and later we heard that he died in the hospital."

This week, the police arrested a man who was carrying a written order to kill Zadran, said Ali Shah Paktiawal of the Kabul Police Department's criminal branch.

He said the order was from the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, an important Taliban commander allied with al-Qaeda.

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