The death toll from a suicide vehicle bomb attack on the site of a key national council in Afghanistan’s capital has risen to 12, officials said yesterday.
The Taliban took credit for the blast on Saturday before outside the huge tent where next week’s Loya Jirga is to be held this week, giving the bomber’s name as Saeed Kabuli. They provided few other details.
The bomber detonated his vehicle after being spotted by Afghan security personnel guarding the Loya Jirga site, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said. He said three of the 12 dead were members of Afghanistan’s National Security Force with most of the rest civilians.
The blast came days before the Loya Jirga’s scheduled opening on Thursday, in which thousands of prominent Afghans are scheduled to meet to debate a contentious security agreement with the US.
Hours before the bombing, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that US and Afghan negotiators had completed a final draft of the Bilateral Security Agreement to be presented to the gathering for debate.
Elsewhere, in the insurgency-racked south, villagers yesterday discovered the beheaded bodies of six government contractors and a service member from the international coalition died when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb, officials and NATO said.
Kandahar police spokesman Ahmed Durrani said the men were involved in building police compounds and checkpoints.
In northern Afghanistan, a suicide bomber attacked the deputy governor of Balkh province. While the official escaped Balkh police spokesman Sher Jan Durrani said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either of those attacks.