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'Bomb hits Afghan minister's convoy, one hurt'

A bomb struck the convoy of Afghanistan's education minister on the outskirts of the capital, injuring one.

world Updated: Aug 16, 2008 14:22 IST

A bomb struck the convoy of Afghanistan's education minister on the outskirts of the capital on Saturday, with initial reports that one passer-by was wounded, a ministry spokesman said.

Education Minister Mohamad Hanif Atmar was not hurt in the blast, which hit his convoy as he was returning from distributing books to nomad children, ministry spokesman Hamid Helmi told AFP.

"The minister with members of parliament went to the Pul-i-Charki area to distribute books to nomads, the Kuchi.

"On the way back a mine exploded on one of the cars in the convoy following the minister," he said.

First reports were that one person, a passer-by, was wounded, the spokesman said.

"We don't know yet if it was planned or if it was an old mine," he said. The minister continued his programme, he added.

There have been regular bomb blasts in Kabul, most claimed by the Taliban movement that is waging an insurgency against the government of President Hamid Karzai but with other extremist outfits also said to be involved.

The Taliban were in government between 1996 and 2001 and are carrying out a bloody campaign to take back control.

Violence in Afghanistan is up by 50 per cent this year in some parts of the country, according to various officials, but the capital sees fewer attacks than the southern and eastern border areas.

While most bombings are planned, there are also periodic explosions caused by mines left behind from Afghanistan's decades of war.