Attempt to kill Afghan governor foiled

The 20-year-old Pak national, identified as Aynullah, was held in Ghazni province for attempting to kill governor Mirajuding Pattan.

india Updated: Dec 19, 2006 18:37 IST

Police in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday arrested a would-be suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his body, foiling an attempt to kill a provincial governor, officials said.

The 20-year-old, identified as Aynullah, a Pakistani national and resident of Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal zone, was seized in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said.

"He was arrested because of an earlier tip-off. Investigations have revealed he was attempting to kill the provincial governor Mirajuding Pattan or the provincial police chief," Bashary said.

Bashary said the attacker, who was carrying 15 kilograms of explosives, was linked to "enemies of Afghanistan", a term often used by Afghan officials to refer to remnants of the ousted Taliban regime.

"He is under investigation and more information will be released soon," said Bashari.

There have been around 100 suicide attacks this year in Afghanistan -- where the phenomenon was previously rare—mostly linked to a spiralling insurgency by the ousted Taliban militia.

The governor of eastern Paktia province, Hakim Taniwal, was assassinated in a suicide bombing in September, becoming the first governor to be killed since the Taliban were toppled in 2001.

The Taliban said it carried out the attack.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other officials have blamed the Pakistani government for supporting Taliban extremists, giving them safe haven in Pakistan, training and financial support.

First Published: Dec 19, 2006 17:07 IST