South Asia News
Suicide attack kills 15 Afghans including tribal leader (Roundup)
Feb 22, 2010, 15:38 GMT
Kabul - A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing 15 people including a tribal leader who commanded Afghan forces during the hunt for al-Qaeda leaders in the Tora Bora region, police said.
The attack in the eastern province of Nangarhar occurred when provincial authorities were distributing land titles to poor people in the Dashte Chimtala area, General Ayoub Salangi, the provincial police chief, said.
'The attack killed 15 people and around 15 others were injured,' he told the German Press agency dpa.
Haji Zaman, a tribal elder and former insurgent commander who fought Soviet troops in 1980s, was among those killed, he said.
After the fall of the Taliban government, Haji Zaman became the military corps commander in Nangarhar province. His forces worked alongside American troops who apparently cornered Osama bin Laden in a cave in Tora Bora, close to the border with Pakistan in late 2001.
Zaman was suspected to have then allowed Osama and his fighters to slip away.
The wounded in Monday's attack included Abdul Rahman Shams, the chief of the refugee department in the province.
It was not known who was the prime target of the attack. Taliban spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.
Also in the eastern region, NATO said Monday that their forces killed four insurgents and injured five others after the militants attacked their joint patrol with Afghan forces in Taqab district of north-eastern province of Kapisa.
There were no casualties among the combined forces on Monday firefight, the alliance said in a statement.
Separately, Taliban militants attacked a NATO military patrol with small arms fire and rocket propelled grenade in Pech district of eastern province of Kunar on Sunday night, but caused no casualties, the statement said.
'The force called in an airstrike to engage the insurgents. Initial reports indicate 10 insurgents were killed in the engagement,' it said.