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Deadly Kandahar blast: Five UAE diplomats among 12 killed

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By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: At least 12 people were killed and 18 others including provincial governor and the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Kabul wounded in an explosion in the southern Kandahar province on Tuesday evening, officials said.

The bombing targeted governor Homayoun Azizi and the ambassador Juma Mohammad Abdullah al-Kaabi’s meeting at Azizi’s guest house in the Kandahar city, provincial capital.

“The blast took place at around 6:30pm,” said Kandahar Police Chief Abdul Raziq Achakzai, adding that 11 were killed.

Provincial spokesman Samim Ekhpolwak, said that deputy governor and his secretary were also injured.

Spokesman for the ministry of interior Seddiq Seddiqi said that 12 people were killed.

Member of Wolesi Jirga (Lower House) of Parliament Zakaria Sawda said that one member of Wolesi Jirga Baz Mohammad Jawzjani and Senator Sarajudin Safari, were also killed.

Meanwhile, spokesperson of independent directorate of local governance Munera Yusofzada said that Kandahar deputy governor Abdul Ali Shamsi succumbed to injuries on Wednesday in hospital.

Governor was in good health condition, she added.

The UAE diplomats were in Kandahar to inaugurate a hospital.

Provincial Council Member Sayed Jan Akhondzada reported the death of four Arabs, while foreign ministry confirmed the death of an Afghan diplomat.

According to reports the United Arab Emirates government also announced on Wednesday that five of its diplomats were killed in a bombing incident in southern Kandahar province.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the bombing in Kandahar, saying that enemies of Afghanistan’s stability and development by conducting such attacks cannot shake Afghans’ strong intention in the aspect of progress.

Statement said that such attacks will never altered relation between Afghanistan and UAE.

Delegation sent to Kandahar province to assess the incident, noted the statement.

Members of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House) of Parliament strongly condemned the attack in Kabul and Kandahar provinces. They called over relevant security organs to take measure and curb ramp up insecurity challenges in the country.

UNAMA by sending a statement condemns yesterday’s Kabul and Kandahar attacks that claimed the lives of more than 40 people, mainly civilians and including representatives of the diplomatic community.

In Kandahar, as many as 13 civilians were killed in an explosion at the residence of the Kandahar Provincial Governor while he was hosting a dinner event for visiting diplomats and dignitaries. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced today that five of its diplomats were among those killed. Many others were injured, including the Kandahar Governor and the visiting UAE Ambassador. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

In Kabul, a Taliban suicide attacker detonated his vest outside the Parliamentary Administration Compound in the Daruluman area of the capital. Shortly afterwards, the Taliban detonated a vehicle packed with explosives on the main road near the compound, impacting a civilian bus, parliamentary staff, bystanders, security guards and those responding to the first attack. The attacks killed at least 35 people and injured more than 50. While authorities confirmed two National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials were killed and four injured, preliminary information indicates the majority of the casualties were civilians. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that they were targeting the NDS. The Taliban also acknowledged that they had deliberately timed the second blast to take place as first responders attended to persons caught in the initial explosion.

“Such unprincipled, unlawful and deplorable attacks cause immense human suffering and make the peace that Afghans need and deserve even more difficult to achieve,” said PernilleKardel, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Those responsible for these attacks must be held accountable,” said Kardel, who is also acting head of UNAMA.

UNAMA stands in solidarity with the people and governments of Afghanistan and the UAE. UNAMA expresses deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wishes a speedy recovery for all those injured.

In a statement the U.S. Embassy strongly condemns yesterday’s deadly attacks in Kabul that killed at least 38 innocent Afghans and wounded more than 70.  We also condemn the heinous attacks on the Kandahar Governor’s Office that killed at least 10 people and wounded 21, including the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Afghanistan and Emirati diplomatic personnel, as well as important Afghan political figures including the Deputy Governor and members of Parliament.  We further condemn the suicide bomb attack in Helmand province that killed at least 10 Afghans, including both civilian and military personnel.

Statement said that we extend our deepest heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims of these senseless and cowardly acts. We believe Afghanistan deserves peace and security — not deliberate and murderous attacks that victimize innocent Afghans who serve their fellow citizens. My government and the people of the United States are and will remain committed to standing with the people of Afghanistan and its elected representatives in their fight against terrorism and in working toward a peaceful and prosperous future. We stand with the Government of National Unity and people of Afghanistan in bringing an end — once and for all — to these barbarous attacks against its people.