Mosque bombing kills provincial governor Arsallah Jamal in Afghanistan during Eid al-Adha holiday

 

A bomb planted inside a mosque microphone killed the governor of Afghanistan's eastern Logar province as he was delivering a speech to worshippers on this morning to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, officials said.

The explosion at the main mosque in the provincial capital of Puli Alam killed Governor Arsallah Jamal and wounded 15 people — five of them critically, said the governor's spokesman, Din Mohammad Darwesh. 

Jamal, 47, was a close confidant of President Hamid Karzai and served as his campaign manager during the 2009 presidential elections. He also served as governor of the eastern Khost province until he was appointed to his current post in Logar in April. 

There was no immediate comment from Karzai's office on the attack. 

A high-profile target, Jamal had survived a number of assassination attempts in the past, including with suicide bombings. They include two suicide attacks against his office in Khost in May and July 2009, and a suicide car bomb attack that targeted his convoy in August 2007. 

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack but the Taliban have been targeting Afghan officials, military and Nato troops as part of their campaign to retake territory as international troops draw down ahead of a full pullout at the end of 2014. 

The explosion took place as Jamal was speaking inside the mosque to worshippers, said Logar's deputy police chief, Rais Khan Abbul Rahimzai. The bomb was apparently planted inside the microphone in the front part of the mosque, said two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. 

The wave of attacks since the Nato handover of security responsibilities to Afghan forces has led to a spike in casualties, both among Afghan forces and civilians. 

The Taliban have said they will target government officials and people who work in the Karzai administration. There have been numerous bombings of government buildings leading to dozens of deaths in recent months. In one such attack, outside the Supreme Court building in the Afghan capital, Kabul, a suicide bomber killed 17 people, most of them office workers, on June 17. 

Logar, which is located just south of Kabul, was once mostly a calm province. But it has recently seen an influx of Taliban fighters and increased attacks against government forces. 

Eid al-Adha is one of the most important holidays in the Islamic calendar. Muslims around the world slaughter sheep, cows and goats during the four-day holiday, giving away much of the meat to the poor. The holiday commemorates the readiness of the Prophet Ibrahim, known to Christians and Jews as Abraham, to sacrifice his son, Ismail, on God's command. 

In an Eid message from the secretive leader of the Afghan Taliban on Monday, Mullah Mohammad Omar pledged that his followers would keep fighting if Karzai's government signs a crucial security deal with the United States. In the message, Omar also called on his fighters to intensify their insurgent campaign against Afghan and Nato forces, and urged all Afghans to boycott next year's elections, including the vote to elect a successor to Karzai. 

On Saturday, Karzai and US Secretary of State John Kerry reached an agreement in principle on the major elements of a deal that would allow American troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014 and allow the US to lease a number of military bases around the country. 

However, key issues, such as immunity for American troops who will stay on, remain unresolved. The jurisdiction over those forces must still be worked out, and US officials have said this was a potentially deal-breaking issue. 

The slain governor, Jamal, was recently in the spotlight following his revelation that a senior commander of the Pakistani Taliban was taken into custody by American forces in Logar province on Oct. 5. 

US officials confirmed that Latif Mehsud, a leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, was captured by US forces in a military operation. 

At the time, Jamal told The Associated Press that Mehsud was captured as he was driving along a main highway linking the province with Kabul.

AP

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks
tv

Regular cast member Ste Hay, played by Kieron Richardson, is about to test TV boundaries

Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
techPerils of 'text neck' revealed
News
i100
News
Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt
peopleStonewall boss says many fear it could ruin their careers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

Day In a Page

Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

What are Jaden and Willow on about?

Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

Cold war

How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

‘O, Louis’ is the plaintive title of a biography about the Dutchman. Ian Herbert looks at what it tells us about the Manchester United manager
Isis in Iraq: Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants

Isis takes a big step back

Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants
Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits: How to shop politically

How to shop politically

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits
The science of sex: What happens when science meets erotica

Sex on the brain

Fetishes, dominatrixes, kinks and erotica. They are subjects that should get the crowds flocking to a new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection