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

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released the first teaser trailer a week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
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

SQL Developer - Cardiff - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer -...

SQL Developer - Cardiff - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer ...

General Cover Teacher

£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: The Job:TEACHERS REQUIREDWe are...

Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are currently...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?