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Suicide bomber kills 14 at Afghan province council


A suicide bomber struck outside a provincial council headquarters in northern Afghanistan on Monday, killing the council chief and at least 13 others, authorities said.

Baghlan provincial council leader Mohammad Rasoul Mohseni was entering the compound in the morning when the bomber ran up on foot and detonated his explosives, police spokesman in Baghlan province Jawed Bashrat said.

Provincial chief of police Asadullah Sherzad said 14 people were killed, including Mohseni, and 11 were wounded.

Mohammad Zahier Ghanizada, a member of parliament from Baghlan, confirmed the council chief's death and added that Mohseni had previously received multiple death threats.

Several civilians, bodyguards and provincial council members were among the wounded, Bashrat said.

Insurgents seeking to weaken the Afghan government have been carrying out attacks and assassinations intended to intimidate both officials and civilians ahead of next year's withdrawal of most international troops.