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Taliban claim suicide attack on Afghan spy chief - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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KABUL, (Reuters) – The Taliban said on Thursday that they carried out a “suicide” bombing attack in Kabul on Thursday that wounded Afghanistan’s intelligence chief.

Asadullah Khalid was wounded when the bomber struck at a guesthouse, Tolo television reported, and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said he had survived a “terrorist attack”.

“Asadullah Khalid was the main target. A number of spies have been killed and wounded,” said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement.

There were no immediate comments from officials on whether there were other casualties.

The bombing highlights Afghanistan’s numerous security challenges as U.S.-led NATO troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.

After more than 10 years of war against Western forces with superior firepower, militants are capable of striking in the heart of the capital.

Afghanistan’s parliament approved the nomination of Khalid as the new head of the NDS in September, an appointment that alarmed human rights groups who have long accused the agency of torturing detainees, allegations it denies.

Khalid is a well-connected ethnic Pashtun and the influential former governor of the southern province of Kandahar, from where the Taliban draw most support.

He is seen as tough on the Taliban.

Human rights groups have been troubled by allegations that Khalid, a close aide of President Hamid Karzai, ran a torture prison while he was governor of Kandahar. He denies any wrongdoing.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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