News / Asia

    Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan Kills Mayor of Kandahar City

    A piece of turban belonging to a suspected suicide bomber is seen inside the compound of mayor's office in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan, July 27, 2011
    A piece of turban belonging to a suspected suicide bomber is seen inside the compound of mayor's office in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan, July 27, 2011

    A suicide bomber has killed the mayor of Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar, the latest in a series of high-profile assassinations of key allies of President Hamid Karzai.

    The Taliban claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack that killed Mayor Ghulam Haider Hamidi and wounded at least one bystander.  A Taliban spokesman said the attack was to avenge the deaths of two children and a woman allegedly killed during the city's recent demolition of illegally constructed homes.

    Witnesses say Hamidi was meeting with constituents about the land dispute at the time of the attack.  Local authorities have not yet determined the motive or the identity of the attacker, who apparently hid the bomb in his turban.

    Hamidi escaped previous attempts on his life. Last year, two of his deputy mayors were killed in attacks.

    Hamidi's death follows last week's targeted killing in Kabul of a member of parliament who also was a senior advisor to President Hamid Karzai.  And earlier this month in Kandahar, a trusted bodyguard shot and killed President Karzai's half-brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai.

    The Taliban claimed responsibility for all the attacks.

    Analysts say the death of President Karzai's half-brother, who was an important power broker in Kandahar, has left a significant power vacuum in the area. Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban and an important stronghold for the militant group in the south, where it remains entrenched despite sustained coalition military operations against them.

    Following Wednesday's killing, President Karzai and the international coalition issued separate statements condemning the violence.

    U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker also condemned the attack, saying the apparent motive for the assassination is another indication of the challenges the country faces. The new ambassador also noted that the targeted killings could be a sign of "significant organizational weakness" in the Taliban, highlighting its inability to mount more organized attacks.

    Hamidi was an American citizen who lived in the United States for several years before returning to Afghanistan.  He had been mayor of Kandahar city since 2007 when he was appointed to the post by President Karzai, a longtime ally.

    The increased violence comes as Afghans begin taking security control of parts of the country from U.S. and NATO-led forces.

    About 33,000 American forces are set to leave Afghanistan by September of 2012. Last week, the first seven areas of Afghanistan were transitioned from NATO control to Afghan forces. Most foreign combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

    In other violence, French soldiers killed three Afghan civilians late Tuesday when they opened fire on a car after the driver failed to stop as he approached NATO troops.  The incident happened in Kapisa province, north of the capital, Kabul.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora