Former Afghan prime minister shot dead


Kabul : A serving legislator who had also held the post of prime minister during Afghanistan’s civil war was shot dead in Kabul, and a roadside bomb that targeted an army bus in the same city Thursday killed one and wounded 26, police said.

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Abdul Saboor Farid, a member of the upper house of parliament from Kapisa province, was shot dead in front of his house in the northern part of Kabul Wednesday night, said Zemaria Bashary, an interior ministry spokesman.

Farid was shot several times from a moving car in Khairkhana as he was entering his house. No group immediately took responsibility for the killing.

Farid previously had close ties with mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who currently leads a group of insurgents who are fighting the US-backed government along with the Taliban, and briefly served as prime minister in 1992 during the mujahideen’s government after the religious fighters forced out the Soviets and Afghanistan was plunged into civil war.

Meanwhile, at least one person was killed and another 14, including seven army officers, were wounded in Kabul when a bomb that was hidden in a cart selling fruit was detonated by remote control, the chief of the investigation branch of the Kabul police said.

The attack took place in Taimany, a northern district of Kabul, and targeted a bus the soldiers were taking to work, he said.

“We were riding on the bus when suddenly there was an explosion,” said Niaz Mohammad, an employee of the defence ministry, who was slightly wounded. “I don’t know what happened.”

“Several friends of mine were killed and wounded,” he said.

“There was a big bang and smoke and dust billowed from the site,” Ali Nazar, a witness, said, adding that he saw several badly wounded people rushed to hospital.

The person killed was the bus driver, and the injured were seven officers and seven civilians, Paktiawal said.

However, the Defence Ministry said in a statement that 23 soldiers and three civilians were wounded in the blast that was carried out “by enemies of Afghanistan,” a term often used by Afghan authorities to describe Taliban insurgents.

The Taliban took responsibility. “In this incident, the bus was destroyed and 35 army soldiers were killed and wounded,” the Taliban said in a statement on its website.

In a separate incident, Afghan and coalition forces killed eight insurgents, including three foreign fighters and their local Afghan commander, Tuesday in the Gerishk district of the southern province of Helmand, the interior ministry said in a statement Thursday.