Exploding raghead kills mayor of Kandahar

Kandahar mayor killed by suicide bomber with explosives in turban, the latest assassination of a senior official in the key southern Afghan province. Taliban claim responsibility.

al-Jazeera -Ghulam Haidar Hameedi was killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a corridor near Hamidi’s office, Zalmay Ayoubi, the spokesperson for the Kandahar governor, said on Wednesday. “It appears the bomber was carrying the bomb in his turban,” Ayoubi said.

Abdul Razaq, the Kandahar police chief, said Hameedi was meeting some elders from a district of Kandahar when one of them got close to the target and detonated a bomb hidden in his turban.

Ghulam Haidar Hameedi

Claiming responsibility for the attack, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, the Taliban spokesperson, told the Associated Press news agency that Hameedi had ordered the destruction of homes that city officials claimed had been illegally constructed. Ahmadi said the Taliban killed him to avenge the deaths of two children who they allege were killed during the demolition work.

Afghanistan’s Taliban has been involved in the many prominent assassinations in the recent past, and Hameedi’s killing is the third assassination of a major political figure in the last one month. Hameedi’s death comes two weeks after President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai- one of the most powerful men in southern Afghanistan – was assassinated at his home.

Hameedi, who lived in the US for nearly two decades before returning to Afghanistan after the collapse of the Taliban in 2001, was considered to be Wali Karzai’s ally in Kandahar.

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