Microphone bomb kills Afghan governor at Eid prayers

Microphone bomb kills Afghan governor at Eid prayers
Updated 13 November 2013

Microphone bomb kills Afghan governor at Eid prayers

Microphone bomb kills Afghan governor at Eid prayers

PULI ALAM, Afghanistan: A bomb hidden in a microphone killed an Afghan provincial governor Tuesday as he made a speech at a mosque after Eid prayers in Logar, close to the capital Kabul.
Arsala Jamal was appointed by President Hamid Karzai, like all 34 provincial governors, and he was seen as a close ally of the president, acting as one of his campaign managers in the 2009 election.
“This morning, governor Jamal was delivering a speech after Eid prayers when he was killed by a bomb planted in the microphone,” Logar provincial governor spokesman Din Mohammad Darwish told AFP.
“The governor wanted to speak and congratulate everyone on the occasion of Eid. At least 18 other people have been wounded, including civilians and government employees.”
Jamal only took up the Logar job in April after serving as governor of Khost, on the border with Pakistan.
No group claimed immediate responsibility for the blast, though Taleban militants often target provincial government officials as well as Afghan soldiers and police.
Karzai condemned Jamal’s killing, saying the attack inside the mosque showed the Taleban had no respect for Islam.
Earlier in his presidential Eid address on Tuesday, he again appealed for peace.
“Hamid Karzai called on the Taleban to work for the development of their country, and to spare Afghan security forces who are working to protect their soil, national dignity, and to stop carrying out attacks,” his office said.
“(The president) once again called on the Taleban and their leaders not to throw the youth of this country into destruction.”
Mohammad Jan Abid, head of the criminal investigative department in Logar, confirmed the mosque bombing and said a probe would be launched.
Volatile Logar, which lies to the south of the Afghan capital, is seen as a key strategic region, often described as a “gateway to Kabul” for Taleban militants based in strongholds across the south and east.
Security in the province has deteriorated in recent years, with the Taleban holding sway in some areas despite sustained Afghan and US military pressure.
Village-based Afghan Local Police (ALP) forces have also been active trying to wrestle back control of Taleban-held territory.
The Taleban have vowed to step up attacks as Afghanistan prepares for presidential elections in April and the withdrawal of 87,000 NATO troops by the end of next year.
Taleban supremo Mullah Omar on Sunday said he “rejected” the elections, which he alleged were being manipulated by foreign powers, and called on Afghans not to participate.
The hard-line Islamist Taleban regime was driven from power by a US-led coalition in 2001 for sheltering the Al-Qaeda leaders behind the 9/11 attacks.
The US and Afghanistan are currently in the last stages of talks on a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) that would see several thousand US troops remain in the country to aid stability and continue training of local security forces.
Omar warned any US bases remaining on Afghan soil “will never be accepted,” and that “armed jihad will continue against them with more momentum.”
Eid ul Adha is a major public holiday across the Muslim world, with mosques packed with devotees marking the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.
Sheep and goats are sacrificed in many households and the meat distributed among family, friends and the poor.


5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis

5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis
Updated 14 min 52 sec ago

5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis

5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS: Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot to death early Sunday inside an Indianapolis home in an apparent targeted attack, the city’s police chief said, decrying the “mass murder” killings as a “different kind of evil.”
The fatal shootings were discovered by police who had been called about 4 a.m. to investigate reports of a person shot on the city’s near northeast side but first discovered a juvenile male with gunshot wounds, said Sgt. Shane Foley with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
No suspects were in custody as of Sunday evening.
As officers were investigating that juvenile’s shooting, Foley said police received information about 4:40 a.m., that led them to a nearby home, where they found five adults dead inside from apparent gunshot wounds.
One of the five victims was a pregnant woman who was taken to an area hospital, where both she and the unborn child died despite life-saving efforts, Foley said.
He said the juvenile initially found with gunshot wounds is expected to survive and police believe he was wounded in the shootings that left the five others dead, along with the unborn child.
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said police believe the deadly shootings were not random, but were a targeted attack carried out by an assailant or assailants.
He said the shooting came days after police department officials had announced their latest efforts to combat violent, drug-related crimes and “violence driven by poverty or desperation.”
“But what we saw this morning was a different kind of evil. What happened this morning, based on the evidence that’s been gathered so far, was mass murder,” Taylor said at a news conference. “More than that, we believe it was not random.”
Taylor said it was largest mass casualty shooting in the city in more than a decade, and urged the public to contact police and pass along any information they might have on the killings.
Mayor Joe Hogsett called the shootings “mass murder,” and said that an individual or individuals had brought “terror to our community.” He said he had contacted officials with the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, the local US Attorneys office and other law enforcement agencies for assistance in the shooting investigation.
“I want those responsible to know that the full might of local, state and federal law enforcement are coming for them as I speak,” he said.