Anti-Taliban leader among 14 killed in suicide bombing in Afghanistan

May 20, 2013 at 7:18 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, May 20 (UPI) -- The leader of a northern Afghan provincial council was among 14 people killed in a suicide bombing Monday, officials said.

Officials said Rasul Mohseni, considered the most powerful man in Baghlan province who once led a revolt against Afghanistan's former Taliban regime, was killed along with four bodyguards, three police officers and six civilians, The New York Times reported.

Five others were wounded.

Mohseni, his bodyguards and a group of elders arrived for a meeting at the provincial council offices in Baghlan's capital of Pul-i-Kumri and were approaching the council building when the bomber joined the group, provincial deputy police chief Sadiq Muradi said. Dressed as a police officer, the bomber stayed with other officers until the group was inside the building. That's when he detonated a bomb.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, the latest in a recent series of violent incidents, Khaama Press reported.

Mohseni had been accused of rearming militia personnel in the north in case the Taliban posed a threat again, the Times said. One of his brothers is a general in the Afghan army and another brother is a member of Parliament.

The Taliban have stepped up violence in the country as U.S. and NATO forces prepare to end their combat operations by next year, officials said.

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