Suicide Bombing Attack Wounds Afghan Intelligence Chief

Afghan Intelligence Chief Asadullah Khalid was wounded today in a suicide attack at a guesthouse run by the intelligence agency.

The attacker posed as a Taliban peace messenger who then detonated his suicide vest, Shafiqullah Tahiri, a spokesman for the country’s intelligence agency said in a phone interview today.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the “terrorist attack” while visiting his wounded spy chief at a hospital run by the intelligence agency in Kabul, an e-mailed statement from Karzai’s office said today.

Doctors at the hospital said he was wounded in his abdomen and chest and didn’t give further information. Karzai said in the statement the condition of his spy chief was improving and he might be moved to another hospital for further treatment, according to the statement.

“I was walking from the road when I heard a heavy explosion,” Jawid Danishi, 32, a Kabul resident, said in an interview. “Later, I saw Asadullah Khalid, who had been wounded, was being taken by his guards to an armored vehicle.”

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, claimed responsibility for the attack. He said in an e-mailed statement that one of the group’s suicide bombers, Hafez Mohammad, had carried it out, “killing and wounding a number of Afghan spies including the chief of Intelligence Agency.”

Khalid was hired three months ago as the chief of the Afghan intelligence agency by Karzai. Previously, he worked as the minister of tribal affairs and as governor of southern Kandahar province.

Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former Afghan president and ex- chairman of Afghanistan’s high peace council, was assassinated in September 2011 at his home in Kabul by a suicide bomber who also posed as a peace messenger.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eltaf Najafizada in Kabul at enajafizada1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

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