Afghanistan: Provincial intelligence chief killed in Taliban suicide bombing

A Taliban suicide bomber penetrated a secure government building in southwestern Afghanistan and blew himself up, killing six people and himself. The deadly attack claimed the life of Nimroz province’s intelligence chief, Anwar Shah Khan, and his 20-year old son.

The blast completely destroyed the office and caused catastrophic damage to the building’s structural integrity. Provincial authorities warned the death toll could climb as investigators comb through the rubble.

The bomber, apparently a Taliban fighter from Helmand province according to a Taliban spokesman who claimed responsibility for the attack, managed to enter the government building in the provincial capital of Nimroz shortly before noon disguised as a street beggar. “It was around 11.a.m. local time when a man strapping explosive devices in his body entered the office of Mohammad Anwar Shah, the chief of intelligence in the province and blew himself up, killing Shah and two others on the spot,” provincial governor Ghulam Dastgir Azad Azad told Xinhua.

Shah was later identified as a provincial state prosecutor as well as the head of Nimroz intelligence operations. Shah’s deputy, so far unidentified by name, was also killed in the blast along with three civilians. “The whole building has collapsed. There might be more casualties,” Governor Azad told the AFP.

Today’s deadly attack comes only days after a Taliban commander told French television journalists that the Taliban plan to take the insurgency from the countryside to Afghan cities starting this month. “This year and next, we will do our utmost to enter Kabul and aim at Americans and the bases of their allies,” Taliban commander for Wardak province, Abu Tayeb, told France 24 journalists. “And starting now, we are taking the fight from away from rural areas toward the cities.”

Violence has spread further west this spring and summer, with scores of deadly insurgent attacks recorded in Farah, Nimroz, Herat and Badghis provinces. Coalition forces have responded with a “decapitation” strategy aimed at eliminating low to mid level Taliban operatives through premeditated strikes and raids. Only yesterday, Coalition forces conducted a targeted strike against a Taliban command compound in neighboring Farah province, killing three Taliban commanders. Mullah Faizullah, the Taliban era deputy governor of Farah from 1996-2001 was believed to have been killed in the raid along with his wife and two children.




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