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11 dead in Kunar suicide attack

11 dead in Kunar suicide attack

Apr 13, 2011 - 12:54

ASADABAD (PAN): A famous jihadi commander was among 11 people killed during a suicide bombing in eastern Kunar province on Wednesday, officials said.

Malik Zarin, also a noted tribal elder, was killed during the pre-noon explosion in the Jamjami area of Asmar district, the provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Khalilullah Ziyaee, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Zarin came under attack at 11.30am when he was walking along with his companions to his native village. The jihadi commander's son, Ahmad Shah, was also killed in the blast that left seven others wounded, Ziyaee said.

Dr. Farooq Sahak, director of the Kunar Civil Hospital, confirmed receiving five critically injured people, who were later sent to a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) health facility.

A relative of the 65-year-old commander, Mohammad Farooq, said 11 people, including Zarin, his son and grandson, were killed in the assault. A brother and grandson of Zarin were among the injured, he added.

During the jihad against Soviet occupation forces, Zarin was a famous commander of the National Salvation Front, led by Sibghatullah Mujaddedi.

Hailing from the Dangam district, he lived in the Lower Dir district of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province during Taliban's rule. He still has a house in Dir. 

A supporter of King Zahir Shah, he attended the Rome meeting, Bonn Conference, emergency Loya Jirga, constitutional Loya Jirga and last year's peace jirga.

One of President Hamid Karzai's key aides, Zarin served as a military commander in Kunar during the transitional government before being appointed as governor of the province.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior denounced his killing. Several other tribal elders also died in the explosion after they attended a gathering, the ministry said in a statement.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said they had no role in the bomb attack on Zarin and his companions. The jihadi commander, having family feuds in his native province, had survived a number of attempts on his life.