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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kabul blast ahead of Afghanistan security handover




A suicide attacker is believed to have targeted a prominent Afghan politician just as Nato formally hands over command of security responsibilities to Afghan forces.

The bomb struck the convoy of Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, a prominent member of parliament and leader of the Hazara ethnic minority, in west Kabul.

Mr Mohaqiq was reportedly unhurt, but three people were killed and six injured.

Nato forces are handing over control of the last 95 districts.

A ceremony is due to be attended by President Hamid Karzai and Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The location of the event has not been given.

The switch of security duties to the 350,000-strong Afghan National Army is a milestone on the road to the final withdrawal of international combat troops at the end of next year.

The handover of security control by the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) started with Bamiyan in 2011.

The final districts to be handed over include 13 in Kandahar province - the birthplace of the Taliban - and 12 each in Nangarhar, Khost and Paktika, all bastions of insurgent activity along the border with Pakistan.

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