Afghan official gunned down on way to mosque

Last Updated: Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 19:18

Kabul: Attackers gunned down a local
government official on his way to a mosque in southern
Afghanistan, authorities said on Thursday, in the latest hit on a
government figure.

Hundreds of Afghan government officials have been killed
in recent years as the Taliban pursue a sweeping assassination
campaign seeking to weaken confidence in President Hamid
Karzai`s administration and discourage people from joining the
government.

Haji Fazel Mohammad was shot on his way to evening
prayers Wednesday in the volatile district of Sangin in
Helmand province, the governor`s office said. The attackers
escaped.

Mohammad served on the local council for Sangin, which
has been targeted by frequent insurgent attacks since US and
Afghan forces regained control two years ago. The district, a
one-time Taliban stronghold, acts as a regional transit hub
and is a gateway to a major dam that provides electricity.

Sangin also has one of the highest concentrations of
concealed bombs in Afghanistan. More than 100 British troops
died there during several years of operations.

The Taliban`s assassination campaign has also hit senior
figures. In September, a suicide attacker with a bomb in his
turban killed former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who
led a government council seeking a political settlement with
the insurgents. The assassin was posing as a Taliban peace
emissary.



First Published: Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 19:03

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