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Suicide bomber wounds Afghan intelligence chief-report

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 6 Dec 2012 12:26 GMT
Author: Reuters
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KABUL, Dec 6 (Reuters) - A suicide bombing attack in Kabul wounded Afghanistan's spy chief on Thursday, a television station said.

Asadullah Khalid was wounded when the bomber struck at a guesthouse, Tolo television reported, and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said he had survived a "terrorist attack".

The bombing highlights Afghanistan's numerous security challenges as U.S.-led NATO troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.

After more than 10 years of war against Western forces with superior firepower, militants are capable of striking in the heart of the capital.

Afghanistan's parliament approved the nomination of Khalid as the new head of the NDS in September, an appointment that alarmed human rights groups who have long accused the agency of torturing detainees, allegations it denies.

Khalid is a well-connected ethnic Pashtun and the influential former governor of the southern province of Kandahar, from where the Taliban draw most support.

He is seen as tough on the Taliban.

Human rights groups have been troubled by allegations that Khalid, a close aide of President Hamid Karzai, ran a torture prison while he was governor of Kandahar. He denies any wrongdoing. (Reporting by Mirwais Harooni; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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