Suicide bomber kills Kandahar city mayor

Officials say Ghulam Haidar Hameedi died after assailant set off explosives apparently hidden in his turban

The mayor of Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar city has been killed in a suicide bombing, provincial officials say.
Ghulam Haidar Hameedi was killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a corridor near Hamidi’s office, Zalmay Ayoubi, the spokesperson for the Kandahar governor, said on Wednesday.
“It appears the bomber was carrying the bomb in his turban,” Ayoubi said.
Abdul Razaq, the Kandahar police chief, said Hameedi was meeting some elders from a district of Kandahar when one of them got close to the mayor and detonated a bomb hidden in his turban.

Hameedi’s death comes two weeks after President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai– one of the most powerful men in southern Afghanistan – was assassinated at his home.

No group has claimed responsibility so far, but Taliban have been involved in the many prominent assassinations in the recent past.

The latest incident comes amid a dangerous power vacuum after Ahmad Wali’s death.

At a funeral service for Ahmad Wali, a suicide attacker killed a senior cleric and at least four other people.

And Barack Obama, the US president’s announcement in June of phased pullout of US troops has further emboldened the Afghan militia, who have stepped up violence against senior officials.

Kandahar was the site of over half of all targeted killings in Afghanistan between April and June, a UN report said.

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