Daily brief: Taliban suicide blast in Kabul kills up to 4

Taliban attack Kabul The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a busload full of employees of Afghanistan’s intelligence service the NDS earlier this morning in Kabul, which killed at least four and wounded more than three dozen (Post, NYT, Pajhwok, BBC, AFP). It is the third bombing in Kabul in less than ...

Majid Saeedi/Getty Images
Majid Saeedi/Getty Images
Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

Taliban attack Kabul

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a busload full of employees of Afghanistan's intelligence service the NDS earlier this morning in Kabul, which killed at least four and wounded more than three dozen (Post, NYT, Pajhwok, BBC, AFP). It is the third bombing in Kabul in less than a month (Reuters). The Taliban also took credit for a remote controlled bombing in Kunar province that killed the NDS's deputy chief for the province today (NYT, Pajhwok).

Also in Kabul, the Afghan attorney general's office is launching an investigation into misconduct at the Kabul Bank, Afghanistan's largest, which nearly collapsed last year amid a corruption scandal and management changes (AP). In the southern province of Kandahar, an Afghan government delegation reportedly said yesterday that a recent coalition offensive in Arghandab, Zhari, and Panjwayi districts caused around $100 million worth of damage to fruit crops and homes (Reuters, AFP). A spokesman for Kandahar's governor said the Taliban had booby trapped the sites ahead of time so the coalition was forced to destroy them.

Taliban attack Kabul

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a busload full of employees of Afghanistan’s intelligence service the NDS earlier this morning in Kabul, which killed at least four and wounded more than three dozen (Post, NYT, Pajhwok, BBC, AFP). It is the third bombing in Kabul in less than a month (Reuters). The Taliban also took credit for a remote controlled bombing in Kunar province that killed the NDS’s deputy chief for the province today (NYT, Pajhwok).

Also in Kabul, the Afghan attorney general’s office is launching an investigation into misconduct at the Kabul Bank, Afghanistan’s largest, which nearly collapsed last year amid a corruption scandal and management changes (AP). In the southern province of Kandahar, an Afghan government delegation reportedly said yesterday that a recent coalition offensive in Arghandab, Zhari, and Panjwayi districts caused around $100 million worth of damage to fruit crops and homes (Reuters, AFP). A spokesman for Kandahar’s governor said the Taliban had booby trapped the sites ahead of time so the coalition was forced to destroy them.

Politics and security in Pakistan

U.S. vice president Joe Biden is in Pakistan today for a day of meetings with Pakistani leaders, including Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari, prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, and army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, to discuss Pakistani efforts to combat militancy in the tribal regions and increased U.S. support for Pakistan (Post, NYT, AP, AFP).

As rumored, yesterday Zardari named Sardar Latif Khosa, a close ally and former attorney general, the new governor of Punjab following the assassination of the province’s last governor Salmaan Taseer last week (BBC, NYT, Reuters, Dawn, ET, Daily Times, The News, AP). A local lawyer has filed a petition challenging the appointment because of allegations that past charges of corruption against Khosa make the appointment unconstitutional.

In the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar, two women were killed and several others wounded in a roadside bombing (ET). In Khyber agency, two British men who were sightseeing in the area are believed to have been kidnapped last month (Tel). And a suspected U.S. drone strike killed a handful of alleged militants in North Waziristan, the fifth such strike this year (BBC, AFP, AFP, CNN, Pajhwok, Geo).

Family planning

Pajhwok is featuring a report on religious scholars in Afghanistan who say the Koran sanctions leaving at least two and a half years between children, and experts who argue that too many children can hinder a family’s health and economic prospects (Pajhwok). Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.

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