Suicide Bomber Hugs Father of Bride, Kills 23

Attack in Afghanistan hits prominent anti-Taliban politician
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2012 10:43 AM CDT
Suicide Bomber Hugs Father of Bride, Kills 23
An Afghan man who was wounded in a suicide attack lies in a hospital north of Kabul.   (AP Photo/Jawed Dehsabzi)

A suicide bomber in Afghanistan killed an anti-Taliban politician today by striking on his daughter's wedding day, reports the BBC. The bomber hugged Ahmad Khan Samangani as he was greeting guests at the wedding hall and set off an explosion that killed the MP and at least 22 others, reports Reuters. Samangani, a former warlord who battled the Soviets during the 1980s and later the Taliban, had told security not to bother searching guests.

The Los Angeles Times susses out potential motives: The attack "could signal either a power struggle among powerful northern warlords, most of them members of ethnic minorities, or a renewed campaign by the Taliban to assassinate leading figures in the Northern Alliance, the former militia that helped drive the group from power." The Taliban has denied responsibility, but President Hamid Karzai blamed "enemies of the people," his usual phraseology for the group or those in its camp. (More Afghanistan stories.)

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