A regional governor in Afghanistan was killed Tuesday morning by a bomb hidden inside a microphone that he was using to deliver a holiday speech at a mosque.
“This morning, Governor Arsala Jamal was delivering a speech after Eid [holiday] prayers when he was killed by a bomb planted in the microphone,” Din Mohammad Darwish, the spokesman for the governor of Logar, told AFP. Darwish told Bloomberg that the explosive device had been “masterly” planted inside the microphone.
Besides killing the governor, the explosion wounded 15 others, according to the Associated Press which reports that 47-year-old Jamal was a close confident of President Hamid Karzai.
Jamal had survived previous assassination attempts, including two suicide bombings targeting his office and a suicide car bombing on his convoy.
As Afghanistan prepares to hold presidential elections next year and NATO works to withdraw its troops by next year, the Taliban have been stepping up attacks.
No group has as yet claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s killing of the governor of Logar.
The AP describes the sight shortly after the bombing: “At the scene of the bombing, debris was scattered on the green prayer carpets in the cavernous mosque room where hours before worshippers had knelt in prayer, and blood was splattered on the gray marble walls.”
“The precision of the attack and the fact the bomb was hidden at the base of the microphone stand from which Jamal was to address worshippers was a clear indication that he was the intended target,” the AP added.
Eid al-Adha is a major Muslim holiday marking the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son to God. To commemorate the occasion, sheep and goats are sacrificed and distributed to the poor.
President Karzai and Secretary of State John Kerry agreed over the weekend in principle on a deal that will allow U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan beyond the end of 2014; however, key issues including immunity for U.S. troops has as yet not been agreed upon, according to the AP.
Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is warning of “grave consequences” if the agreement is signed, according to a statement quoted by Bloomberg.
Two days before the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Afghan opposition leader who opposed the Taliban, Ahmad Shah Massoud, was killed by terrorists posing as journalists who had hidden their explosives in the camera and battery pack. As a key ally of Al Qaeda, the Taliban had allowed the terrorist group to use Afghanistan as a base to which provide training to jihadi fighters.