Suicide attack kills 10 in Afghanistan

Suicide attack kills 10 in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber blew himself up yesterday during a funeral in northern Afghanistan, killing 10 people, including a member of the national parliament, a government spokesman said.

The attack occurred as mourners were leaving after the end of the funeral in the town of Talaqan, said Faid Mohammad Tawhedi, a spokesman for the governor’s office in northern Takhar province. Fifteen people were injured in the blast, he said. Tawhedi said the dead included parliament member Abdul Mutaleb Baik.

Suicide attacks are rare in Takhar province, which is located 250 kilometers northeast of Kabul and is considered one the nation’s calmer regions. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. But over the past year, the Taliban have repeatedly struck at prominent government figures. In September, a suicide attacker killed Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former Afghan president and head of the nation’s peace council.

Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Dec. 24 Afghanistan will not sign a strategic partnership deal with the U.S. until NATO-led night raids and house searches stop. The president’s remarks came after he heard back from a government-appointed delegation assigned to look into civilian casualties sustained during recent NATO airstrikes and night time raids. “The president stressed that the strategic partnership document will not be signed until the night raids and house searches stop,” his office said in a statement.

“After hearing the report by the delegation, the president said that the arbitrary operations and house searches by NATO have become a serious problem between Afghanistan and NATO forces and that this has been one of the main obstacles on signing the strategic partnership deal with the United States.” The strategic partnership document being negotiated with Washington will govern the relationship between American troops and the Afghan government after the scheduled withdrawal of combat troops in 2014.

Compiled from AP and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.