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Bombs stoke region's political tension

A wounded woman is helped outside the Heetal Hotel in Kabul after a suicide car bomb exploded Tuesday in the Afghan capital. The blast may have meant to target a former vice president.

Associated Press

A wounded woman is helped outside the Heetal Hotel in Kabul after a suicide car bomb exploded Tuesday in the Afghan capital. The blast may have meant to target a former vice president.

Afghanistan: With political tensions running high in advance of President Hamid Karzai's expected announcement this week of his new Cabinet, a suicide car bomber struck in the heart of the capital Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring more than 40. Officials said the target may have been former Vice President Ahmad Zia Massoud, whose house was badly damaged in the attack. Massoud is the brother of Ahmad Shah Massoud, a much-revered leader of the anti-Taliban resistance who was assassinated in 2001 just prior to the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. U.S. military officials Tuesday disclosed the death of a U.S. serviceman a day earlier in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan.

Pakistan: A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb in a market close to a politician's home in central Pakistan on Tuesday, killing 33 people and showing the increasing reach of Taliban militants in the nuclear-armed nation. Under heavy Western pressure, the Pakistani army launched an offensive against the Taliban's main stronghold of South Waziristan in October. The militants have retaliated with an onslaught of bombings that have killed more than 500 people, most of them civilians. Tuesday's attack in the Punjabi town of Dera Ghazi Khan badly damaged the lawmaker's house, but it was unclear whether the bomber was targeting the home of the politician, who was not there at the time, or the market.

Iraq: A barrage of bombings killed nine people in two of Iraq's largest cities Tuesday, stoking Iraqis' anger that insurgents continue to slip past security forces amid looming national elections and the U.S. military's planned exit. The explosions in Baghdad and Mosul come on the heels of last week's horrific suicide bombings in the Iraqi capital that killed 127 people and wounded more than 500. Though not as deadly, Tuesday's bombings struck the same open wound: They targeted government buildings and were the latest to hit near the Green Zone, Baghdad's most fortified neighborhood, housing parliament, ministries and the U.S. Embassy.

Bombs stoke region's political tension 12/15/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 11:16pm]
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