12 killed, 40 injured in attack on Abdullah convoy

KABUL (Pajhwok): A dozen people, including seven civilians and five security men, were killed and 40 others, mostly civilians, wounded in two back-to-back blasts, including a car suicide bombing, targetting leading presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah's campaign convoy a day earlier.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqi told Pajhwok Afghan News the dead also included three bodyguards of Abdullah, a traffic official and an Afghan soldier and the injured included 39 civilians and an Afghan army soldier.
On Friday when Abdullah left a campaign rally in the Mirwais Maidan area a car suicide bomber attacked his convoy followed by a landmine blast. Official on Friday put the casualty toll at six dead and 22 wounded.
Abdullah escaped unhurt in both the blasts, which eyewitnesses said were suicide attacks. They said one attacker was on food and the second riding in a car.
The blasts had caused huge financial losses to shop owners in the area. Commercial goods at some shops had gutted as a result of the explosions.
Mohammad Sajjad, the owner of the Aryana Hotel, where the rally was held, said he suffered losses amounting to five million afghanis. He said the mirrors of his hotel were shattered in the blasts that partially damaged several nearby shops.
Mohammad Khan Zamarai, who owns the Khorasan market in the area, said a shopkeeper in the market was injured in the attack. He said shopkeepers in total suffered four million afghanis in losses.
In the same market, a shop owner Shah Rukh said his goods worth about two million afghanis were destroyed in yesterday’s incident.  He said his two cars each priced at $7000 had been damaged in the blasts.
Fazl Mohammad, who deals in gemstones, said one of the blasts occurred in front of his shop. He incurred 50,000 afghanis in losses.
The affected shopkeepers urged the government to extend them financial support.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the twin blasts.
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