Skip to comments.Afghan candidate escapes assassination attempt
Posted on 06/06/2014 3:55:40 PM PDT by Uncle Chip
The front-runner for the Afghan presidency narrowly escaped assassination Friday when two bombs struck his convoy as it traveled between campaign events in the capital, underscoring the country's fragility as it prepares for its first democratic transfer of power and the withdrawal of foreign combat troops by the end of this year.
The candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, was unharmed and defiantly vowed to press ahead with his campaign ...
But it was a close call for a man who many in the West hope will guide Afghanistan through a particularly difficult transition, provide a steadier hand than the mercurial outgoing President Hamid Karzai and sign a security pact to allow about 10,000 U.S. troops to remain in the country for another two years.
At least 10 people, including three in Abdullah's entourage, were killed and dozens were wounded in the attack, which heavily damaged the front of his armored car, destroyed several vehicles and storefronts and left the street littered with twisted metal and other rubble.
Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, the bombings bore the hallmarks of Taliban militants who have vowed to disrupt the election as part of their fight against the Western-backed government. Karzai blamed the attack on "enemies of Afghanistan who don't want free elections."
The attack took place eight days before a runoff in which Afghans are to choose a new leader. The Taliban have recently staged a series of high-profile bombings this year, though the first round of voting on April 5 was relatively peaceful. The attempt on Abdullah's life appeared to be the first attack targeting a candidate as opposed to their offices and workers since campaigning began earlier this year....
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Afghanistan...where great nations have gone to die!
Abdullah Abdullah (Dari: عبدالله عبدالله, born 5 September 1960) is an Afghan politician and a doctor of medicine. He was an adviser and a close friend of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Northern Alliance leader and commander known as the "Lion of Panjshir," who was assassinated in September 2001. After the fall of the Taliban regime, Abdullah served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan from 2001 to 2005.
Abdullah ran as an independent candidate in the 2009 presidential election and placed second with 30.5% of the total votes. On November 1, 2009, Abdullah quit the runoff election that would have taken place six days later, on November 7, due to allegations of electoral fraud. In 2010, he created the Coalition for Change and Hope, which is one of the leading democratic opposition movements in Afghanistan. In 2011, the coalition was transformed into the National Coalition of Afghanistan, which is supported by dozens of Afghan political parties and members of parliament challenging the government of Hamid Karzai. He stood again as a candidate in the April 2014 presidential election.