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Afghan police chief killed by bomb

A suicide bomber wearing a police uniform has killed the top police official in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar province.

He infiltrated his heavily defended headquarters and blew himself up beside the police chief's car, said a government spokesman.

Khan Mohammad Mujahid, one of Afghanistan's most prominent law enforcement officials, was killed outside his office, while two other police officers were also killed and three were wounded, said officials.

The attack was a hard blow for Afghanistan's fledgling security forces. Mr Mujahid, who assumed his post in Kandahar earlier this year, was perceived as one of Afghanistan's most capable and experienced security chiefs.

A native of Kandahar, he was a friend of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a veteran of Afghanistan's insurgency against the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi took responsibility for the attack.

"We told Khan Mohammad several times to leave his job, but he did not heed our warnings so we killed him," he said.

Mr Mujahid had survived at least three previous assassination attempts.

Mr Karzai issued a statement condemning the attack and called Mr Mujahid a martyr for his country. "The enemies of Afghanistan are working with their foreign masters to conduct these unmanly attacks against influential Afghan officials," he said.

Mr Karzai said Mr Mujahid served his country as a tribal leader and security official for decades and vowed that Afghan security forces would prevail in the end.

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