(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Less than three months on the job, Afghan spy chief Asadullah Khalid was wounded Thursday in a bombing on the grounds of the National Directorate of Security, which he heads.
Khalid was later reported in stable condition after receiving wounds to his chest when a visitor to an agency guest house in Kabul detonated an explosive device.
This was the first time a senior government official has been hurt in Afghanistan’s capital since former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed in September 2011 by a man carrying a bomb in his turban.
At the time, Rabbani led a peace delegation attempting to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban.
The National Directorate of Security called the attempt on Khalid’s life a “cowardly terrorist attack” while the Taliban praised the “martyr” who attacked the spy agency head.
Although Khalid escaped death, the assassination attempt called into question those assigned to protect the chief of what is the Afghan version of the CIA. In the past, Khalid has spoken out forcibly against the Taliban.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Euan McKirdy and Marilia Brocchetto, CNN
Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
Marisa Russell, CNN
Barbara Starr, CNN