2 Sep 2009

Afghan intelligence boss killed in suicide attack

11:03 pm on 2 September 2009

Afghanistan's deputy chief of intelligence has been killed in a suicide attack on a mosque in Laghman province, the provincial governor has confirmed.

The attack in the city of Mehtar on Wednesday killed 23 people and wounded at least 35, the BBC reports.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said a suicide bomber had targeted Mr Laghmani.

The attack came after the United Nations released a report saying opium cultivation had dropped significantly in Afghanistan.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime said poppy cultivation had dropped by 22% in a year and opium production by 10%.

A spokesman for the interior ministry told AFP news agency the Mehtar Lam blast was caused by a suicide bombing.

It is the latest in a string of deadly attacks mainly in the south and east of Afghanistan, occurring in the weeks before and since the country's presidential and provincial elections on 20 August.