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Afghan Governor Escapes Blast, But Judge Shot Dead

U.S. soldiers arrest a suspected militant in Nangarhar Province (file photo) (epa) KABUL, May 3, 2006, (RFE/RL) -- The governor of Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar today escaped an apparent assassination attempt when a car bomb exploded outside his office.

Authorities say a land mine was placed in an Afghan military jeep parked near Governor Gul Agha Sherzai's office compound in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, early today.

Police say the mine was detonated by a timing device shortly after nine o'clock. Governor Sherzai told RFE/RL that he usually arrives at his office at that time, but today he arrived an hour earlier. The governor has accused police of failing to take proper security precautions.

Sherzai says the jeep belonged to an administrative aide who has been detained for questioning along with his driver.

Meanwhile, a deputy civil court judge in Afghanistan's western province of Farah was shot dead late on May 2 by two suspected Taliban fighters on a motorcycle.

"Unfortunately yesterday, a deputy judge from Farah's civil court was martyred," Farah's governor, Ezatullah Wasefi, told RFE/RL, naming him as Sheik Mohammad. Wasefi said says the motive for killing Sheik Mohammad, whom he described as a "former mujahedin" fighter against Soviet forces and "a very qualified scholar," remains unclear.

Police say Sheik Mohammad was shot as he was leaving a Sunni mosque.

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

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