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Afghanistan: President Karzai Survives Assassination Attempt

Kabul, 5 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai survived an assassination attempt in Kandahar today when a gunman fired into his car. Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah said the gunman -- who appeared to be a security guard from the Kandahar governor's house -- was shot dead by one of Karzai's bodyguards, who was also killed in the exchange of gunfire.

Kandahar Governor Gul Agha Sherzai was wounded by a gunshot in the neck, but Abdullah said there is "no doubt" that Karzai was the target of the attack. None of the bullets that entered the car hit Karzai, and he returned to the governor's guest house where he is staying.

The attack in Kandahar happened shortly after a large car bomb exploded in the capital of Kabul and killed at least 10 people.

The bomb went off in a crowded marketplace, and some officials say the casualty figures are much higher. It is the worst act of terrorism in Kabul since Karzai's interim government came to power in December.