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Bomb Kills Afghan Legislator, Four Bodyguards

Violence remains high in Afghanistan: The site of a suicide attack in Kabul, March 15.
KABUL (Reuters) -- An Afghan lawmaker and four of his bodyguards have been killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, a survivor said, the latest attack in a surge of Taliban-led violence this year.

Violence is at its highest level since the Taliban was ousted by U.S.-led forces in 2001, with attacks spreading from the south and east to the outskirts of Kabul.

Daad Mohammad, a member of parliament for southern Helmand Province and a former intelligence officer, was in a vehicle when it was hit by the bomb in Lashkar Gah district, his cousin Akhtar Mohammad told Reuters.

Insurgents often target members of parliament and some politicians complain that inadequate security leaves them vulnerable to attack. In November 2007, five parliament deputies were killed in a suicide attack in north Afghanistan.

"My reaction to this incident is that there is nonexistent security for members of parliament, who become soft targets," legislator Shukria Barakzai said.

Akhtar Mohammad, who survived the blast, said he believed the bomb was detonated by remote control.

Mainly British troops have been locked in daily clashes with Taliban militants in Helmand, the world's biggest opium-producing region, for nearly three years.