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Roadside Bomb Kills Afghan District Official

A roadside bomb has killed a district administration chief and two bodyguards in Afghanistan's northern province of Takhar, near the Tajik border.

The attack came as Afghans were celebrating Norouz, the first day of the Persian New Year marked on the spring equinox.

Police spokesman Abdul Khalil Asir told journalists that the bomb went off as the official drove over a bridge near his home in Eskashem district.

According to Asir, Abdul Manan Hakimi was on his way to make preparations for the holiday celebration.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in an e-mail to reporters.

Afghan officials are regular targets for Taliban insurgents, who accuse them of collaborating with Western occupiers.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP