KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide bomber claimed the life of one of Afghanistan's most renowned anti-Taliban commanders Saturday in a brazen strike that also killed a provincial police chief and two NATO soldiers and narrowly missed killing the German general who commands NATO troops in northern Afghanistan.
The explosion, which also wounded the governor of Takhar province, took place at about 4 p.m. as the men were leaving what the governor's spokesman described as a high-level security meeting in the governor's compound.
Afghan Gen. Daud Daud, who commanded the U.S.-allied Northern Alliance forces in the last major battle against the Taliban regime after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, died in the explosion, the most prominent Afghan official killed so far since the Taliban launched its spring offensive.
For the last eight months, Daud had been the top police commander in northern Afghanistan and previously had been the country's assistant interior minister in charge of anti-narcotics efforts. He was a key Northern Alliance commander during the group's campaign against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s and was a close ally and bodyguard of anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was killed in Takhar province in a suicide attack just two days before Sept. 11, 2001.
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Also killed in Saturday's attack was Sha Jahan Noori Takhar, the police chief in Takhar province, which is generally considered one of the most peaceful provinces in Afghanistan.
The International Security Assistance Force, as the U.S.-led coalition is known, declined to identify the NATO dead by either name or nationality.
An ISAF spokesman confirmed that the 10 wounded included German Gen. Markus Kniep, the commander of NATO forces in northern Afghanistan. The extent of Kniep's injuries was not known.
Faiz Mohammed Tawhidi, the provincial governor's spokesman, said the governor, Abdul Jabar Taqwa, suffered injuries to his hands but was otherwise all right.
It was unclear which of the men the bomber was targeting — any of them would have been a valuable target — or how he managed to gain access to the governor's compound.