| ||Samangan MP among 22 killed in wedding attack|
By Muhammad Barat, Javed Hamim Kakar & Zabihullah Ehsas
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AIBAK/Masar-e-Sharif - A prominent member of parliament and several top officials were killed when a suicide bomber blew up himself at his daughter’s wedding party on Saturday morning in the capital of northern Samangan province.
The lawmaker Ahmad Khan was among nearly 20 people killed in the 7.30 am deadly blast as guests were entering the wedding hall in Aibak City.
The bomber detonated himself at the entrance of the hall, according to sources.
The Ministry of Interior’s spokesman Siddiq Siddiqi confirmed Khan was killed along with the Khan Mohamad, chief of the province’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghan spy agency.
He said dozens were injured in the blast, including western zone police chief Said Ahmad, but could not provide further details of the morning attack.
Khan an influential northern leader had escaped a previous attempt on his life about two years ago, but his bodyguards died in the incident.
Meanwhile, northern police headquarters 303 Pamir Zone spokesperson Lal Muhammad Ahmad told Pajhwok Afghan News Agency that Khan was welcoming his guests at the entrance of the hall when the suicide attacker struck.
He said 22 people were killed and about 40 others injured.
A security source told Pajhwok that the NDS chief, former Samangan governor Iqbal Munib, Senator Mohamad Asif, Zalmai, a local politician from the Jamaat-e-Islami and a Balkh MP were also killed in the blast.
However, Samangan governor Khairullah Anush said several top officials and politicians were present at the wedding but could not confirm the names of the dead victims given by the security source.
He also said about 20 died this morning.
Taliban denied any links to the wedding party attack.