5 UAE officials killed in Afghan attack
Published : Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 at 2:12 PM Count : 179
Five officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been killed in a bomb attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan, officials have confirmed.
They died in blasts at the governor of Kandahar's guesthouse on Tuesday, where several others were also killed.
The governor and the UAE ambassador were among at least a dozen wounded.
The UAE said the officials had been carrying out "humanitarian, educational and development projects".
Afghan's Tolo News quoted survivors as saying that the bomb was hidden in a sofa at the guesthouse. It said that Kandahar police chief Gen Abdul Raziq was among the guests, but was unharmed.
Senior police and intelligence officials were also present, officials say.
Three days of mourning have been declared in the UAE.
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed has ordered that flags across the country should be flown at half-mast in honour of its "martyred" citizens.
Among the projects was signing an agreement with Kardan University, in the capital Kabul, to offer scholarships funded by the UAE.
The Taliban has denied earlier reports that it was behind the deadly bombing, blaming an "internal local rivalry".
The Kandahar blast was one of a string of attacks that hit three Afghan cities on Tuesday, killing more than 50 people and wounding 100.
In Kabul, a suicide bomber and a car bomb detonated near the Afghan parliament complex, while in Helmand province a Taliban suicide bomber targeted a guesthouse used by an intelligence official, killing at least seven people. The Taliban admitted both attacks.