Assassination attempt in Afghanistan latest of several
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Assassinations and failed assassinations such as the attempt on the life of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday have occurred several times since the formation of the nation's post-Taliban government.
The string of attacks or attempted assassinations began February 14, 2002, when Abdul Rahman, Afghan minister of civil aviation and tourism, was stabbed to death at the Kabul airport.
Following that assassination, Karzai said the killing was nonpolitical and he refused to accept that it was a conspiracy, although 20 people in his own government had been implicated.
Less than two months later, on April 8, four people were killed and 20 others were injured in a bomb attack on a government convoy headed from Kabul to Jalalabad. The convoy was carrying interim Afghan Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim, who survived the attack.
On July 6, Afghan Deputy President Haji Abdul Qadir and his driver were killed outside the gates of a government ministry in Kabul. As Qadir's Toyota Land Cruiser drove through the gates of the Ministry of Public Works, two men jumped from behind bushes, opened fire and fled, a government spokesman said.
Qadir was one of three vice presidents chosen by the Afghan Grand Council to serve on Karzai's presidential Cabinet. He was a former governor of Afghanistan's Niagara province. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.
That same month, on July 29, top government officials survived an attack in Kabul when a man identified by Afghan intelligence as a "foreigner" was arrested after a traffic accident. About 400 kilograms of explosives reportedly were found hidden in the man's car. The man was planning to crash the car into a vehicle carrying Afghan officials, including top leaders, according to an Afghan intelligence service report.
"His first objective was to assassinate Karzai or some key member of the Cabinet," said Amrullah Salihi, a section chief with Afghan Intelligence.
Failing that, the man had been told to destroy facilities or to kill as many people as possible, Salihi said.
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