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Afghan blast kills local pilgrimage chief

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Official died along with his bodyguard when an improvised explosive device exploded
  • Six civilians were also wounded

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- An Afghan official in charge of pilgrimages and trips to the hajj died along with his bodyguard Wednesday in an explosion from a motorcycle-borne improvised explosive device, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

The blast in the southern province of Kandahar also left six Afghan civilians wounded, ISAF said.

"Our thoughts are with their family during this difficult time," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres. "Criminals continue to attack Afghan civilians and government officials, showing a total disregard for human life and the peaceful people of this country."