Skip to main content

Afghan police officer embraces suicide bomber to save others

From Masoud Popalzai, CNN
updated 8:50 PM EDT, Sun March 10, 2013
Afghanistan National Army soldiers remove a destroyed car at the site of a suicide attack next to the Defense Ministry in Kabul.
Afghanistan National Army soldiers remove a destroyed car at the site of a suicide attack next to the Defense Ministry in Kabul.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The suicide bomber attempts to enter a town, where coalition and Afghan forces are training
  • Police at a checkpoint recognize he is wearing an explosive vest
  • One officer embraces him to blunt the effects of the explosives
  • The bomber detonates his explosives, killing the officer and eight children

(CNN) -- A policeman sacrificed his life for the sake of others, embracing a suicide bomber in southeast Afghanistan on Saturday morning to dull the blast as it detonated, eyewitnesses said.

The bomb killed the officer, Murad Khan, and eight minors between the ages of 7 and 17.

It wounded two more people, said police spokesman Haji Yaqoob of Khost province.

The bomber attempted to enter a village where coalition forces were conducting training exercises with Afghan police, but officers at a checkpoint recognized his explosive vest and stopped him, police said.

Karzai: Taliban wants U.S. to stay
Hagel unfazed by suicide attack
Suicide attacks in Afghanistan

The training session had convened near the checkpoint, and Yaqoob believes it was the target.

In a separate incident Saturday, a suicide bomber on a bicycle detonated himself at a gate to the Afghan defense ministry in Kabul hours after newly appointed U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel landed in the Afghan capital. Hagel was not in the area at them time of the explosion.

The secretary is in Afghanistan to visit American troops and get the lay of the land in the restive country to better advise President Barack Obama.

Hagel emphasized that the United States is still at war in Afghanistan despite the current mission to transition into a role of "training, assistance and advice."

This is the latest suicide attack in the nation.

A car bomber drove up to a U.S. military base in Khost province in December, but did not make it past the gate. The vehicle's detonation killed three people -- a security guard and two truck drivers.

Coalition forces in Khost are moving from a combat role side by side with Afghan National Army troops to an advisory role.

CNN's Ben Brumfield wrote in Atlanta; Jennifer Z. Deaton contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT