Afghan general barely escapes assassination

Story highlights

  • An explosion targets the highest-ranking Afghan officer in southern Afghanistan
  • Explosives under his chair are detonated after he gets up at a graduation ceremony
  • The general is not hurt
  • In a separate incident, five people are killed in northern Afghanistan
The highest-ranking Afghan military officer in southern Afghanistan, Gen. Abdul Hameed, has survived an assassination attempt -- but just barely.
After the general rose from his seat to hand out certificates at a graduation ceremony for Afghan soldiers, five grenades hidden under his seat were detonated by remote control, Gen. Abdul Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, said Friday.
Hameed was not hurt.
The attack happened Thursday at a training center for the Afghan National Army in Kandahar, Azimi said. It injured one soldier, he said.
The blast happened at an event that had attracted several American military trainers and other dignitaries.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, five people -- including a local police chief and two bodyguards -- were killed Friday in a bomb attack in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar province, according to the province's governor. Nine others were wounded.
The attack occurred around 2 p.m. as worshipers were leaving a mosque after traditional Friday prayers. An insurgent detonated explosives inside the mosque, Gov. Fazlullah Wahidi said.