KABUL: Afghan presidential front-runner Abdullah Abdullah escaped an assassination attempt Friday when two blasts hit his campaign motorcade in Kabul, killing at least four people just ahead of a hotly contested run-off election.
“The first attack was a suicide car bomb on a convoy of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and the second was a mine attack,” Sayed Gul Agha Hashemi, head of Kabul police’s criminal investigation branch, told AFP.
Abdullah said he was unhurt, but at least four people were killed and 17 others wounded, according to deputy interior minister Mohammad Ayoub Salangi.
“Four people were killed — one guard of the Abdullah Abdullah campaign team, a traffic policeman and two civilians and 17 civilians were wounded in two explosions in Kabul,” he said on Twitter.
The blast site was cordoned off by security officials as ambulances rushed to the scene and took the wounded to hospital, making their way through a sandstorm that hit the capital.
“A few minutes ago, when we left a campaign rally our convoy was hit by a mine,” Abdullah told supporters at an election rally, in quotes broadcast on Afghan television.
The blast occurred soon after Abdullah left an election rally in the city’s Ariana hotel. Some witnesses in the area reported hearing two ear-splitting explosions.