Prominent lawyer wounded in bombing in Afghanistan's east: police

JALALABAD, Afghanistan Sun Aug 4, 2013 4:15am EDT

1 of 2. Afghan policemen inspect vehicles wreckage at the site of a roadside bomb explosion in Jalalabad, August 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/ Parwiz

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JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A lawyer who prosecuted Taliban militants was seriously wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's east on Sunday, police said, a day after a deadly attack on the Indian consulate in the same city.

The attacks underscored a recent trend of assaults by insurgents against foreign targets, as well as institutions perceived to be backed by the West.

Another 16 people were wounded in Sunday's attack, some seriously. The bomb was detonated by remote control, said deputy provincial police chief Masoom Khan Hashimi, who also said the attackers had not yet been identified.

The lawyer, Abdul Qayyum, is well-known in Jalalabad for his work prosecuting Taliban fighters, with insurgents attacking his family several times recently.

His brother was killed three months ago, while Qayyum survived an attempt on his life shortly afterwards. Seriously wounded, Qayyum was taken to a nearby hospital and was still conscious, Hashimi said.

Attacks against the judiciary and other government institutions which insurgents say are propped up by the West increased by 76 percent in the first six months of this year, according to a recent UN report.

The Taliban denied responsibility for Saturday's attack on the Indian consulate that killed nine people.

Such attacks have reinforced fears that a bloody regional power struggle could play out in Afghanistan once most foreign troops leave by the end of 2014.

Arch-rivals India and Pakistan have long jockeyed for power in Afghanistan and many observers see the struggle intensifying as NATO-led troops leave and hand security responsibility back to often under-prepared Afghan forces.

(Reporting by Rafiq Shirzad; Writing by Jessica Donati; Editing by Paul Tait)

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