15 Jul 2012

Suicide bomber kills 22 at Afghan wedding

8:45 am on 15 July 2012

A prominent politician in northern Afghanistan has been killed by a suicide bomber as he attended his daughter's wedding.

At least 22 people died in the blast and 40 were wounded in what was one of the most violent days in the country for months.

Ahmad Khan Samangani, an ethnic Uzbek MP, was attending a wedding party for his daughter in the provincial capital, Aybak, when the blast happened, the BBC reports.

The attacker, posing as a guest, embraced Mr Samangani before detonating his explosives, a witness said.

A Taliban spokesman denied involvement in the attack.

Mr Samangani was a commander in the mujahideen militia during Afghanistan's civil war in the 1980s.

He was known as a supporter of President Hamid Karzai and a rival of General Abdul Rashid Dostum, a powerful civil war commander in the north and currently one of Afghanistan's most prominent Uzbek politicians.

Local police say other government officials were also killed in the attack.