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Afghan president orders investigation into terror attack that killed five Emiratis

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani has condemned the terrorist attack in Kandahar province that killed five Emiratis, ordering an investigation into the bombing.

“Enemies of the Afghan people targeted Kandahar governor, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador in Afghanistan and our citizens in a terrorist attack,” Mr Ghani said on Wednesday, reported Wam, the state news agency.

He said these enemies, who oppose Afghanistan’s stability and development, “cannot weaken the strong will of our people to rebuild Afghanistan by carrying out such terrorist acts”.

The Emiratis had been part of a humanitarian mission and were in a guesthouse at the home of Kandahar’s governor when the blast took place at about 8pm on Tuesday.

Juma Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to Afghanistan, was injured in the attack. The Emiratis had travelled to Kandahar to to lay the foundation stone of the UAE-funded Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan orphanage and to sign an agreement with Kardan University for the UAE to offer scholarships there.

Two explosions took place inside the heavily guarded governor’s compound, killing 12 and wounding 18, including Mr Al Kaabi and Kandahar governor Homayun Azizi. The bomb was hidden in a sofa.

The dead Emirati officials were named on Wednesday as Mohammed Ali Zainal Al Bastaki, Abdullah Mohammed Essa Obaid Al Kaabi, Ahmed Rashid Salim Ali Al Mazroui, Ahmed Abdul Rahman Ahmad Al Tunaiji, and Abdul Hamid Sultan Abdullah Ibrahim Al Hammadi.

Mr Ghani offered deep condolences to the families of those who died and wished a full recovery for those injured. He said such acts “cannot and will not” affect the friendly relations and cooperation between the UAE and Afghanistan.

newsdesk@thenational.ae