KABUL (AFP) – A suicide bomber on Sunday attacked a vehicle convoy carrying Afghan lawmakers including a prominent female MP, killing three civilians and injuring 22 others, officials said.
The blast, in which the attacker detonated an explosives-packed car, left the MPs’ vehicles badly damaged on a main road in the west of Kabul, close to the parliament.
“(Shukria) Barakzai – she is fine and suffers small injuries,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said of the politician via Twitter.
“Three people (were) martyred and 22 people injured,” he said.
Barakzai is a renowned campaigner for women’s rights in Afghanistan, a stance that attracts fierce opposition from many extremist groups and conservatives.
She has spoken about receiving regular death threats, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s blast.
Television footage showed a clearly shaken Barakzai walking away from her wrecked car while other passengers were covered in blood.
Shinkay Karokhil, another female MP, told AFP, “The target was a convoy of MPs who were driving toward the parliament. Shukria Barakzai was affected by the attack but she is fine.”
The blast came the day after President Ashraf Ghani completed a two-day visit to neighbouring Pakistan, which is blamed for sheltering insurgent leaders behind many of the attacks in Afghanistan.
Ghani said improved relations with Pakistan could help security in the troubled region as US-led NATO combat troops leave Afghanistan after more than a decade of fighting the Taleban.
The president issued a statement condemning the attack as a “heinous act as against all Islamic and Afghani values”.
Female officials have often been targetted by insurgents in Afghanistan.