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Wounded Afghan Intel Chief Treated at US Base

by VOA News December 07, 2012

Afghanistan's intelligence chief, who was seriously wounded Thursday in an assassination attempt, is being treated at a U.S. military base outside of Kabul.

Afghan officials say a suicide bomber carrying a peace message on behalf of the Taliban attacked National Directorate of Security (NDS) head Asadullah Khalid at a guest house in Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast.

Khalid was transferred to a hospital at the Bagram Air Base, and on Friday, the head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, visited him there.

NATO said the coalition commander discussed the Afghan intelligence chief's condition with medical staff and spent some time at his bedside. Allen said in a statement, 'I wish this lionhearted Afghan patriot a speedy recovery' and that 'my prayers are with him and his family during this trying period.'

An NDS official and close friend of Khalid's who did not want to be identified told VOA's Afghan Service on Thursday that the intelligence chief had severe injuries on the right side of his body, particularly in the abdomen, leg and hand, but that his chances of survival were good.

Khalid, who is close to the family of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, took over the intelligence agency in September after the president reshuffled his Cabinet. Since taking over, Khalid has led an aggressive campaign against the Taliban.

Prior to becoming intelligence chief, Khalid served as Afghanistan's minister of tribal and border affairs and as a provincial governor. Human rights groups have accused him of involvement in acts of torture and other abuses while he was governor of Kandahar province. He has denied any wrongdoing.

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