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Car bombers strike central Pakistan, Afghanistan

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Griff Witte and Shaiq Hussain
Washington Post
Tuesday, Dec 15th, 2009

Twenty-two people were killed in central Pakistan and eight people died in Afghanistan’s capital Tuesday in separate car bombings, both of which were aimed at politicians and blamed on Islamic extremists.

In each case, the politician who was targeted survived the attack. But the explosions showed the reach of insurgent groups in both countries. In the Afghan attack, bombers penetrated a high-security area in the heart of Kabul. With the Pakistan blast, they demonstrated their capacity to strike at a target hundreds of miles from their traditional base in the nation’s northwest.

The attacks came as top U.S. military officials visited both countries, and warned that the cross-border insurgent threat is growing.

The Pakistan bombing was detonated outside the home of the senior advisor to the chief minister of Punjab, which is the nation’s most populous province. Although the apparent target, Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa, was not home at the time, the blast seriously damaged his house and at least eight nearby shops, according to Mubarak Athar, a senior police official in the city of Dera Ghazi Khan.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 10:46 am

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