Afghan president picks new VP, bomb kills 15

2014-03-18 22:40
Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrives for a meeting with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India. (Manish Swarup, AP)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrives for a meeting with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India. (Manish Swarup, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kabul - Afghan President Hamid Karzai nominated a new vice president on Tuesday, a moderate politician from the same ethnic group as an opposition candidate contesting next month's presidential election.

Mohammad Younus Qanuni replaces Marshal Mohammad Fahim Qasim, who died following an illness last week. Both men are Tajiks, Afghanistan's second largest ethnic group.

Many Tajiks fought fiercely against the Taliban in the run-up to the US invasion in 2001. They are an important constituency in presidential polls scheduled for 5 April, which should mark the first time in Afghanistan's history that one elected government has handed power to another.

Karzai has not officially backed any of the nine candidates currently campaigning, but his two brothers have endorsed former Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul, cementing the official's reputation as a palace favourite.

The other two front-runners are Abdullah Abdullah, an eye surgeon and senior aide to a slain anti-Taliban Tajik militia leader, and Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official who has teamed up with another militia leader blamed for human rights abuses.

Some will see Qanuni's appointment as an attempt to keep Tajik votes on Rassoul's side. But others argue the president is simply maintaining an ethnic balance in the government and say Qanuni has publicly supported Abdullah in the past.

All the presidential candidates are Pashtun, Afghanistan's largest ethnic group, except for Abdullah, whose mother is Tajik and whose father is Pashtun.

Qanuni's appointment still has to be confirmed by legislators but it is unlikely to face serious opposition.

In a separate incident, a suicide bomber killed 15 people in an attack on a busy marketplace in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday, officials said.

The Taliban have threatened to kill anyone who takes part in the elections, and eight people involved in political campaigning have been killed since electioneering started last month. A group of election officials has also been kidnapped. It was not clear if the bombing was related to the election.

Bazaar day

At least 47 people were wounded when the suicide bomber driving a three-wheel rickshaw blew himself up in Maimana, the provincial capital of Faryab province, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

"It was a bazaar day and everybody was busy buying or selling when the bomber detonated his explosives," Faryab governor Mohammadullah Batash told Reuters.

Two children were among the dead, the United Nations said.

Nicholas Haysom, the top United Nations official in Afghanistan, said such bombings could be a war crime.

"Their use in a distinctly civilian location such as a market is atrocious and cannot be justified," he said in a statement.

The United Nations said such bombs - called improvised explosive devices - have killed 190 civilians in Afghanistan so far this year, a 14% increase from the same period last year.

Read more on:    hamid karzai  |  afghanistan
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.