Militants in Pakistan have kidnapped a Pakistani filmmaker and two former Pakistani intelligence officials and are demanding the release of three Afghan Taliban leaders in return for the release of the three hostages, an Afghan Taliban source said Monday.
The source e-mailed CNN videos of the two former intelligence officials, Khalid Khawaja and retired Col. Sultan Amir Tarar. The source said they would be killed if Afghan Taliban leaders Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Mullah Abdul Kabir and Mullah Mansour Dadullah were not released in 10 days.
[Updated, 5:30 p.m.] The deputy mayor of Kandahar, Afghanistan, was assassinated Monday as he took part in evening prayers, according to a local government spokesman.
Azizullah Yarmal, 45, was praying in a mosque in the Sadoza Dana neighborhood around 9 p.m. when at least one attacker walked in and shot him in the back of the head, Zalmai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the Kandahar government, told CNN. He called it a "brutal attack."
Ayoubi said police have sealed off the mosque and are investigating the killing.
[Published, 4:17 p.m.]
The deputy mayor of Kandahar, Afghanistan, Azizullah Yarmal, was shot to death Monday as he took part in evening prayers, a local government spokesman told CNN.
[Updated, 4:26 p.m.] Officials now say at least three people were killed in the blast. Four others were wounded, officials said.
Zalmai Ayoubi, spokesman for the Kandahar government, said three children were killed by the blast, and two police and two civilians were slightly wounded.
A spokesman for the Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the bombing, said 11 people were killed in the explosion.
"Today's donkey cart bomb explosion was on foreign forces, which killed 11 foreigners and four were injured," Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said.
Ahmadi said the bombing was in response to the planned U.S.-led offensive to oust Taliban fighters from the volatile Kandahar region this summer.
"Our message in this is to tell them we are present here and now we are showing our power, too," Ahmadi said.
[Published, 11:46 a.m.]
A donkey covered with explosives and carrying a remote control detonator blew up at a police post Monday in the city of Kandahar, killing a boy and wounding four other people, officials said.
Zalmai Ayoubi, spokesman for the Kandahar government, said a young boy was killed by the blast and two police and two civilians were slightly injured.
The attack took place at the Fazladding Agha escort post of the Afghan National Police in Kandahar, said Mohammad Shah Khan, assistant police chief.
An earthquake in central Afghanistan killed at least seven people and injured 70 others early Monday morning, officials said.
The quake, measured by the United States Geological Survey at 5.3 magnitude, struck about 1 a.m. (4:30 p.m. Sunday ET) and affected three districts in Samangan province, about halfway between the capital Kabul and the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, said assistant governor Hajji Ghulam Sakhi Baghlani.