Mazar-I-Sharif (Afghanistan): A suicide bomber targeted a provincial head of Afghanistan's intelligence agency on Monday, wounding the spy and killing a child in the increasingly volatile north of the country.
   
The bomber detonated next to a car carrying the National Directorate of Security (NDS) official at 8:20am (3:50 GMT) in Maymanah in Faryab province, Lal Mohammad, police spokesman for the Northern region, said.

"The Chief of NDS was going to his office when the attacker, a person wearing a suicide vest, detonated near his car.”
   
"One child is killed and six other people, including the provincial Chief of NDS, are injured," said Mohammad.
   
Mohammad had said initially that a "number of civilians" were killed.
   
Faryab police Chief Sayed Ahmad Sameh confirmed the NDS official was the target.
   
"A suicide bomber targeted the head of the NDS. He's injured with five other people. One civilian is killed," he said.
   
The Taliban could not be immediately reached for comment, but the militia, fighting a 10-year insurgency since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted it from power, has stepped up targeted assassinations in recent months.
   
International troops have started to withdraw from Afghanistan ahead of a 2014 deadline for all foreign combat soldiers to leave.
   
But there is concern about the ability of Afghan security forces to protect their country against the Taliban-led insurgency.

(Agencies)