A clash between the bodyguards of Juma Khan Hamdard, the governor of Paktika, and police in Balkh province, claimed the lives of four of Hamdard's bodyguards and two police officers on Friday. Another two bodyguards were wounded.
The clash is said to have occurred at a police check-point when Hamdard’s bodyguards refused to allow the police to search their vehicles. Reports indicate that the fire exchange lasted for over an hour, but the reason behind the attack is not yet entirely clear.
Hamdard's spokesman, Rohullah Samoon, denies the clash occured with Afghan National Police and said that armed men dressed as police officers attacked Hamdard's vehicles.
“Today when we were returning from Mazar-e-Sharif to Kabul, a number of people dressed as police officers attacked our vehicles,” Samoon said.
On the other hand, Ahmad, an eye witness, said that Hamdard’s people came out of their vehicle and “assaulted the police, which resulted in the clash.”
Balkh Police Chief, Abdul Rahmand Rahimi, confirmed the clash but refrained from giving details.
“The case is under investigation,” he said. “Four of Mr. Hamdard's bodyguards have been killed and two others are wounded."
Juma Khan Hamdard, the governor of Pakitka province, is a prominent member of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani-Ahmadzai’s campaign team.