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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Top Afghan law officer assaulted
Abdul Jabar Sabet
The attorney-general says he is waging war against corruption
Afghanistan's most senior law officer says bodyguards of a top army general physically attacked him while travelling north of the capital, Kabul.

Attorney-General Abdul Jabar Sabet - one of President Hamid Karzai's closest aides - told the BBC that he needed hospital treatment after the attack.

The general, Deen Mohammad Jurat, says he and his men were only acting in self-defence.

Mr Sabet has a reputation for sacking officials suspected of corruption.

The BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul says that the attorney-general's campaign against corruption has earned him many enemies.

Bodyguards in Afghanistan
Bodyguards are found all over Afghanistan

Mr Sabet said the attackers wanted to kidnap him. He said the incident happened as he was investigating the cause of a road block.

But Gen Jurat says that it was his driver and body guards who were attacked first by the attorney-general's men, and it was they who opened fire first.

The general, who used to work at the interior ministry, told the BBC that he was travelling with his family and just six bodyguards, when Mr Sabet stopped his car at a road block, and then slapped his driver's face.

The general said that it was Mr Sabet's 40 security staff who fired first before others broke up the fight.

Mr Sabet said that the assault on him - in which rifle butts were used - was pre-planned and was carried out because the general was angered that some of his officials had been arrested on suspicion of corruption.

'Target list'

"This morning I was leaving for Parwan province for a picnic along with the mayor of Kabul, the deputy governor of Parwan, and Members of Parliament," Mr Sabet told a press conference after the attack.

My vehicle had four bullets in it afterwards
Abdul Jabar Sabet

"The road was blocked so I got out to check what it was.

"As I got out (the general) came and asked me what I was doing: I told him that I am trying to clear the road.

"I didn't have any bodyguards on me, so he started attacking me along with his bodyguards of around 40 armed men.

"It was a pre-planned plot. He sent his man to the place where (he knew) I was going.

"My vehicle had four bullets in it afterwards, while the vehicle belonging to the head of criminal police, Gen Ali Shah Paktiwals, had nine bullets in it.

"I have arrested people who (the general) wanted to be freed. He too was on my target list, this is why he attacked me."

Gen Jurat is now serving as a top interior ministry general providing security for some American companies.




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