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Afghan ambassador to US to replace national security adviser

Afghan president Asharf Ghani accepted the resignation Saturday of the country's national security adviser, Mohammed Haneef Atmar, and replaced him with Afghan Ambassador to the U.S. Hamdullah Mohib, according to government officials.

A statement from the presidential palace said Atmar's resignation has been accepted and that Mohib has been appointed as the new national security adviser.

Haroon Chakhansuri, Ghani's spokesman, also confirmed Mohib's new appointment. Mohib also currently serves as the non-resident ambassador to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Argentina and Columbia.

Qader Shah, spokesman for the national security adviser's office, said that he would provide more details on Atmar's resignation at a later date.

Atmar had previously served as the interior minister under the former president, Hamid Karzai , after previous posts as minister of rural development and education.

Also Saturday, at least two people were killed and four others wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vest near the office of the Election Commission in eastern Nangarhar province, officials said.

Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the wounded were brought to the regional hospital in the capital city Jalalabad with one in critical condition. He said the casualty count would likely rise.

Doctors are working to save the wounded, said Inamullah Miakhail, spokesman for the public health director in Nangarhar.

The attack took place when supporters of a candidate for parliament who was rejected by the Election Commission gathered to protest near the commission's office, said Khogyani. Several vehicles were damaged in the attack, he added.

It came as several tents belonging to protesters near the main Election Commission office in the capital Kabul were removed earlier Saturday by police after following threats of attacks, according to security officials.

The SITE Intelligence Group that monitors extremist groups reported that an affiliate of the Islamic State group issued a communique claiming responsibility for the attack.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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