A Taliban official said a bombing in northeastern Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province killed at least 13 people during a memorial service.
ViaRAHIM FAIEZ Associated Press
ISlamabad — A suicide bomber targeted a memorial service in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least 13 people, officials said.
A former Taliban police official was among those killed and at least 30 injured in an explosion near the Nabawi Mosque, according to Abdul Nafi Takor, a spokesman for the Taliban-appointed Interior Ministry. He added that the death toll could increase as more information becomes available.
The Badakhshan province governor’s office later said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber and that “several of the seriously injured were transported by military helicopter to Kabul for further treatment.”
A memorial service was held for Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi, the deputy governor of Badakhshan, who was killed in a car bomb attack on Tuesday in Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan. That attack also killed the vice governor’s driver and injured 10 others.
Moazuddin Ahmadi, the Taliban official in charge of information and culture, said that Safiullah Samim, the former Taliban police chief in Baghlan, was among those killed in Thursday’s attack.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the Islamic State group – the Taliban’s top rival – claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s car bombing.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, saying in a tweet that the mosque bombings were an act of “terror” and “goes against human and Islamic standards”.
On Wednesday, several senior Taliban officials attended Ahmadi’s funeral, along with hundreds of Faizabad residents.
The Taliban’s military commander, Fasihuddin Fitrat, denounced IS attacks in Badakhshan and asked residents to cooperate with Taliban security forces and report suspicious activities in their area.
In December, a car bomb killed the Badakhshan provincial police chief while he was on his way to work. The regional branch of IS – known as Islamic State in Khorasan province – said at the time that it carried out that attack. IS said it parked a car packed with explosives on the street and detonated it while the police chief was nearby.