11 killed in blast at funeral for assassinated Afghan governor

Published June 8, 2023
People run away after a bomb explosion during Fatiha prayers at the Nabawi mosque in the Hesa-e-Awal area of Fayzabad district in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province on June 8, 2023. — AFP
People run away after a bomb explosion during Fatiha prayers at the Nabawi mosque in the Hesa-e-Awal area of Fayzabad district in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province on June 8, 2023. — AFP

At least 11 people were killed by a blast on Thursday at a funeral service for an Afghan acting provincial governor whose assassination this week was claimed by militant Islamic State (IS), the interior ministry said.

Security has improved dramatically since the Taliban stormed back to power in August 2021, ousting the US-backed government and ending their two-decade insurgency, but the militant IS group remains a threat.

An interior ministry statement said the blast at the funeral for the acting governor of northeastern Badakhshan province also injured more than 30 people as “a great number of compatriots” gathered for a mosque service honouring Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi.

“The Ministry of Interior of the IEA condemns this brutality of the disgraced enemies,” a statement said of the explosion in the provincial capital of Faizabad.

“I was standing outside the mosque to receive the guests coming, suddenly a terrible sound shook the mosque,” said witness Naseer Ahmad.

“When I entered the mosque, I saw bloodied dead bodies laying on the ground,” the 37-year-old told AFP.

An AFP journalist near the scene of the blast said Taliban government security forces had set up checkpoints around the funeral site in the morning. When the explosion rang out people fled into nearby streets, and shops closed in panic as security forces cordoned off the area.

The AFP reporter saw 10 bodies on stretchers at a local hospital.

The IS claimed responsibility for Ahmadi’s killing on Tuesday, when a suicide bomber drove a car filled with explosives into his vehicle.

The driver was also killed and six others were wounded in that attack, which also took place in Faizabad.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Twitter it “unequivocally condemns this and a recent spate of appalling and indiscriminate attacks that have shown a total disregard for civilian lives”.

The IS has emerged as the biggest security threat to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, who have pledged to prevent the nation from serving as a staging ground for international attacks.

The IS has claimed responsibility for attacks on minority religious groups, foreign embassies as well as Taliban government officials.

Opinion

Editorial

Reforming militants
24 Jul, 2024

Reforming militants

Such initiatives have been tried before, in Swat for instance, at centres run by the military as well as NGOs.
IPP debate
24 Jul, 2024

IPP debate

A FIERCE debate blaming the exorbitant electricity prices on expensive power purchase agreements with IPPs has been...
Political vendettas
24 Jul, 2024

Political vendettas

IT seems that the PML-N and PPP need to be reminded again that they are doing themselves a considerable disservice ...
Security concerns
23 Jul, 2024

Security concerns

All stakeholders want what is best for the country and its people; their differing approaches shouldn’t be viewed with such suspicion all the time.
Frankfurt vandalism
23 Jul, 2024

Frankfurt vandalism

THE state needs to seek serious answers from the German authorities regarding the July 20 mob attack targeting...
Stressed cotton economy
23 Jul, 2024

Stressed cotton economy

DECREASING cotton production should be a worry for the government because of its socioeconomic implications. Early...