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

Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...
KP’s ‘power struggle’
Updated 21 Jun, 2024

KP’s ‘power struggle’

Instead of emboldening protesters, CM Gandapur should encourage his provincial subjects to clear their due bills and ensure theft is minimised.
Journalist’s murder
21 Jun, 2024

Journalist’s murder

ANOTHER name has been added to the list of journalists murdered in Pakistan. On Tuesday, Khalil Jibran’s vehicle...
A leaner government?
21 Jun, 2024

A leaner government?

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has reiterated his government’s ‘commitment’ to shutting down ministries...