Blast in northern Afghanistan kills 11 during funeral of deputy governor


Kabul (Reuters) – An explosion inside a mosque in northern Afghanistan on Thursday killed at least 11 people during the funeral of the Taliban’s provincial deputy governor, who died in an attack earlier this week, officials said.

The Taliban-run Ministry of Interior said that more than 30 people were also injured in the blast in Badakhshan, a province in the far north that shares borders with China and Tajikistan.

A former police commander of northern Baghlan province, Safiullah Samim, was among the dead, according to a statement offering condolences from another police chief, Najibullah Badakhshi.

Ashraf Nael, a resident of Faizabad, said he was in a nearby court building when he heard a blast at around 11:00 a.m. (0630 GMT), muffled by the mosque walls, before many ambulances rushed towards the scene.

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for a car bomb on Tuesday that killed Badakhshan’s deputy governor.

The Taliban administration has been carrying out raids against members of Islamic State, which has claimed several major attacks in urban centres.

The Islamic State group has targeted Taliban administration officials, and claimed the killing of the governor of northern Balkh province in an attack in March.

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