A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque in northern Afghanistan today, killing 36 people and wounding 23.
The attack in the town of Maymana, capital of Faryab province, came as people were gathering at the mosque to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday.
Senior provincial officials, including the governor and the police chief, were inside the building when the bomber detonated his explosives outside, where a large crowd had gathered. The officials were not hurt, but most of the dead were police officers and soldiers.
“The targets of the bomber were all the officials inside the mosque,” said deputy governor Abdul Satar Barez. He added that the dead included 14 civilians.
“There was blood and dead bodies everywhere,” said a doctor who was in the mosque at the time of the blast. “It was a massacre.”
Video from the scene showed the motionless bodies of several soldiers and policemen lying next to their vehicles parked on a tree-lined avenue of the city.