At least 13 dead as Taliban officials targeted in suicide bombing at funeral for Afghan deputy governor

Casualties at memorial service in which hundreds had gathered include former Taliban police chief

Arpan Rai
Friday 09 June 2023 09:56 BST

Related video: Meet the Afghan refugee using taekwondo to fight against the Taliban

At least 13 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province on Thursday as the attack targeted the memorial service of a Taliban leader, officials said.

The casualties included former Taliban police chief Safiullah Samin from Baghlan province, said Moazuddin Ahmadi, the Taliban official in charge of information and culture.

Another 30 people were injured in the explosion which took place near Nabawi mosque and the casualties could rise further, said Abdul Nafi Takor, a spokesperson for the Taliban’s interior ministry.

The huge crowd of hundreds, including local residents, had reportedly gathered for the memorial service of Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi, a Taliban leader and the deputy governor of Badakhshan, who was killed on Tuesday in a car bombing in province capital Faizabad.

The car bomb attack had injured 10 other people in its vicinity.

While no terror group has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s memorial service attack, the Taliban’s top rival Isis had confirmed carrying out Tuesday’s car bombing that killed the prominent Taliban leader.

Relatives carry the bodies of slain victims in an ambulance after a bomb explosion during Fatiha prayers at the Nabawi mosque in the Hesa-e-Awal area of Fayzabad district, Badakhshan province

Officials from the Badakhshan provincial governor’s office said the attack on the funeral service was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Several of the “seriously wounded” from the crowd had been transferred to Kabul by military helicopters for further treatment, officials from the governor’s office said.

A day earlier, several senior Taliban officials had gathered for Ahmadi’s funeral, along with hundreds of residents of Faizabad.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai condemned Thursday’s attack and said the bombing of mosques is an act of “terrorism” that goes “against human and Islamic standards”.

The Taliban chief of the military, Fasihuddin Fitrat, denounced the attacks in Badakhshan and asked people to cooperate with Taliban security forces and report suspicious activities in their areas.

This is not the first attack targeting top officials in Badakhshan. Last December, a car bombing killed Badakhshan’s provincial police chief who was on his way to work.

That attack was also claimed by the Isis’s regional wing, called the Isis-K, which said it had parked an explosive-laden car on the road and detonated it when the police chief was close by.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in