PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): A suicide bomber blew himself up during funeral prayers for a tribal elder in northern Baghlan province on Monday, leaving at least nine people dead, including a former jihadi commander and a district security official, and wounding 22 others.
Police spokesman Javed Basharat told Pajhwok Afghan News the attack took place in Burka district at around 11:00 am. The explosion occurred when people gathered for the funeral prayers. He confirmed the casualties.
Qudratullah Wafa, a former provincial council member, confirmed the killing of district security official Shah Muhammad and former jihadi commander Pahlawan Din Muhammad.
Local police cordoned off the site and no one was allowed to go close to enter the area. Taj Muhammad, the Borka district chief, said that two policemen were also among the dead.
The bomber on foot detonated his explosives among people who were attending the funeral ceremony. Preliminary reports show nine people, including two policemen, the Baghlam police chief said.
Dr. Shah Mohammad Hofiani, the provincial hospital spokesman, said 22 injured including four policemen had been evacuated to health facilities in Pul-i-Khumri and Nahrain district. He said four civilians were in critical condition.
He added nine dead bodies including the corpses of two policemen had also been brought to the hospital. Local officials blamed Taliban for the attack, but the group did not react immediately.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah, meanwhile, strongly condemned the attack and said that the perpetrators wanted to undermine efforts of security forces for stability.
“The enemies of Afghanistan today once again caused mourning and grief to dozens of families and proved they don’t even spare mourners,” the CEO said in a statement
Last week, a suicide bombing during a volleyball match in southeastern Paktika province killed 60 people, including children, and wounded 80 others.