A suicide bomber killed at least 40 people in a mosque in Afghanistan’s relatively peaceful north yesterday, as worshipers gathered for prayers marking the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, police officials said.
The attack in Maimana, capital of Faryab Province, also wounded 40, regional police chief General Abdul Khaliq Aqsai said, pinning the blame on the Taliban. A Taliban spokesman said they were investigating to find out who was responsible.
“The suicide bomber detonated explosives when our countrymen were congratulating each other on the Eid holiday,” said Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, spokesman for the police in the Afghan north, adding that almost half of the dead were police.
He said Aqsai appeared to be the target.
“As soon as the police chief got in his vehicle, the bomber detonated his explosives,” he said
About 20 bodies, some in police uniform, lay in front of the mosque’s gates as smoke billowed above.
The attack, at around 9am on the first day of Eid, came just before Afghan President Hamid Karzai repeated his call for the Taliban to join the government.
“If you [Taliban] want to come to the government, you are welcome. You have rights as an Afghan and as a Muslim,” he said in a speech marking Eid al-Adha in Kabul.
Karzai condemned the mosque attack in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Taliban, in a statement released to media yesterday, said two Afghan soldiers were behind the attack in western Farah Province on Thursday that killed one Italian soldier.
One of them later joined the Taliban, the statement said, along with the policeman who killed two US soldiers in southern Uruzgan Province on Thursday.
That attack was the latest insider attack, when Afghan security forces turn their weapons on their foreign mentors and partners.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
BEYOND CULTURE: The US State Department was expected to announce that the Chinese government-funded institutes would have to register as foreign missions US President Donald Trump’s administration is increasing scrutiny of a long-established Chinese-government funded program that is dedicated to teaching Chinese language and culture in the US and other nations, the latest escalation of tensions with Beijing. The US Department of State was expected to announce as soon as yesterday that Confucius Institutes in the US — many of which are based on college campuses — would have to register as “foreign missions,” according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. The designation would amount to a conclusion that the institutes are “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by