News / Asia

    Suicide Bomber Attacks Afghan Mosque, 40 Dead

    Afghans carry the body of a suicide attack victim at the hospital in Maymana, Faryab province northwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, October 26, 2012.
    Afghans carry the body of a suicide attack victim at the hospital in Maymana, Faryab province northwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, October 26, 2012.
    A suicide bomber killed at least 40 people and wounded dozens of others as they gathered for morning prayers in northern Afghanistan.
     
    Bodies seen were lying on the ground after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque in Maymana, the capital of Faryab province.
     
    The mosque was particularly crowded as worshippers had gathered to pray at the start of the annual Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, a three-day celebration when families typically gather together.
     
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack, saying those behind the bombing were "enemies of Islam and humanity". In an earlier statement marking the Eid holiday, Karzai had urged the Taliban to lay down their arms.

    "I am calling on Taliban and other opponents to stop destruction of their homeland, stop the killing of their own people, the destruction of their mosques, hospitals and schools, and to stop working for the aims of foreigners, return to their homeland and start living with dignity and according to constitution of the country," said Karzai.

    Faryab province, Afghanistan
    Faryab province, Afghanistan

     
    The northern province of Faryab is relatively peaceful. Officials say the target of the suicide attack was a provincial police officer, who survived the bombing.
     
    According to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), an average of 243 Afghan soldiers and almost 292 Afghan police have been killed and wounded every month this year.
     
    Police spokesman Lalal Mohammad Ahmadzai said that Afghan security personnel were among those killed in the attack as they left the mosque after the Eid prayer.

    The U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, swiftly condemned the bombing. Allen said the attack was an "affront to human life".

    According to a United Nations report released this summer, more than 3,000 civilians have been killed and wounded in the Afghan conflict in the first six months of this year alone. A third of the victims were women and children.

    The Taliban has increased its attacks on Afghan security. Friday's violence underscores the challenges Afghanistan's security forces will face as the last of international combat troops leave the country by the end of 2014.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: yousuf from: Afghanestan
    October 26, 2012 9:52 AM
    What good brther's sons you have Mr KARZAI

    by: K
    October 26, 2012 9:32 AM
    If the US accidentally hit a mosque, the entire Middle East would be in an uproar. The Taliban do it on purpose, not a big deal it seems.
    In Response

    by: littlelizard25 from: usa
    October 26, 2012 11:00 AM
    I also wonder where all the "peaceful" muslims are. Why aren't they protesting in the streets? Why aren't they hunting down and murdering the Taliban? Where is the "indignation". You're right, it's just not a big deal to them. But of course, some way they will blame the US for this. They always do. Time we got out of this forsaken piece of crap place and just let them all kill each other.

    by: Haron from: Afghanistan
    October 26, 2012 7:58 AM
    only if he should have shown strong decision against these people. maybe today they were not able to do these actions. but Karzai would preferred to condemn 49 countries rather than Taliban. for Afghanistan people America, French, Germany, Britain, Russia, China, Japan and other 150 countries are responsible and they are blame because in 2001 all these countries supported Karzai. still these 150 countries supporting Karzai what a powerful president after creature of humans with nearly 200 countries supports.

    by: Haron from: Afghanistan
    October 26, 2012 7:41 AM
    today is Friday to the first day of Eid-adha are the free days for Muslims from duties. these days are for visit each other. but the enemies whom are not in trust of any religious in the world don't keep these offended people to their happiness. it was good that Karzai should have came in front of Televisions to condemn Taliban rather than telling that Taliban are my mother's sons.

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