July 15, 2011 2:27:01 am
A suicide bomber hiding explosives in his turban blew himself up inside a mosque Thursday during a memorial service for the assassinated half brother of the president,officials said. At least five people were killed in the attack,which added weight to fears that security would unravel with the death of southern Afghanistans most powerful man.
The Sarra Jamai mosque in southwestern Kandahar had been filled with relatives and friends of Ahmed Wali Karzai,two days after he was shot at close range by a confidante at his home. President Hamid Karzai attended his brothers funeral Wednesday in Kandahar but returned to Kabul and was not at the memorial service.
The attacker appeared to be targeting Hekmatullah Hekmat,the head of the provincial clerical council,who was killed,according to Kandahar Governor Tooryalai Wesa.
There was a prayer going on and after that prayer the man came close to the director of the religious council and exploded, Wesa said. It looks like he was targeting the director.
The Kandahar provincial government said all other high-ranking officials who had been at the ceremony were safe and had been taken to a secure location.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
A young child also was among the five killed,and 15 people were wounded,including a parliamentarian,Bismillah Afghanmal,according to the Interior Ministry.
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