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Afghan mosque suicide bombing kills at least 42
Eid attack is attributed to the Taliban, and Karzai calls the perpetrators ‘the enemies of Islam and humanity.’
KABUL – A suicide bomber killed at least 42 people, including five children, when he attacked a mosque in northern Afghanistan after Eid ul Adha prayers October 26, officials said.
The bomb – reportedly stuffed with ball-bearings – wounded at least 50 others as it ripped through the crowd of worshippers in Maymana city in Faryab Province.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suicide bombings are a favourite tactic of the Taliban.
The attacker was wearing a police uniform when he blew himself up at the entrance to the city's packed Eid Gah mosque, deputy provincial governor Abdul Satar Barez told AFP.
"We have 42 dead. More than 20 are security forces and the rest of them are civilians, including five or six children," he said. "Around 51 are wounded, some 15 of them critically."
Barez, like many other provincial officials, was at the scene at the time of the bombing and described the horror of the blast in the midst of a religious celebration.
"We had just finished Eid ul Adha prayers and we were congratulating and hugging each other," Barez said. "Suddenly a big explosion took place, and the area was full of dust and smoke and body parts of police and civilians were all over the place. It was a very powerful explosion."
One eyewitness, Sayed Moqeed, described the bomber as appearing to be in his early teens.
"The suicide attacker was in police uniform; he looked to be around 14 or 15 years old."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack, calling the perpetrators "the enemies of Islam and humanity."
"Those who take the happiness of Muslims during Eid days cannot be called human and Muslim," he said.