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 Afghanistan’s 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 brother’s 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.”
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