Blast kills Taliban governor of Afghanistan's Balkh province
A governor and two other people were killed in a blast in Afghanistan
An explosion ripped through the office of the Balkh province governor northwest of the Afghan capital of Kabul on Thursday, killing the provincial governor and two others.
Slain Governor Daud Muzmal had led a fight against "Islamic State" militants in the eastern province of Nangarhar, before becoming the governor of Balkh last year.
IS militants stepped up their attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban took over in August 2021. Attacks have targeted both civilians, including the Shiite minority, and Taliban security forces.
Muzmal's death makes him among the highest-ranking Taliban officials to have been slain since the Taliban returned to power.
What do we know about the attack?
Government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet that the governor was "martyred by the enemies of Islam." No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Asif Waziri, a local police spokesman, told the French AFP news agency that the explosion happened on the second floor of the governor's office in the provincial capital Mazar-e-Sharif.
"It was a suicide attack. We don't have information as to how the suicide bomber reached the office of the governor," Waziri said, adding that two people were also wounded.
Extra security was deployed to the governorate building. Journalists were prevented from taking photos, AFP said.
rmt/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)
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