Mosque suicide blast kills Afghan district governor

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (AFP) - A suicide bomber detonated himself at a mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing the local district governor, a policeman and at least six other worshippers, officials said.

The blast erupted in the middle of a crowd gathered outside the mosque building after a funeral prayer session for a tribal elder.

"The bomber targeted Sheikh Sadruddin, the district governor of Archi, this morning in the yard of a mosque while he was attending a prayer ceremony," Sayed Sarwar Husseini, spokesman for Kunduz province, told AFP.

"We can confirm that Sadruddin was killed."

District police chief Hamid Agha said that six civilians and one policeman were killed and 25 other people were wounded, some of whom were in a critical condition.

Northern Afghanistan is relatively peace compared to the south and east, but Kunduz province has often been the scene of explosions, targeted killings and other insurgent unrest in recent years.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which occurred in a district close to the border with Tajikistan.

Taleban militants have launched a spate of attacks in recent days, with more than 30 people killed on Wednesday in separate strikes, including 15 policemen shot in an ambush in the western province of Farah.

The Taleban regularly target foreign and Afghan soldiers, police and officials in their guerrilla war against President Hamid Karzai's Western-backed government.

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