Suicide attack kills Afghan official at mosque

RAHIM FAIEZ

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber attacked people leaving a memorial service at a mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing his apparent target, a district chief, while leaving several others dead or wounded, police said.

Exact casualty figures were not immediately available, but the attack underscored the tenuous security situation in Afghanistan as U.S. troops prepare to pull out by the end of next year.

The bomber struck in Dashi Archi district of Kunduz province. Afghanistan's north is generally considered one of the safer parts of the country, but in recent years it has seen increasing militant activity.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday morning's attack, though suspicion will likely fall on the Afghan Taliban, who have been behind many assassinations in the country.

Hussaini said the district chief, Sayed Sadruddin, was the suicide bomber's apparent target. The Afghan official was with tribal leaders and others at a memorial service for someone who had died earlier, the police spokesman said.

The bomber detonated his explosives as Sadruddin and his entourage were leaving the mosque Friday morning, Hussaini said.