KABUL -- An explosion Thursday (June 8) at a funeral service for the former acting governor of Badakhshan province has raised concerns about increasing insecurity in northeastern Afghanistan.
The explosion took place inside the Nabawi mosque in the Hesa-e-Awal area of Faizabad, the provincial capital, locals told TOLOnews.
The funeral service was for Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi, who served as the deputy governor of Badakhshan before stepping up as acting governor last month.
A suicide bomber on Tuesday drove a car filled with explosives into Ahmadi's vehicle in Faizabad. The "Islamic State of Syria and Iraq" (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the assassination, which also killed Ahmadi's driver and injured six others.
Interior Ministry spokesperson Abdul Nafi Takor said based on initial findings, at least 11 people were killed and 30 injured in Thursday's blast.
A source from the provincial hospital told TOLOnews on condition of anonymity that it received 15 dead bodies and 50 wounded.
Safiullah Samim, the former commander of Baghlan police, was among those killed, according to Mazuddin Ahmadi, Badakhshan provincial spokesman.
An AFP journalist near the scene of the blast said security forces had set up checkpoints around the funeral site in the morning.
When the explosion rang out, mourners and bystanders fled to nearby streets, and shops closed in panic as security forces cordoned off the area.
"I was standing outside the mosque to receive the guests coming; suddenly, a terrible sound shook the mosque," said witness Naseer Ahmad, 37.
"When I entered the mosque, I saw bloodied dead bodies lying on the ground," he told AFP.
The reports of civilian deaths and injuries "are deeply disturbing", said the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
"UNAMA unequivocally condemns this and a recent spate of appalling and indiscriminate attacks that have shown a total disregard for civilian lives," it tweeted.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement it "condemns this brutality of the disgraced enemies".
"Attacking mosques and religious places is an act contrary to the rules of Islam and humane principles and has no justification," Abdullah Abdullah, former chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, tweeted in reaction to the explosion.
ISIS remains a threat to Afghanistan despite officials' promises to prevent the nation from serving as a staging ground for international attacks.
The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for attacks on minority religious groups and embassies as well as on local government officials.
The chief of Badakhshan's provincial police force was killed in a suicide blast claimed by ISIS last December.
A bombing also killed the director of the provincial mining department in April 2022.