KABUL, Afghanistan — A bomb placed in a mosque that detonated during morning prayers today killed the governor of eastern Logar province, Afghan officials said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the assassination of the governor, Arsallah Jamal, but suspicion fell on the Taliban. The group has been targeting Afghan officials, police, military and NATO troops in the run up to late 2014, when foreign combat troops are scheduled to leave the country.
The bombing took place at around 9 a.m. as Jamal gave a speech to hundreds of people attending prayers for Eid al-Adha — one of the year’s most important Islamic holidays marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage — said Hasibullah Stanikzai, Jamal’s secretary. The explosives were placed under the lectern below the microphone and detonated by remote control, said Din Mohammad Darwish, the governor’s spokesman, killing Jamal and wounding 15 other people, including the mosque’s mullah.
The governor had recently initiated a major campaign against militants, drug traffickers, land grabbers and other mafia groups in Logar, Darwish said.
Jamal, 47, was a close ally of President Hamid Karzai, working as his campaign manager during the 2009 presidential elections with expertise on rural development.