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Te Afghan national flag Kamran Jebreili/AP/Press Association Images

Afghan police: Suicide bombing kills 4 people

Four people, including a local police chief, have been killed by a suicide bomber in the Kunar province of the country.

A SUICIDE BOMBER blew himself up today at a mosque in northeast Afghanistan, killing four people, including a local police chief, authorities said.

The bombing occurred about 2 pm in the yard of a mosque in Ghazi Abad district of Kunar province after Friday prayers, said General Ewaz Mohammad Naziri, the provincial police chief.

Naziri said the district police chief, his body guard, a civilian and an employee of the Afghan intelligence service died in the attack. Five others were wounded in the blast, he said.

“It was a brutal act against Afghan Muslims inside a mosque,” he said. “They had gathered for prayers and he entered and blew himself up.”

The Ministry of Interior condemned the bombing.

Friday marked the last day of the Muslim holiday of Ashoura, but the bombing was not related to that event, which is observed mostly by Shiite Muslims. Most residents of Kunar province are Sunni Muslims.

Pakistan intelligence service blamed

In the Afghan capital, more than 2,000 Afghans gathered on the final day of Ashoura and denounced neighboring Pakistan for this week’s bombing at a shrine in Kabul that has stirred anti-Pakistan sentiment in the nation. Ashoura commemorates the death in the seventh century of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson.

Tuesday’s bombing at the shrine, which killed 56 people and wounded more than 160, was the first major sectarian attack in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime a decade ago.

Former Afghan President Sibghatullah Mojaddedi directly blamed the Pakistan intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, for the suicide bombing.

“The ISI is behind this work,” Mojaddedi said Friday. “Don’t say it’s foreign intervention, say it is Pakistan and the ISI. All of us know it.”

“The ISI is recruiting terrorists, coming across the borders into Afghanistan and doing suicide bombings. God will get revenge,” he added.

A man claiming to be from Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami, a Pakistan-based splinter group of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi that has carried out attacks against Shiite Muslims in Pakistan, called various media outlets Tuesday to claim responsibility for the Kabul bombing and a nearly simultaneous attack that killed four Shiites in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

‘Future of Afghanistan at stake’

Pakistani military spokesman General Athar Abbas has dismissed any suggestions that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has links to the country’s intelligence agencies.

Enlarged photographs of the bombing victims adorned the rally in an open field west of Kabul, which was held under tight security. The people in the audience shouted “God is great!”

Abdullah Abdullah, a top opposition leader, said Afghans must unify to fend off those who are against seeing Afghanistan as a vibrant, independent nation.

“The destination of the future of Afghanistan is at stake,” he said.

Mohammed Mohaqeq, a leader in the Hazara ethnic community, said the international community must help prevent the attacks on Afghanistan from militant groups based in Pakistan.

Associated Foreign Press