Afghan Mosque Blast Kills 20, Including Governor

Mohammad Omar was targeted, official says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 8, 2010 11:53 AM CDT
In this photo taken on April 12, 2010, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, left, and Kunduz Gov. Mohammed Omar attend a meeting with elders in Kunduz, Afghanistan.   (Dusan Vranic)
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(Newser) – A provincial governor and at least 19 other people were killed by a massive bomb blast inside a packed mosque during Friday prayers in northern Afghanistan, where insurgents have stepped up violence amid intensified NATO-Afghan military operations. Thirty-five people were wounded in the explosion while praying at the Shirkat mosque in Takhar province, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary.

Gen. Shah Jahan Noori, the provincial police chief, said the governor of neighboring Kunduz province, Mohammad Omar, was killed along with 19 other people. The bomb was meant to kill Omar, who regularly attends Friday prayers at the mosque. A survivor of the blast said he believed a suicide attacker sitting next to the governor detonated explosives. No group claimed responsibility, but the Taliban have targeted Omar previously.

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