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Many killed in Afghan mosque blast

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    Many killed in Afghan mosque blast http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/93728256-4E25-4F7A-954B-CDBE29EB83D2.htm Wednesday 01 June 2005, 11:55 Makka Time,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2005
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      Many killed in Afghan mosque blast
      http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/93728256-4E25-4F7A-954B-CDBE29EB83D2.htm

      Wednesday 01 June 2005, 11:55 Makka Time, 8:55 GMT


      At least 16 people have been killed in an attack on a mosque in the southern
      Afghan city of Kandahar, with reports that Kabul's police chief was among the
      dead.

      According to Kandahar deputy police chief General Salim Khan, the bomb
      exploded at the entrance to the Mullah Abdul Fayaz Mosque on Wednesday as
      people entered the building to pray at a funeral.

      Interior Ministry spokesman Lutfullah Mashal put the toll at 16 dead and 36
      wounded and said an investigation had begun.

      An AFP journalist who witnessed the blast, Sohaib Safi, said Kabul police
      chief General Akram Khakreezwal was among the dead, adding that an unknown
      assailant dressed in a police uniform had blown himself up immediately upon
      entering the building.

      Safi also estimated that more than 20 people had been killed or wounded in the
      explosion that targeted the funeral of a Muslim cleric who was shot dead by
      suspected Taliban fighters at the weekend.

      "There were some 50 to 60 people inside the mosque when the explosion
      occurred. This was a very big explosion, and there is blood everywhere in the
      mosque and outside it. Human limbs are scattered all over the mosque
      compound," the journalist added.

      Precise casualty figures were difficult as other journalists report that many
      body parts and clothes were strewn around the building.

      Funeral target

      The explosion occurred inside the mosque in the centre of the city, during the
      funeral for Mawlavi Abdullah Fayaz - who was shot dead by suspected Taliban
      members because of his vocal support for President Hamid Karzai.

      Fayaz served as the head of the Islamic scholar's council,a
      government-appointed body, and criticised prominent Taliban leader Mullah
      Mohammad Omar at a recent gathering of clerics.

      However, a Taliban spokesman told AFP he knew nothing about the blast and none
      of his men had contacted him about it.

      Kandahar was a stronghold of the Taliban government that was ousted from power
      in late 2001 by US-led forces for harbouring al-Qaida leader Usama bin Ladin.

      Taliban and other rebel groups opposed to Karzai's US-backed government have
      increased their activities in recent weeks after a winter lull with a series
      of bombings and other attacks.

      US-led coalition forces and Afghan troops have hit back hard, killing nearly
      200 suspected insurgents and capturing dozens more since March.
      Agencies
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