ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on a memorial service in northeast Afghanistan that killed at least 13 people and wounded 30 others.
In a statement late Friday, the IS regional affiliate — known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province — said the attacker targeted the service near Nabawi Mosque in the city of Faizabad in Badakhshan province on Thursday.
The militant group’s statement gave higher casualty figures than those provided by the Taliban-run government, claiming that at least 20 senior Taliban officials died and 50 others were injured.
The memorial service was being held for Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi, the deputy governor of Badakhshan killed in a car bombing on Tuesday in Faizabad. That attack, which killed the deputy governor’s driver and wounded 10 others, was also claimed by the Islamic State group.
A former Taliban police official was among those killed in the memorial service explosion, said the Taliban interior ministry spokesman, Abdul Nafi Takor.
The Islamic State group has increased its attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021, following the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops after two decades of war. Targets have included Taliban patrols and members of Afghanistan’s Shiite minority.
Last December, a car bombing killed Badakhshan's provincial police chief as he was on his way to work. IS claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it parked an explosive-laden car on the road and detonated it when the police chief's car passed by.