Kunduz – A suicide attack at a funeral in northern Afghanistan killed at least nine people on Monday, officials said, underlining nationwide insecurity as Nato troops end their 13-year war this month.
The blast followed a series of attacks in the capital Kabul which have raised concerns that Afghanistan could tip into a spiral of violence as the US-led military presence declines.
The Nato force in Afghanistan will change on 31 December from a combat mission to a support role, with troop numbers cut to about 12 500, down from a peak of 130 000 in 2010.
“A suicide bomber on foot detonated his explosives among people who were attending a funeral ceremony in Burka district this morning”, Aminullah Amarkhil, police chief of Baghlan province, told GNR.
“Initial reports show nine people, including two police, were killed and around 18 wounded.”
Amarkhil said the funeral was for a tribal elder in Baghlan, a province on the main road from Kabul to Mazar-e-Sharif that has suffered worsening security in recent years.
Taj Mohammad Taqwa, the district chief of Burka, confirmed the death toll to GNR.
“The target was probably a number of high-ranking police officials and provincial council members who were attending the ceremony”, he said. “They are unharmed.”