At least 41 people are dead and over 50 are injured on Friday after a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in northern Afghanistan on the holiday of Eid al-Adha, according to BBC News. The bomber struck the mosque in Maimana, the capital of Faryab province, just as people were leaving after prayers finished. The victims of the attack were mainly civilians and police officers.
“We had just finished Eid al-Adha prayers and we were congratulating and hugging each other,” deputy provincial governor Abdul Satar Barez told sources. “Suddenly a big explosion took place and the area was full of dust and smoke and body parts of police and civilians were all over the place. It was a very powerful explosion.”
The provincial police chief, Abdul Khaliq Aqsai, attended the mosque for prayers, but escaped death. It is wondered if he was a target in the attack.
Security had supposedly been tight around the mosque, but the suicide bomber managed to get through. He was apparently wearing a police uniform, which may have helped him get in.
President Hamid Karzai made a statement about the attack:
“Those who are taking away the happiness of Muslims during the Eid al-Adha days are the enemies of Islam and you cannot call them human or Muslim,”
The holiday of Eid al-Adha, also called Feast of the Sacrifice, marks the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.