The suicide bomber detonated his vest inside the mosque when people were coming out after finishing prayers on the first day of Eid al-Adha.

At least 41 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a mosque in the north-western Afghan province of Faryab on Friday, the first day of Eid al-Adha celebrations.

“At least 41 people have been killed in this morning’s attack in a mosque. The police chief of Faryab has also been injured,” the provincial deputy governor, Abdul Sattar Barez, told DPA.He said 50 people were wounded, and that most of the casualties were civilians.The dead included the Faryab governor’s spokesman, Ahmad Javed Bedar, and five children, an official said.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack that targeted hundreds of worshippers who had gathered at the main mosque in Maimana, the capital of Faryab, for Eid morning prayers.

President Hamid Karzai, in his message to the nation on Eid, urged the Taliban “to stop killing other Afghans” and destroying “mosques, hospitals and schools.” Reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar had in a statement Wednesday asked his fighters to “pay full attention to the prevention of civilian casualties,” saying “the enemy” was trying to blame the civilian deaths on them.

Faryab was one of the provinces that witnessed lower levels of violence in past years. But there has lately been an increase in attacks and suicide bombings. Two days ago, a Taliban shadow governor and 24 of his militiamen were killed in Faryab in an attack on a police checkpoint.

Meanwhile, an Afghan official was targeted in a mosque in the western province of Farah on Friday. A gunman in police uniform shot at the provincial chief of the Afghan spy agency inside a mosque but missed, said an official who asked to remain anonymous. He said the attacker was immediately arrested.

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