Taliban governor killed in Afghanistan explosion

Dawood Muzamal dies in blast during meeting at his office in Balkh

The attack took place during a high-level meeting in the provincial capital of Mazar-i Sharif. AFP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The Taliban-appointed governor of Afghanistan's Balkh province was killed in an explosion on Thursday, police have confirmed.

Dawood Muzamal was killed in a blast at his office in the provincial capital of Mazar-i Sharif, police spokesman Mohammed Asif Waziri said.

Two others also died and seven were wounded in the blast, which took place during a high-level meeting, the spokesman said. The cause of the explosion was unclear.

Despite claims it has improved security, violence has increased since the Afghanistan since the Taliban's rapid takeover in 2021.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, although ISIS is known to target the Taliban and often attacks mosques and buildings known to be linked to the Afghan terrorist group.

ISIS killed four people, including members of the Taliban, in an attack on a military airfield in January, followed by another deadly attack near the foreign ministry.

Four people were also killed in October in a blast at a mosque close to the Taliban's interior ministry in Kabul.

ISIS has previously bombed mosques in Mazar-i Sharif, killing dozens at a Shiite mosque in April last year.

The Taliban itself has also carried out attacks, targeting the Hazara minority.

It returned to power in 2021 after two decades of insurgency against the US-led regime in a takeover, sparking a huge displacement crisis as thousands fled their advances.

The fundamentalist group has vastly restricted women's rights, banning them from schools and universities and most areas of public life.

On Wednesday, UN officials condemned the Taliban for its acts of "national self harm" in confining women to their homes.

Those actions have made it the world's most repressive country for women and girls, according to the UN Mission for Afghanistan.

Updated: March 09, 2023, 8:55 AM