KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, (Reuters) – A suicide attacker who appears to have concealed his explosives inside a turban killed a senior cleric and at least four other people on Thursday at a funeral service for the assassinated brother of the Afghan president in southern Kandahar city.
At least 15 people were also wounded in the midday attack at the city’s Red Mosque, the Interior Ministry said. Cabinet ministers and relatives of President Hamid Karzai had been among the mourners, but escaped unscathed.
The attack came just two days after a trusted family associate killed Ahmad Wali Karzai, probably the most powerful and controversial man in southern Afghanistan, at his home.
His death has created a dangerous power vacuum in Kandahar, that some fear could spark a wave of greater violence in an already volatile city. Kandahar was the site of over half of all targeted killings in Afghanistan between April and June.
A weeping Karzai buried his brother on Wednesday and moved swiftly to give another brother a key tribal role left vacant, in an apparent attempt to pre-empt political infighting.