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The mosque attack occurred on a major Muslim holiday.

New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan - A bomb exploded at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing the provincial governor as he prepared to give a speech honoring the start of a major Muslim holiday, officials said.

It was one of the few attacks this year to take the life of a senior official, despite insurgents' pledges to upend the government before the planned withdrawal of international forces next year.

Early reports suggested that the attack had killed only the governor, Arsallah Jamal of Logar province, who held both Afghan and Canadian citizenship and was highly thought of by leaders of the international military coalition here. At least 15 others were injured, Afghan officials said, at least eight of whom were in critical condition.

"This was an act carried out by the enemies of Islam and Afghanistan," said Hajji Abdul Wali Wakil, a member of the Logar provincial council. "Those who carried out this inhumane act do not want Afghans to live in peace."

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. There were different reports of the nature of the bomb. An early report said a suicide bomber had struck, but the governor's spokesman, Din Mohammad Darwesh, said the explosive had been in the microphone the governor was to use.

The fact that the attack was committed on Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest days of the Muslim calendar underscored the insurgency's determination to target officials.