Blast kills Taliban governor of Afghanistan’s Balkh province

Taliban security personnel (right) block a road in Mazar-i-Sharif on March 9, 2023, following a blast at the office of Taliban governor of Afghanistan's Balkh province. (PHOTO / AFP)

KABUL – A blast tore through the Taliban governor's office in Afghanistan's northern Balkh province on Thursday, killing him and two others, police said.

"Today around 9 am a blast took place inside the second floor of the governor's office, due to the blast (governor) Mawlawi Mohammad Dawood Muzamil has been killed with two civilians," said Mohammed Asif Waziri, Balkh's police spokesperson.

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He said police were investigating and would provide more details once they became clear.

The cause of the blast was not immediately known. The incident marks one of the most senior officials confirmed dead since the Taliban took over the country in 2021.

This is the first time that the armed elements opposing the Taliban-run administration has targeted the high profile official since the Taliban assumed power in Afghanistan in August 2021.

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No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.  

In recent months, the Islamic State has claimed a series of deadly attacks in Afghanistan, some on civilian targets and others on Taliban security forces.