Governor of the northern Afghan province of Kunduz was killed along with at least 15 others in a bomb explosion inside a mosque on Friday, officials said.
Governor Mohammad Omar had been attending Friday prayers at the mosque in Taloqan, capital of neighboring Takhar province, when the explosion occurred.
Provincial police chief confirmed that Omar was among the 16 people killed in the blast, which also left more than 20 others injured.
Authorities are yet to confirm whether the explosion was caused by a suicide-bomber or by an explosive devise planted inside the mosque. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. Police have launched an investigation.
Omar, originally from Takhar province, was a close ally of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. He is said to have survived a number of earlier attempts on his life by suspected Taliban militants. His brother was killed by the Taliban last year.
Omar's assassination comes just two weeks after the Taliban killed the Deputy Governor of the eastern province of Ghazni in a suicide attack. His killing was the latest in a recent wave of assassinations of Afghan government officials.
Friday's bomb attack came as Afghan security forces, along with a coalition of foreign troops under the joint command of NATO and the United States, are trying to contain a resurgent Taliban in the war-torn country.
The U.S. and its allies are currently making efforts to get Afghan security forces ready and capable of handling the country's security before the coalition troops eventually left the country, as they believed a strong Afghan military was essential to fill the void.
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