14 Jul 2011

Karzai mourners targeted in mosque attack

9:19 pm on 14 July 2011

A blast has hit a mosque in Kandahar during a memorial service for the assassinated half-brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, killing at least five people and wounding 11.

Ahmad Wali Karzai was a powerful politician who led the Kandahar Provincial Council and had close links to the United States.

Officials say one of those killed in the mosque attack on Thursday is the the top cleric of the provincial council. A second explosion followed shortly after, the BBC reports.

Earlier, five French soldiers were killed in a suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan and four others seriously wounded.

The attack came two days after a surprise visit by French president Nicolas Sarkozy in which he detailed his plan to withdraw 1000 troops by the end of 2012, ahead of a complete pullout in 2014.