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Terrorists Kill 17 in Mosque; U.S. Treats Injured Afghans

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2005 – Seventeen people were killed today when a suicide bomber reportedly linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban blew himself up in the Abdul Rub Akhundzadar Mosque in Kandahar province.

The attack occurred during a religious ceremony mourning the death of Mullah Abdul Fiyaz, a respected cleric and supporter of the people of Afghanistan, U.S. officials reported.

Among the dead was the police chief of the Afghan capital of Kabul. The governor of Kandahar and the Afghan National Police are investigating the incident, officials said.

"The coalition abhors this atrocious act of violence upon innocent civilians and a mosque," said U.S. Army Col. Jim Yonts, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan public affairs officer. "Tragic events such as this only solidify our resolve that we must eradicate terrorism now. The future of Afghanistan depends on it.

"The coalition offers our condolences to the family and friends of Mullah Fiyaz and to the families of those injured or killed in the explosion," Yonts said. "The coalition stands ready to provide civic assistance to the government of Afghanistan and the governor of Kandahar." In other news from Afghanistan, coalition forces on May 31 medically evacuated a 5-year-old girl with a compound fracture in her right arm and a 20-year-old male land-mine victim to medical facilities for treatment.

The young man suffered amputation of both legs below the knees when a land mine detonated near Deh Rahwod in Uruzgan province. He was evacuated to a medical facility in Tarin Kowt for the night, where he was stabilized. He was transferred to Bagram Air Base in Parvan province, about 27 miles north of Kabul, today for further treatment.

The girl's arm was broken when she fell out of a moving truck near Forward Operating Base Naray in Kunar province. She was evacuated for treatment at Bagram Air Base, where she was reported to be in stable condition.

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)

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