BBC World News is reporting that a suicide bomber hid his device in his turban and blew it and himself up near the entrance to the Red Mosque in Kandahar during the memorial service for Ahmad Wali Karzai, half-brother of the Afghan president.
Four people other than were killed.
Among those killed was Hikmatullah Hikmat, the head of Kandahar's Ulema Council, said the ministry. The council is an influential body of clerics in charge of regulating religious issues in the province.In effect, that made him the chief cleric of Kandahar. A child is also reported to have been killed.
Hamid Karzai was not present. Four of his brothers were. None were killed, nor were other Karzai family members, nor any government officials. The local governor is reported to have said the head of the Ulema may have been the target. And the toll could have been much worse:
Officials say the casualty figures could have been much higher had the attacker been able to get inside the mosque itself or had been wearing explosives on his body, rather than on his head, says our correspondent.
Kandahar was the original base of the Taliban. Wali Karzai was considered by some in the US Military and Intelligence as an important American asset because of his willingness to use force to suppress any actions hostile to Americans. This attack may or may not be related to his death. But it is a clear sign of how limited the control of the central Afghan government is beyond the immediate region of Kabul.