A devastating blast rocked a mosque in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province where funeral prayers of the province’s former deputy governor were being offered on Thursday. According to local sources, some 50 people died while 25 others sustained injuries during the blast at Nabawi mosque in the Hesa-e-Awal area of Faizabad. Eyewitnesses revealed that the explosion was triggered by a suicide bomber who targeted the congregation directly. Among the victims was Mulvi SaifUllah Samim, the former police chief of Baghlan province. “The locals estimate that the blast claimed the lives of around 50 people, including senior officials and Samim, the ex-police chief. The wounded were promptly transported to Faizabad hospital for urgent medical treatment,” stated a local resident, claiming that the blast was carried out by a suicide bomber. The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) claimed responsibility for the attack and stated that it was a retaliatory measure for an operation in Kuner province. The Taliban administration has been carrying out raids against members of ISKP, which had claimed several major attacks in urban centres. The ISKP has also targeted Taliban administration officials, including claiming the killing of the governor of northern Balkh province in an attack on his office in March.