Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan — A suicide bomber struck a Kandahar mosque where a memorial service was being held Thursday for the assassinated half brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The attack killed at least four people and could mark the start of a violent power struggle in southern Afghanistan in the wake of Ahmed Wali Karzai's death.
A number of high-ranking officials were present at the time of the attack, according to the Kandahar provincial government. The dead included a prominent cleric and a child, and 15 other people were injured, the Interior Ministry said.
President Karzai was not at the service in the city of Kandahar; he had returned to Kabul, the capital, after his half brother's turbulent funeral Wednesday. At the burial in the family's ancestral village outside Kandahar, the Afghan leader wept and wailed aloud, and at one point climbed into the open grave before making an emotional appeal for an end to violence.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday's bombing. The Taliban said the man who shot Ahmed Wali Karzai dead in his home Tuesday had acted at the insurgents' behest, but others blamed a personal feud. The assailant, a police commander and a trusted family associate, was himself fatally shot moments after killing the younger Karzai, who wielded enormous power in southern Afghanistan.