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Taliban Governor Killed in Suicide Bombing; ISIL Claims Responsibility

Darren Maung
Darren is an aspiring writer who wishes to share or create stories to the world and bring humanity together as one. A massive Star Wars nerd and history buff, he finds enjoyable, heart-warming or interesting subjects in any written media.
Published: March 13, 2023
A man placed on a stretcher being moved in a hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif on Mar. 9, 2023, after a suicide bomber blew up the office of Taliban governor Mohammad Dawood Muzammil, which killed the staunch opponent to ISIL. (Image: Atif Aryan/AFP via Getty Images)

On Mar. 9, Taliban governor Mohammad Dawood Muzammil was killed by a suicide bomber while in his office in Balkh province, Afghanistan. This is considered one of the largest attacks on the Taliban since their takeover of the country in 2021.

Suicide bombing

According to police, the suicide bombing claimed the lives of two people; Muzammil being one of them, al-Jazeera wrote. Two others were wounded. It took place on the second floor of Muzammil’s office in the provincial capital of Mazar-i-Sharif, police spokesman Asif Waziri said.

“There was a bang. I fell on the ground,” resident Khairuddin, one of the people wounded by the blast, told AFP. He said his friend lost a hand during the explosion.

“Two people, including Mohammad Dawood Muzammil, the governor of Balkh, have been killed in an explosion this morning,” Waziri reported on March 9. 

“It was a suicide attack. We don’t have information as to how the suicide bomber reached the office of the governor,” he added.

Though the identity and the motives of the suicide bomber are unknown, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack. It also claimed that some security guards were also killed in the blast, the BBC reported.

Police stood guard at the governorate, restricting journalists from entering the building, a correspondent of AFP close to the blast site reported.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid posted on Twitter that Muzammil was “martyred in an explosion by the enemies of Islam.”


High value target

Muzammil was previously the governor of the province of Nangarhar, where he resisted ISIL forces, before being relocated to Balkh the year before.

The day before the attack that took his life, Muzammil met two deputy prime ministers and several senior officials visiting Balkh to inspect an irrigation project in northern Afghanistan, a government statement read.

ISIL has become the Taliban’s greatest security threat, since the U.S. pulled its forces from the country in August 2021. Afghan civilians and foreigners alike have been targeted in multiple attacks, including Chinese nationals and embassy staff from Pakistan and Russia, al-Jazeera reported.

ISIL claimed that it is hoping to create a global Islamic “caliphate” in place of the Taliban’s goals for a fully-independent Afghanistan.

In January, an earlier suicide bombing took the lives of at least 10 people near the foreign ministry in Kabul, the capital city, ISIL claimed.

On Mar. 11, a new detonation shook Mazar-i-Sharif, killing one security guard and wounding several journalists and some children, police and an eyewitness said.