Blast at journalists event in Afghanistan kills eight

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Taliban start investigation

A blast hit a cultural centre during an event for journalists in northern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing eight including five journalists, according to authorities and journalists, a few days after the province’s governor died in an explosion claimed by the militant Islamic State.

“Today, at 11:30 am an explosion occurred at the Tabyan Cultural Centre, in the second police district of Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh province … the explosion happened due to a mine,” said Abdul Nafi Takor, spokesperson for the Taliban administration’s Ministry of Interior.

Takor added that five journalists and three children were among the injured and a security guard was also killed.

Sajad Mosawi, a journalist in Balkh who was injured in the blast, said it had torn through the centre during an event to celebrate journalists.

Taliban authorities were already investigating the explosion that killed provincial governor Mawlawi Mohammad Dawood Muzamil and two others at his office on Thursday.

The governor of Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar will temporarily run Balkh, his spokesperson Haji Zaid told Reuters, until Supreme Spiritual Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada selects a new governor for the northern province, an important trade hub with Central Asia.— Reuters