Qutbuddin Kohi writes for the Afghan news service Pajhwok:
A suicide attacker killed nearly 36 people, including security men and civilians, when he blew himself up outside a mosque in the Mainmana City, capital of northern Faryab province on Friday.
The brazen attack took place at about 9:30 am in front of a mosque’s entrance in the provincial capital when worshippers were congregating for the Eid al-Adha celebration.
Police official Maj. Mohammad Naeem said the attacker detonated his explosives among the security forces when police chief and other security officers were leaving the mosque after Eid prayer.
He said 19 Afghan National Police (ANP) personnel, three army soldiers were killed and 20 others injured. Fourteen civilians, including two children, aged between nine and 12 years, also perished in the morning blast.
A doctor on duty at the Afghan-Turk hospital, Qasim Parsa said the exact number of casualty is not clear as yet but fears the figures could be in dozens.
He urged the victims' relatives and the public to donate blood to the injured victims.
A Pajhwok journalist, reporting from the Afghan-Turk hospital, said frantic relatives were searching for the bodies of their loved ones.
Najibullah, whose relative was injured in the bombing, said: "Several of my relatives are missing and I fear they might be among the killed."
Anyone who carried out the suicide attack during the sacred festival of Eidul Adha is condemnable, he said.
Security officials are yet to comment on the identity of the attacker.
One of the injured police said: "We were leaving the mosque when a man wearing police uniform approached us, we guessed he is our colleague but suddenly he detonated his explosives."
So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack in Maimana City.