Anti-Taliban official killed in Afghan bombing

Jawed Basharat/AP - Afghan policemen evacuate a wounded person after a suicide bomber struck outside a provincial council’s headquarters in Pul-i-Khumri, Baghlan province, northern Afghanistan, Monday.

KABUL — A local Afghan leader who had been involved in efforts to defeat the Taliban was killed Monday in a suicide bombing that left 13 others dead, including the bomber, officials said.

Mohammad Rasoul Mohseni was the head of the provincial council in Baghlan province in northeastern Afghanistan, a picturesque farming area that has been relatively peaceful and secure in the past.

A giant crane (L) that will lift up the sunken 'Sewol' ferry is silhouetted against the sunset in Jindo on April 24, 2014. Furious relatives of missing victims from South Korea's ferry disaster attacked a top coastguard official accusing him of lying about efforts to retrieve bodies still trapped in the submerged vessel. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURINICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

The giant crane in the background will lift the sunken South Korean ferry "Sewol."

Photos of the day

China fashion, London’s Globe Theatre, a breakaway iceberg, Sewol ferry victim search, a New York cat cafe and more.

More world coverage

Russia begins ‘tactical drills’ on border with Ukraine

Russia begins ‘tactical drills’ on border with Ukraine

As the government in Kiev mobilizes against pro-Russian militants, killing up to 5, crisis continues to escalate.

3 Americans killed in attack on Kabul hospital

3 Americans killed in attack on Kabul hospital

The attack on the hospital was the latest in a wave of violence targeting foreigners in Afghanistan.

Iran to increase gasoline prices

Iran to increase gasoline prices

Iran, home to some of the world's cheapest gas, will test the patience of a public awaiting economic recovery.

Police said the suicide bomber detonated his explosives after walking up to Mohseni and a group of people standing with him outside his office in a government compound in the provincial capital, Pul-i-Khumri. Nine people were injured.

In brief text messages to The Washington Post and other media organizations, a Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack. It followed a spate of scattered bombings and armed assaults that have killed dozens of people since the country’s major Islamist insurgent group announced a spring offensive in April.

Although the Taliban is based in southern Afghanistan, it has steadily been widening the scope of its guerrilla activities in recent months, attacking a police checkpost one day in the far west, and bombing a government facility a few days later in the northeast.

Officials said Mohseni had been an important figure in the Afghan government’s anti-Taliban alliance.

Read what others are saying