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Afghan strongman shows he is still ‘King of the North’

KABUL: A powerful former Afghan governor at the centre of a growing political crisis over his refusal to stand down permitted his appointed successor on Tuesday to set foot in his province for a funeral, sources have told AFP. It is the first time Mohammad Daud has publicly visited Balkh since President Ashraf Ghani's office announced on December 18 that he would replace Atta Mohammad Noor as governor of the northern province. Noor, nicknamed "King of the North", has refused to leave the post he has held since 2004,…

Blast kills 14 in northern Afghanistan during Ashura

KABUL: At least 14 people were killed on Wednesday in a powerful blast at a mosque in northern Afghanistan, the second deadly attack on the minority in as many days during the major festival of Ashura. "The explosion happened at the gate of the Shia mosque in the centre of Balkh district," said the provincial governor's spokesman Munir Ahmad Farhad, adding that 14 people were killed and 28 injured. His account was confirmed by the provincial deputy police chief. The blast came as the Islamic State group claimed…