Blast Kills Afghan Governor

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up Thursday inside a mosque in southern Afghanistan, killing a deputy provincial governor and five other worshippers in the latest assassination of a senior official in President Hamid Karzai's government, officials said.

The attack came hours after a suicide car bomber struck an army bus in the capital, Kabul, killing a civilian and wounding four other people.

The assaults suggest that the militants could continue their bombing campaign this year after 2007, when they launched more than 140 suicide missions -- the highest number since the ouster of the Taliban in the U.S.-led invasion of 2001.

The bomber in the southern province of Helmand struck a mosque in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah and killed six people including the deputy governor, Pir Mohammad, said provincial police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal.

The blast also wounded 18 people including two children and damaged the mosque's walls, Andiwal said.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said the attack was carried out by an Afghan named Qudratullah from the province of Paktia. His claim could not be independently verified.

Karzai called the attacks "brutal and terrorist acts."

"[These attacks] are un-Islamic acts of enemies of Afghanistan, aimed at innocent civilians and Muslim people," the president said in a statement.