Terror attacks rock Afghanistan, Iraq over Eid holiday

A Taliban suicide bomber struck a crowded mosque in Farayb province in northwest Afghanistan on Sunday, killing 45 people including 25 members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) who were attending holiday services, according to The New York Times. 

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The head of the provincial police force, two district police chiefs from Farayb province and the provincial representative to the Afghan parliament were among the dead in Sunday's bombing, according to the Times

In Iraq, members of the The Islamic State of Iraq, a splinter faction of al Qaeda's terror cell in the country, claimed responsibility for a number of attacks that have left 44 Iraqis dead and nearly 150 wounded, according to Agence France Presse. 

"The Islamic State alerted a part of its security forces in Baghdad and elsewhere to send a quick message to the apostate beasts and their government," according to a statement issued by the group on Monday. 

"They will pay dearly for what they have done, and they will not dream securely in the night or day, during Eid or not," the statement added. 

In Afghanistan, U.S. and NATO commanders forces have sent helicopters and an explosive ordinance disposal team to the mosque in Mimana, to assist ANSF units there, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force said Sunday. 

NATO forces pulled out of Mimana in September, with a majority of U.S. forces shuttering their operating bases in the northwest Afghanistan province, local officials told the Times

"The attack showed the insurgents disrespect for the Eid holiday and Afghan's desire for peace and stability," the spokesman told reporters during a press briefing at ISAF headquarters in Kabul. 

The bombing was in apparent retaliation for the killing of a mid-level Taliban leader and more than 20 of his gunmen by ANSF units in the Pashtun Kot district of Farayb province, the Times reported. 

Last Thursday, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar issued a warning of more attacks -- particularly those by Afghan forces against U.S. and coalition troops — during the three-day Eid holiday. 

"I urge every brave Afghan in the ranks of the foreign forces ... to utilize this opportunity effectively and quash the enemies of Islam ... and use all possible means, opportunities and tactics to strike them," Omar said in the statement. 

The Taliban leader swore so-called "insider" attacks against U.S. and coalition forces would increase until the 2014 withdrawal deadline, which is when administration officials plan to pull all American troops from the country.