Islamist terrorists have launched a series of attacks targeting mosques in Afghanistan and Iraq, as Muslims around the world begin celebrating the festival of Eid al-Adha Tuesday.
In the first attack, the governor of Afghanistan's Logar province, Arsala Jamal, was killed after a bomb planted under a table detonated as he was greeting visitors at Logar's main mosque in the provincial capital of Pul-i-Alam.
At least 15 people were injured, some of them seriously, according to local sources.
On Friday, the US State Department revealed that a senior Pakistan Taliban commander, Latif Mehsud, was captured in a US military operation.
His capture was hailed as a significant blow to the Pakistani Taliban, led by Hakimullah Mehsud, with whom Latif Mehsud was close. However, his capture is said to have angered Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who was not informed in advance of the operation on Afghan soil.
Also Tuesday, terrorists detonated a bomb outside a mosque in the northern Iraqi city of Kirku, killing nine people and wounding dozens.
Kirkuk is an ethnically-diverse city, and hence a major flashpoint in the country's ongoing sectarian conflict, which has killed 6,000 already this year.
2013 has been one of the bloodiest years in Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003. Heightened sectarian tensions, exacerbated by domestic political turmoil and the ongoing civil war in neighboring Iraq, have contributed to a resurgence in sectarian killings. Al Qaeda in particular, which was largely defeated after Sunni tribesmen teamed up with American forces in 2007, has seen a revival since its merger with affiliated groups in Syria saw the formation of the larger Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Greater Syria).