At least 14 members of the same family have been killed by a bomb as they mourned a relative in a graveyard in rural eastern Afghanistan.

The attack in Nangarhar province's Ghany Khel district on Thursday killed seven women and seven children, said Masum Khan Hashimi, the province's deputy police chief. He said they were all from the same family, and three others were injured.

The family were visiting the grave of a tribal elder named Haji Khayali who worked for a security company and who was killed by the Taliban earlier this year.

It is custom in Afghanistan to visit the graves of relatives at the start of the festival of Eid el-Fitr.

The dead man's brother, Haji Ghalib, who said his daughter was among those killed, blamed the Taliban for the attack.

"My family is finished. These people are inhuman," he said.

'A cowardly act'

President Hamid Karzai condemned the bombing, denouncing it in a statement as "a cowardly act by the enemies of the people of Afghanistan who are not part of any religion."

"They even attack in a Muslim cemetery on the start of Eid, they kill our innocent countrymen,'' Karzai said.

Mashoq Malam, the chief official in Ghany Khel district where the bombing occurred, said it was unclear why someone had planted the remote-controlled bomb at the graveside of the family. 

"These cruel people who don't respect God or Islam and planted a mine on a grave," he said in a telephone conversation. "As soon as the poor women and children gathered by the grave, it exploded."

A spate of bombings and Taliban attacks in Nangarhar in recent weeks has killed dozens of people, including police and security forces. Among the attacks was a botched bombing last week against the Indian consulate in the city of Jalalabad that killed nine people, including six children. No Indian officials were hurt.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies