Saturday April 30, 2022

Powerful explosion at Kabul mosque kills at least 10 people

Powerful explosion at Kabul mosque kills at least 10 people

Men gather to identify the body of a relative who was killed in a blast. File/Reuters

A powerful explosion ripped through a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Friday, killing at least 10 people and wounding as many as 30, a Taliban spokesman said.

Hundreds of worshippers had gathered for prayers on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramdan and the Khalifa Aga Gul Jan Mosque was packed, said local residents, fearing the casualty toll could rise further.


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The Taliban-appointed interior ministry spokesman, Mohammad Nafi Takor, could not provide more details and Taliban security men cordoned off the area. The source of the explosion was not immediately known and no one has claimed responsibility for the blast.

Initially, at least 20 were reported wounded but Khalid Zadran, spokesman for the Taliban-appointed Kabul police chief, later raised the number to as many as 30. The death toll remained at 10, he said and also tweeted that "security agencies are investigating the incident.”

Powerful explosion at Kabul mosque kills at least 10 people
An injured man is carried to a hospital after an explosion rockets Kabul. File photo

The explosion was so loud that the neighbourhood of the mosque shook from the blast, the residents said, speaking on condition of anonymity, fearing for their own safety.

The explosion was the latest in a series of such blasts amid relentless attacks across the country. Similar attacks on mosques have recently targeted the country's minority Shiite Muslims and were claimed by the Daesh group's regional affiliate.

Daesh has stepped up its attacks across Afghanistan to become the primary enemy of the Taliban since their takeover of the country last August.

Despite Taliban claims to have routed Daesh from its headquarters in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, the militant group's renewed assaults on mosques, schools and buses underscores the intransigent threat it poses.

Last week, 33 Shiite worshippers died in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, when a bomb struck their mosque and an adjacent religious school. Daesh has claimed responsibility for that attack.

There are also other militant groups operating in Afghanistan and despite Taliban promises that Afghan territory would not be used to harbor non-Afghan insurgents, militants fighting many of Afghanistan's neighbors have found a safe haven in the country.

The relentless bombings have prompted protests by minority Shiites and have seriously undermined Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers as they transition from insurgency and war to governing and trying to bring security to the war-ravaged nation.

Associated Press

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