At least four killed in Kabul mosque blast - GulfToday

At least four killed in Kabul mosque blast


Afghans inspect the inside of a mosque following a bombing in Kabul. AP

At least four people were killed after a blast ripped through a crowd during Friday prayers at a mosque in Kabul, Afghan officials said, in the latest attack on the city ahead of potential talks with insurgents.

"Based on our initial information, at around noon explosives placed inside the mosque detonated during Friday prayers," interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said in a message to journalists.

A health ministry spokesman also confirmed the toll, saying the prayer leader and three worshippers were killed at the Sher Shah Suri mosque, while several others were wounded.

The attack comes a week after Daesh-claimed attack killed two people, including a popular prayer leader, at a mosque on the edge of Kabul's heavily fortified green zone.

Afghan-Forces-750 Afghan security forces stand guard near the site of an attack in Kabul. Reuters

Afghanistan is juggling multiple crises, with the coronavirus rapidly spreading across the country and continuing violence even as the government and Taliban signal they are getting closer to sitting down for talks.

UAE condemns attack

The UAE has strongly condemned the bomb attack that targeted a mosque in the west of the Afghan capital Kabul that resulted in four deaths.

In a statement today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation emphasised that the UAE utterly condemns these criminal acts and rejects all forms of violence

and terrorism aimed at destabilising security and stability in contravention of religious and human values and principles.

The Ministry also expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this heinous criminal act and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani vowed on Thursday to complete a Taliban prisoner release that is a key condition to the launch of peace talks with the insurgents.

Once the swap is done, the two sides have pledged to begin negotiations that could end nearly 19 years of war.

The Taliban have largely refrained from launching major attacks on Afghan cities since February, when they signed a deal with the US meant to pave the way for peace talks with the Kabul government.

A ceasefire during last month's Eid al Fitr holidays also sparked hopes that the two sides may be getting closer to holding negotiations even as a recent uptick in fighting has tempered expectations.

The ceasefire was just the second observed in the country since the Taliban were toppled by a US invasion in 2001 following the September 11 attacks by Al-Qaeda, whose leader Osama Bin Laden was sheltered by the regime.

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