At least 21 killed in Kabul mosque blast - GulfToday

At least 21 killed in Kabul mosque blast


Taliban and local residents gather around a mosque that has been bombed, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday. AP

A Taliban police spokesman in Afghanistan's capital says the toll from a mosque bombing has risen to 21 people killed, including a prominent cleric, and 33 wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the latest to strike the country in the year since the Taliban seized power. Several children were reported to be among the wounded.


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The Daesh group's local affiliate has stepped up attacks targeting the Taliban and civilians since the former insurgents' takeover last August as US and NATO troops were in the final stages of their withdrawal from the country. Last week, Daesh claimed responsibility for killing a prominent Taliban cleric at his religious centre in Kabul.

According to the eyewitness, a resident of the city's Kher Khanna neighbourhood where the Siddiquiya Mosque was targeted, a suicide bomber carried out the explosion. The slain cleric was Mullah Amir Mohammad Kabuli, the eyewitness said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Mourners carry the body of a victim of a mosque bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday. AP

He added that more than 30 other people were wounded. The Italian Emergency hospital in Kabul said that at least 27 wounded civilians, including five children, were brought there from the site of the bomb blast.

Khalid Zadran, the Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Kabul police chief, confirmed an explosion inside a mosque in northern Kabul but would not provide a casualty toll or a breakdown of the dead and wounded.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also condemned the explosion and vowed that the "perpetrators of such crimes will soon be brought to justice and will be punished.”

There were fears the casualty numbers could rise further. On Thursday morning, one witness to the blast who gave his name as Qyaamuddin told The Associated Press he believed as many as 25 people may have been killed in the blast.

"It was evening prayer time, and I was attending the prayer with others, when the explosion happened,” Qyaamuddin said. Some Afghans go by a single name.

Associated Press


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