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Jumat, 08 Oktober 2021

Scores dead, wounded in Afghanistan blast, Taliban say - Sydney Morning Herald

Kabul: An explosion at a mosque in northern Afghanistan that targeted Shiite Muslim worshippers left at least 100 people killed or wounded, a Taliban police official said.

The official, Dost Mohammad Obaida, the deputy police chief for Kunduz province, said that the “majority of them have been killed.”

People carry a victim from a mosque following a bombing in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan.

People carry a victim from a mosque following a bombing in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan.Credit:AP

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which took place in the city of Kunduz, the capital of Kunduz province, but Islamic State militants have a long history of attacking Afghanistan’s Shiite Muslim minority.

If confirmed, the death toll in Friday’s attack would be the highest in an attack by militants since US and NATO troops left Afghanistan at the end of August and the Taliban took control of the country. The Taliban have been targeted in a series of deadly IS attacks, including shooting ambushes and an explosion at a mosque in the capital of Kabul.

The blast occurred during the weekly Friday prayer service at the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque. The Friday noon prayer is the highlight of the Muslim religious week, and mosques are typically crowded. Witness Ali Reza said he was praying at the time of the explosion and reported seeing many casualties.

Photos and video from the scene showed rescuers carrying a body wrapped in a blanket from the mosque to an ambulance. The stairs at the entrance of the mosque were covered in blood.

Earlier on Friday, the chief Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Shiite mosque was the target and that a “large number” of worshippers were killed and wounded. He said Taliban special forces had arrived to the scene and were investigating the incident.

The Taliban leadership has been grappling with a growing threat from the local Islamic State affiliate, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan. IS militants have ramped up attacks to target their rivals, including two deadly bombings in Kabul.

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2021-10-08 12:14:59Z
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