Blast kills greater than 50 at Kabul mosque

A robust explosion killed greater than 50 worshippers after Friday prayers at a Kabul mosque, its chief mentioned, the newest in a sequence of assaults on civilian targets in Afghanistan throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The blast hit the Khalifa Sahib Mosque within the west of the capital within the early afternoon, mentioned Besmullah Habib, deputy spokesman for the inside ministry, who mentioned the official confirmed demise toll was 10.

The assault got here as worshippers on the Sunni mosque gathered after Friday prayers for a congregation often called Zikr – an act of non secular remembrance practised by some Muslims however seen as heretical by some hardline Sunni teams.

Sayed Fazil Agha, the top of the mosque, mentioned somebody they believed was a suicide bomber joined them within the ceremony and detonated explosives.

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“Black smoke rose and spread everywhere, dead bodies were everywhere,” he informed Reuters, including that his nephews had been among the many lifeless. “I myself survived, but lost my beloved ones.”

Resident Mohammad Sabir mentioned he had seen wounded individuals being loaded into ambulances.

“The blast was very loud, I thought my eardrums were cracked,” he mentioned.

A well being supply mentioned hospitals had obtained 66 lifeless our bodies and 78 wounded individuals up to now.

The United States and the United Nations’ mission to Afghanistan condemned the assault, with the latter saying it was a part of an uptick in violence in latest weeks concentrating on minorities and including that at the very least two U.N. employees members and their households had been within the mosque on the time of the assault.

“No words are strong enough to condemn this despicable act,” mentioned Mette Knudsen, the U.N. secretary common’s deputy particular consultant for Afghanistan.

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Emergency Hospital in downtown Kabul mentioned it was treating 21 sufferers and two had been lifeless on arrival. A employee at one other hospital treating assault sufferers mentioned it had obtained 49 sufferers and round 5 our bodies. Ten of the sufferers had been in vital situation, the supply added, and nearly 20 had been admitted to the burns unit.

A spokesman for the ruling Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, launched a press release condemning the blast and saying the perpetrators could be discovered and punished.

It was not instantly clear who was accountable.

Scores of Afghan civilians have been killed in latest weeks in blasts, a few of which have been claimed by Islamic State.

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Emergency Hospital mentioned it had handled greater than 100 sufferers wounded in assaults in Kabul in April alone. The newest assault got here on the final Friday within the month of Ramadan through which most Muslims quick, and earlier than the spiritual vacation of Eid subsequent week.

The Taliban say they’ve secured the nation since taking energy in August and largely eradicated Islamic State’s native offshoot, however worldwide officers and analysts say the chance of a resurgence in militancy stays.

Many of the assaults have focused the Shi’ite minority, nonetheless Sunni mosques have additionally been attacked.

Bombs exploded aboard two passenger vans carrying Shi’ite Muslims within the northern metropolis of Mazar-e-Sharif on Thursday, killing at the very least 9 individuals. Last Friday, a blast tore by a Sunni mosque throughout Friday prayers within the metropolis of Kunduz, killing 33.

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