At least 10 die in blast at mosque in Kabul
Scores of Afghan civilians have been killed in recent weeks in blasts, some of which have been claimed by Islamic State
Kabul — A powerful blast hit a mosque in Kabul on Friday, killing at least 10 people and wounding more than a dozen, officials said, amid a spate of attacks on places of worship and civilian targets in Afghanistan during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The blast hit the Khalifa Sahib Mosque in the west of the capital at about 2pm, said Besmullah Habib, deputy spokesperson for the interior ministry.
This was just as worshippers at the Sunni mosque gathered after Friday prayers for a congregation known as Zikr — an act of religious remembrance practised by some Muslims but seen as heretical by some hardline Sunni groups.
One man who was inside the mosque at the time said the huge blast tore through the building during prayers, the explosion burning his feet and hands.
Mohammad Sabir, a resident in the area, said he had seen people being loaded into ambulances after the explosion.
“The blast was very loud, I thought my eardrums were cracked,” he said.
Emergency Hospital in downtown Kabul said it was treating 20 patients wounded in the blast. A nurse at another hospital, who declined to be named, said they had received several injured people in critical condition.
Scores of Afghan civilians have been killed in recent weeks in blasts, some of which have been claimed by Islamic State (IS). The latest attack came on the last Friday in the month of Ramadan in which most Muslims fast, and before the religious holiday of Eid next week.
The country’s Taliban rulers say they have secured the country since taking power in August and largely eliminated IS’s local offshoot, but international officials and analysts say the risk of a resurgence in militancy remains.
Many of the attacks have targeted the Shiite religious minority; however, Sunni mosques have also been attacked.
Bombs exploded aboard two passenger vans carrying Shiite Muslims in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif on Thursday, killing at least nine people. Last Friday, a blast tore through a Sunni mosque during Friday prayers in the city of Kunduz, killing 33 people.
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