Death toll from Shia mosque bombing in Afghanistan rises to 60
Kabul, Oct 16 (EFE).- The death toll from Friday’s deadly suicide bombing attack by the Islamic State terror group on a minority Shia mosque in southern Kandahar province has risen to 60.
Most of the families on Saturday were burying their loved ones, although some burials were yet to take place due to the high death toll, officials told Efe.
“The number of those martyred is now 60 and those injured in yesterday’s attack is 75. A few of the injured ones are in critical condition”, a government official in southern Kandahar province told Efe on the condition of anonymity about the attack which was carried out by three armed suicide bombers in Kandahar city during Friday prayers.
The blast took place in the Imam Bargah mosque, the biggest place of worship for Muslim Shia minorities in Kandahar city, where hundreds of worshipers had gathered.
In a statement, Kandahar provincial police said security forces were working to find the perpetrators of the attack.
“The important thing is that the security of this mosque was the responsibility of the Shia brothers, we allowed them to have some weapons, unfortunately they could not secure this mosque. We will take some security measures in future,” it said.
Taliban Interior Ministry spokesman, Qari Saeed Khosty, told Efe after the deadly bombings in Shia mosques in northeastern Kunduz and southern Kandahar provinces, the government is working to take some measures for the security of the Shia mosques in the country.
“We have prepared and taken measures for the security of them (Shia mosques). Our security forces will provide security for the (Shia) mosques in the future,” Khosty said.
But he said the government “would not give them (local Shia people) weapons” for the security of the mosques as was done by the previous government of president Ashraf Ghani.
The previous government distributed weapons to locals in all Shia areas to maintain security at their mosques and shrines, but most of those weapons were collected by the Taliban after they took over the country in August.
Top Shia leader of the country, Mohammad Karim Khalili in a statement “strongly condemned” the “terrorist attack” on the Kandahar Shia mosque.
He said “such attacks which target a specific identity (Shias) is a proof of crime against humanity and its consequences will harm the social and religious stability of Afghanistan.”
The attack came days after a suicide bombing also claimed by IS on a Shia mosque in the northern city of Kunduz killed 80 and wounded about 100 people.
The Kunduz bombing came in the wake of other attacks carried out by the global terror group since the withdrawal of the United States troops from the country on Aug. 30.
The Islamic State has carried out numerous attacks in recent years against the Shia minority, especially the Hazaras.
The terror group has intensified its attacks in Afghanistan after the final withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
The deadliest of these attacks was near the Kabul airport on Aug. 26 that killed about 170 people.
The Taliban have launched massive operations against the IS in different Afghan provinces, aiming to finish a group that they consider the main threat to their government. EFE