Explosion in Afghan Shia mosque kills at least 32 worshipers
Kabul, Oct 15 (EFE).- At least 32 worshipers died, and many others suffered injuries in a powerful explosion that ripped through a Shia mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar during Friday prayers, officials said.
“The number of the dead evacuated so far from the mosque is 32. We brought more than 50 injured persons to a Kandahar hospital,” a local official in Kandahar told EFE on the condition of anonymity.
The official feared that the death toll was likely to increase.
The blast took place in the Imam Bargah mosque, the biggest place of worship for Muslim Shia minorities in the Kandahar city, where hundreds of worshipers had gathered for weekly Friday prayers.
Several residents told EFE that the explosion went off around 1 pm, the time for worshipers to gather and offer congregational prayers.
“We continue to see ambulances taking victims to hospital,” one of the residents, Ehsas, said.
Interior ministry spokesperson Qari Saeed Khosty told EFE that the blast tore through the mosque “of our Shia brothers” leaving many dead and injured.
Special Taliban forces have arrived to secure the blast site and start the probe.
Videos from the attack site posted online by journalists and witnesses showed bodies covered with blood scattered on the ground filled with the debris of the damaged mosque.
The Taliban, who took control of the country since Aug.15, confirmed the attack but did not release official data about the casualties.
The attack came days after a suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State on a Shia mosque in the northern city of Kunduz killed 80 and wounded about 100 people.
The Islamic State terror group claimed that a suicide bomber last Friday killed at least 80 people and wounded around 100 during midday prayers at a Shia mosque in Kunduz province.
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.
However, some victims of the latest bombing belonged to the Pashtun ethnic group, the majority in the country.
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 Islamic State in different Afghan provinces, aiming to finish a group that they consider the main threat to their government. EFE