Conflicts & War

Explosion in Afghan Shia mosque kills at least 40 worshipers

(Update 2: Updates casualty figures, edits throughout)

Kabul, Oct 15 (EFE).- A suicide bomb attack during Friday prayers at a minority Shia mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar has killed at least 40 people and injured 75, officials said.

“As of now we have confirmed 40 dead and 75 injured, but the real number (of injured) is higher because some families took casualties to their homes and they have not been counted,” Muqtada Miran, a local lawmaker, told EFE.

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 for weekly Friday prayers. The attack has the hallmarks of the Islamic State terror organization.

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 on Aug.15, confirmed the attack but did not release official data about the casualties.

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