Conflicts & War

IS claims attack against Shia mosque in Afghanistan that killed at least 80

(Update 1: changes headline, re-ledes with new information)

Kabul, Oct 8 (EFE).- The Islamic State terror group on Friday claimed an attack that killed at least 80 people and wounded around 100 during Friday prayers at a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province, although the casualties have not been confirmed officially.

“A heavy blast took place inside the Sayed-Abad mosque in which 80 members of the Shia community were martyred and around 100 more injured,” Ghulam Rabani Rabani, a former member of the Kunduz Provincial Council, told EFE.

Nazir Naeemi, a local who was present at the site, told EFE that “around 90 to 100 people seemed to have died and some 150-200 others were injured, while the mosque was partially damaged.”

The former director of the refugee department in Kunduz, Muhamad Akbar, confirmed that “hundreds of people” had gathered at the mosque for the weekly prayers and the number of casualties could be above 100.

Videos from the attack site showed dozens of dead bodies covered with blood scattered on the ground amid debris as people scrambled for help.

The Taliban, who have assumed full control of the country since Aug. 15, confirmed the attack but have not released official data about the casualties.

“There has been a heavy blast in Kunduz province that inflicted heavy casualties on people, we do not have the exact figures of the victims at the moment” Jawad Sargar, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, told EFE.

The group’s spokesperson Bilal Karimi said that its soldiers had reached the area in Kunduz city, the capital of the eponymous province, and begun an investigation.

The incident comes after two people were killed on Sunday in an explosion at the entrance of a mosque in Kabul, where the funeral of Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid’s mother was in progress.

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