Afghanistan: 47 killed during Friday prayers in Fatimiya mosque bombing in Kandahar
By Mehmet Alaca, Bilal Guler, Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat, and S. K. Khan
KANDAHAR/KABUL, Afghanistan (AA): The death toll from a bomb blast that hit a Shia Muslim mosque in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province during Friday prayers rose to 47, according to local officials. The terrorist attack in the Taliban’s heartland was claimed by Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP).
Murtaza Zarifi, a security officer at the Fatimiya mosque, claimed the attack was carried out by two suicide bombers.
The attack also left at least 47 killed while more than 80 wounded according to local officials.
Taliban forces have blocked all roads leading to the mosque where the attack took place.
The spokesman of the Interior Ministry under the Taliban administration, Sayed Khosti, earlier Friday confirmed the incident, announcing in a statement that an investigation has been launched.
Interior ministry spokesman said on Twitter: “We are saddened to learn that an explosion took place in a mosque of the Shia brotherhood in the first district of Kandahar city in which a number of our compatriots were martyred and wounded.”
Taliban special forces arrived in the area “to determine the nature of the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice”, he added.
Because of a rise in attacks on Shia Muslims across Afghanistan in recent years, the Imam Bargah mosque had armed guards until two months ago, Ahmadi tthe Guardian. It is the largest serving the city’s Shia Muslim community and draws hundreds of worshippers to prayers.
“Before the Taliban took over, there were some Shia guards outside the mosque. However, the Taliban collected all guns from these security guards and now there are no people to guard this big mosque although there is obvious risk to Shia people in Afghanistan,” he said.
The explosion comes days after a suicide bomb attack claimed by the Daesh/ISIS terror group on a Shia Muslim mosque in the northern city of Kunduz, which killed 46 people.
Additional report from various agencies
[Photo: View of the scene after a bomb blast hits Shia Muslim community Fatimiya mosque during Friday prayers in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province on October 15, 2021.Photographer: Murteza Khaliqi]
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