Suicide bomb kills at least 32 mosque in Afghanistan

At least 32 people were killed in a suicide bombing on Friday in a Shiite mosque in the city of Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan, a week after a bloody attack in the same circumstances in Kunduz (northeast) , claimed by Daesh. “Thirty-two dead and 53 injured have been brought to our hospital so far,” a spokesperson for Kandahar Central Hospital said on condition of anonymity. The explosions hit the Fatemieh Mosque, also known as the Imam Bargah Mosque, in central Kandahar, the country’s second largest city, during the weekly Friday prayer.

A witness, who requested anonymity, said he heard three explosions, one at the main door of the mosque, another in its southern part and the last where believers come to do their ablution. About fifteen ambulances attended, while Taliban security forces were deployed around the site, access to which remained blocked. Early images of the interior of the mosque, which could not be authenticated immediately, showed bloody bodies lying on the floor of the mosque.

No claim at this stage

These explosions come exactly one week after a suicide bombing attack on a Shiite mosque in Kunduz (northeast), claimed by Daesh and which left dozens of victims. “We are saddened to learn that an explosion took place in a mosque of the Shiite brotherhood (…) in the city of Kandahar, in which a number of our compatriots were killed and wounded,” tweeted the spokesperson. Taliban word from Interior Ministry Qari Sayed Khosti. “Special forces from the Islamic Emirate have arrived in the area to determine the nature of the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice,” he added.

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This suicide bombing has not been claimed at this stage. Since coming to power on August 15, the Taliban, who have made the return to security in the country after twenty years of war their priority, have been faced with a wave of bloody attacks led by Daesh. Its local branch, the Islamic State-Khorasan (EI-K), has targeted the Taliban and the Afghan Shiite minority in recent weeks. At the same time last Friday in Kunduz, a suicide bomber unleashed an explosive vest in the crowd during the big Friday prayer at the Shiite mosque of Gozar-e-Sayed, killing at least 40 worshipers.

The Kunduz bombing is the deadliest attack since US troops left the country on August 30. The IS-K, a Sunni rival group of the Taliban and which presents itself as the sole guarantor of a successful vision of Islam, has repeatedly targeted the Shiite minority in recent years, considered to be “heretical”. The Taliban themselves have often attacked Afghan Shiites, members of the Hazara community, which represents between 10 and 20% of the Afghan population (approximately 40 million). But since coming to power, they have determined to guarantee its security.

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