At least 100 people were killed after a powerful explosion at a Shia mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday, an incident that threatens the country’s Taliban rulers with growing threats from rival Islamist groups, including the Islamic State in Khorasan or IS-K. struggles with.
The blast occurred on Friday at the Gojar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque in Kunduz province, when members of a minority Shia religious group gathered in large numbers for weekly prayers.
Taliban’s chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahidi, without mentioning numbers tweeted Worshipers in “large numbers” are “martyrs” or injured.
Later United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan tweeted that more than 100 people were killed and injured.
The Mujahid suggested that the mosque was the intended target and noted that Taliban special forces had arrived at the scene to investigate.
The cause of the blast is yet to be ascertained and no group has claimed responsibility.
Friday’s blasts highlight the ongoing security crisis in Afghanistan as the Taliban government is forced to counter bombings carried out by terrorists belonging to the Islamic State’s local branch, the Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K). There have been several explosions in parts of Afghanistan in recent weeks, including one at a mosque in Kabul. Some of these attacks are claimed by IS-K. The Taliban have carried out some operations in the past few weeks against the rival Sunni militant group’s Kabul cell. Back in August, IS-K launched an attack outside Kabul airport that killed 13 US service members and hundreds of Afghans.
Explosion in Afghan mosque, many killed, witnesses and Taliban say (The Associated Press)