At least 18 killed in mosque explosion in Afghanistan’s Kunduz, says official

Logo 2021-10-08 01:10    Hamro Biratnagar

Afghans inspect the inside of a mosque following a bombing in Kunduz province northern Afghanistan, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. A powerful explosion in a mosque frequented by a Muslim religious minority in northern Afghanistan on Friday has left several casualties, witnesses and the Taliban's spokesman said. (AP Photo/Abdullah Sahil)

At least 18 worshipers were killed and over 50 others wounded when a bomb attack hit a mosque during Friday prayers in Kunduz city, captial of Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province, a provincial source confirmed on Friday.

"The explosion occurred roughly at 2:00 p.m. local time in our Shiite countrymen's mosque, as a result several worshipers were killed and wounded," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on twitter.

Taliban security forces have cordoned off the site in Sayyed Abad neighborhood of the city for precautionary measures. Local residents said that the nature of the blast could be a suicide bomb explosion.

"Special Forces of Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan are at the site. They are investigating the incident," Mujahid added.

Meantime, Maulvi Haqnawaz, deputy to provincial health directorate, told Xinhua that 18 people were killed and over 50 wounded. He said the number of casualties may rise further.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

The security situation has remained generally calm but uncertain across Afghanistan since the Taliban's takeover in mid-August.

However, a spate of bomb attacks were staged by Islamic State (IS) affiliated militants in the country's national capital of Kabul and Jalalabad city, capital of eastern Nangarhar province in recent weeks.

On Sunday, eight people were killed and 20 others wounded in an explosion outside a mosque in Kabul for which the IS militants claimed responsibility.