Mosque at­tack kills at least 29 Afghans

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

KABUL, Afghanistan — A sui­cide bomber stormed into the largest Shi­ite Mus­lim mosque in Afghanistan’s Herat prov­ince Tues­day, open­ing fire on wor­ship­pers be­fore blow­ing him­self up in an at­tack that killed at least 29 peo­ple and wounded 64 oth­ers, 10 of them crit­i­cally, a hos­pi­tal of­fi­cial said.

Me­hdi Ha­did, a law­maker from Herat, who went to the site soon after the ex­plo­sion, said the scene was one of hor­rific car­nage. He es­ti­mated at least 100 dead or wounded peo­ple were scat­tered through­out the mosque. The at­tack took place in the mid­dle of evening prayers, when the mosque was packed with about 300 wor­ship­pers.

At Herat Main Hos­pi­tal, Dr. Mo­hammed Rafique Shehrzai con­firmed 29 bodies were trans­ported to the hos­pi­tal in Herat city, the cap­i­tal of western Herat prov­ince.

Ha­did said he saw sev­eral pieces of a body that was being iden­ti­fied as the as­sailant. Al­though it’s not clear whether there was a sec­ond at­tacker, wit­nesses in the area re­ported hear­ing a sec­ond ex­plo­sion about 10 min­utes after the ini­tial bomber det­o­nated his ex­plo­sives.

No one im­me­di­ately claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for Tues­day’s at­tack on Herat’s Jawa­dia Mosque. How­ever, after its at­tack Mon­day on the Iraqi Em­bassy in the Afghan cap­i­tal, Kabul, the Is­lamic State mil­i­tant group warned Shi­ites in Afghanistan that they are tar­gets.

AP/HAMED SARFARAZI

Rel­a­tives mourn Tues­day after a sui­cide at­tack that killed at least 29 peo­ple at a Shi­ite mosque in Herat prov­ince, Afghanistan.

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