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