Blast at Shia mosque kills 37, wounds 70
A blast in a mosque in southern Afghanistan killed 37 people and wounded at least 70 others during Friday Prayer yesterday, officials said, the second such attack on a Shia place of worship on successive Fridays in the country.
The attack, which eyewitnesses said involved multiple blasts, took place in Kandahar city — considered the heart of the reestablished Taliban government. And though no group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosions, the Islamic State group said it was behind a similar strike on a Shia mosque in Kunduz province, in the northern part of the country, on Oct 8 that killed more than 40 people.
Shams Samim, a Taliban official in charge of the culture and information media section in Kandahar, said the latest attack killed 37 people and injured at least 70.
“We have no idea if it was a suicide bomber or an IED — but it was powerful, human flesh and blood were seen all around the mosque,” said Mohammad Ali, a worshipper who was at the mosque, referring to an improvised explosive device.
Mr Ali said the Taliban arrived shortly after the attack and cordoned off the area.
The insurgents-turned-rulers have highlighted their ability to provide security to Afghan citizens after the collapse of the Western-backed government in August.
But that pledge has become increasingly difficult to uphold as Taliban fighters are now responsible for securing major urban centers like Kandahar.