Stamford Advocate

IS bomber kills 46, challenges Taliban

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An Islamic State suicide bomber struck at a mosque packed with Shiite Muslim worshipper­s in northern Afghanista­n on Friday, killing at least 46 people and wounding dozens in the latest security challenge to the Taliban as they transition from insurgency to governance.

In its claim of responsibi­lity, the region’s IS affiliate identified the bomber as a Uygher Muslim, saying the attack targeted both Shiites and the Taliban for their purported willingnes­s to expel Uyghers to meet demands from China. The statement was carried by the IS-linked Aamaq news agency.

The blast tore through a crowded mosque in the city of Kunduz during Friday noon prayers, the highlight of the Muslim religious week. It was the latest in a series of IS bombings and shootings that have targeted Afghanista­n’s new Taliban rulers, as well as religious institutio­ns and minority Shiites since U.S. and NATO troops left in August.

The blast blew out windows, charred the ceiling and scattered debris and twisted metal across the floor.

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