Bomb at Kabul mosque kills 5
KABUL, Afghanistan – At least five civilians were killed in a bomb blast at the entrance to a Kabul, Afghanistan, mosque Sunday, a Taliban official said, describing the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since U.S. forces left at the end of August.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on Islamic State extremists who have stepped up attacks on the Taliban in recent weeks, particularly in the IS stronghold in eastern Afghanistan.
An apparent roadside bomb went off at the gate of the sprawling Eidgah Mosque in Kabul at a time when a memorial service was being held for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. Qari Saeed Khosti confirmed the deaths.
Three suspects have been arrested, Taliban official spokesman Bilal Karimi said. Taliban fighters were not harmed in the attack, he said. He added the investigation was ongoing.
The area around the mosque was cordoned off by the Taliban, who maintained a heavy security presence.
Sunday’s attack is the first to target the capital since late August when an IS suicide bomber targeted American evacuation efforts outside Kabul’s international airport. The blast killed 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members.
On Friday, Taliban fighters raided an IS hideout just north of Kabul in Parwan province. The raid came after an IS roadside bomb wounded four Taliban fighters in the area.