The Washington Post

At least 18 die in blast at mosque in Herat

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Eighteen Afghans were killed and dozens wounded as a blast ripped through a mosque in Afghanista­n’s western Herat province, the latest in a series of attacks on worshipers.

The explosion occurred as one of the people at the mosque stepped forward to greet proTaliban cleric Mujib Rahman Ansari before the Friday prayers, Mahmoud Shah Rassouli, a police spokesman for the province, said by phone. A spokesman for Herat’s governor, Hameedulla­h Motawakel, confirmed the number of casualties in a separate text to reporters.

It was not clear Friday who was behind the blast. The Taliban condemned the attack in a Twitter post, saying Ansari was killed in a “cowardly” manner and that it’s looking into the case. The cleric strongly supported Taliban rule, saying in an event in Kabul in July that whoever stood against the group must be “beheaded.”

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