Home Muslim religion Mosque blast in Kabul and IS bombs in northern Afghanistan kill 14

Mosque blast in Kabul and IS bombs in northern Afghanistan kill 14


ISLAMABAD (AP) — A series of explosions rocked Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Taliban said, including an explosion inside a mosque in the capital Kabul that killed at least five worshipers and three bombings against minivans in the north of the country that killed nine passengers.

The local affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the bombings in the van.

Kabul Emergency Hospital said it had received 22 victims of the mosque bombing, including five dead. There were no further details of the blast that hit the Hazrat Zakaria Mosque in the city’s Central Police District 4, according to Khalid Zadran, a Taliban police spokesman in Kabul.

“The blast happened while people were inside the mosque for evening prayers,” Zadran said, adding that they were awaiting an update.

Minivans were targeted in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif after explosive devices were planted inside the vehicles, according to Mohammad Asif Waziri, a spokesman named by the Taliban in Balkh province. He said the blasts left nine people dead and 15 injured.

All of the victims in Mazar-e-Sharif were from the country’s Shia Muslim minority, according to a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give details to the media.

The IS claim of responsibility was published on the Sunni militant group’s Aamaq news agency. The statement said IS targeted three buses with improvised explosive devices.

The Kabul mosque explosion has not been claimed, but it also bore the mark of the Islamic State group’s regional affiliate, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, or IS-K.

The IS affiliate, which has been operating in Afghanistan since 2014, is seen as the biggest security challenge facing the country’s new Taliban leadership. After seizing power when they seized power in Kabul and elsewhere in the country last August, the Taliban launched a massive crackdown on IS headquarters in eastern Afghanistan.