Blast rips through crowded Kabul mosque killing 21

A huge explosion has ripped through a crowded mosque in the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing 21 people, police said.

Another 33 people were injured, Kabul police spokesman, Khalid Zadran, added.

Wednesday’s blast occurred during evening prayers. The mosque’s Imam, Amir Muhammad Kabuli, is reported to be among the dead.

It is unclear who was behind the attack, a week after Islamic State (IS) militants killed a pro-Taliban cleric in a suicide bomb blast, also in Kabul.

Security forces have now sealed off the blast scene in Kabul.

Witnesses described hearing a powerful explosion which shattered windows in nearby buildings.

“I saw that so many people were killed, even people were thrown out of the windows of the mosque,” one eyewitness told Reuters news agency.

Stefano Sozza, the head of the medical charity Emergency, which runs the city’s main hospital, told the BBC his group had already treated 35 people, including children.

“Our doctors… operated (on) the patients in need of surgical assistance all night long. The injuries were mainly related to the blast, so there were shells inside the bodies and burning injuries all over the bodies of the victims.”

He said he believed the blast was inside the mosque. “There was probably someone entering during the prayer time, so it was crowded at that moment and then (the attacker) activated this body burning improvised explosive device.

“So that all the persons that were close to the attacker were basically dead and the ones all around received several injuries,” Mr Sozza said.

News agency AP quoted Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, as saying that the “perpetrators of such crimes will soon be brought to justice and will be punished”.

But in a series of tweets, the United Nations (UN) mission in Afghanistan (UBNAMA) urged the Taliban to take “concrete steps” to prevent terrorism and provide additional support to vulnerable communities.

It said the attack was “the latest in a disturbing series of bombings which have killed and injured more than 250 people in recent weeks, the highest monthly number of civilian casualties over the last year”.

Senior Taliban officials are meeting more than 2,000 tribal and religious elders on Thursday in Afghanistan’s second city, Kandahar, the movement’s main power base. –Reuters/BBC/AP

Show More
Back to top button