The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide attack on a Shia mosque in the Afghan province of Kunduz, which killed at least 46 people.
The claim was made by the IS-affiliated Amaq news agency and quoted by the site Intelligence Group, which monitors terrorist postings, just hours after the explosion at the packed Gujar-e-Saeed Abad mosque in Kunduz city. Done.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter: “This afternoon, an explosion occurred at a mosque belonging to our Shia compatriot … resulting in the martyrdom and wounding of many of our compatriots.” reached the spot and were investigating the incident.
According to Afghanistan’s state-run Bakhtar news agency, 46 people were killed in the attack and more than 140 were injured inside the mosque, but there were reports that the death toll could be higher.
Confused about the exact death toll, the Mujahid confirmed that a “large number” of worshipers were killed and injured amid confusion over the exact number of casualties.
Friday’s attack is the deadliest in the country since US and NATO troops left Afghanistan and the Taliban took control of the country in late August.
Every week large numbers of Muslim worshipers gather in mosques to offer Friday prayers, the most important Islamic ritual of the week.
Video footage on social media showed widespread destruction inside the mosque and bodies of people and injured worshipers being pulled out of the building.
Hussaindad Rezai, a resident of the area, said that as soon as the prayers started, he reached the mosque after hearing the sound of the explosion. “I had come in search of my relatives, the mosque was full,” he said.
The UN mission in Afghanistan said the blast was part of a disturbing pattern of violence, following several brutal attacks by ISIS on the country’s Shia Muslim minority in the past. It follows other attacks on a mosque in Kabul and a religious school in Khost province in recent days.
A prominent Shia cleric, Syed Hussein Alimi Balkhi, condemned the attack and called on the Taliban to protect the Shia minorities in Afghanistan.
“We expect the security forces of the government to provide security to the mosques as they collected the weapons provided to protect the places of worship,” he said.
The Taliban have faced major challenges since coming to power in August. The main threat stems from the IS-K organization, which the Taliban have said will come under control and campaign against the group’s cells in Kabul.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has accused the Taliban of massacre and brutally torturing several members of the Hazara minority in Afghanistan in August.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /