Bomb blast at Kabul mosque kills several civilians

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A Taliban spokesman said a bomb exploded at the entrance of a mosque in the Afghan capital on Sunday, killing “several civilians”.

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The bombs targeted the huge Idgah mosque in Kabul, where a memorial service was being held for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who later tweeted that the attack claimed civilian lives.

An Italian-funded hospital in Kabul, the emergency NGO, tweeted that four people were injured in the blast.

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The area around the mosque was cordoned off by the Taliban and tight security arrangements were made.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, attacks against them by militants of the Islamic State group have increased. The escalation has raised the prospect of a wider conflict between the two extremist groups.

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IS maintains a strong presence in the eastern province of Nangarhar and considers the Taliban an enemy. It has claimed several attacks against him, including several murders in the provincial capital Jalalabad.

Attacks in Kabul have so far been rare, but in recent weeks IS has indicated it is expanding its footprint beyond the east and towards the capital. Taliban fighters raided an IS base north of Kabul in Parwan province on Friday. The raid took place after an IS roadside bomb wounded four Taliban fighters in the area.

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