At least 62 worshippers were killed and dozens injured after a twin blast hit a mosque in Nangarhar province during Friday prayers, according to officials.
The incident took place in the afternoon in the Jaw Dara area of Haska Meyna district, TOLO news reported.
According to Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said “The blast was carried out with “explosives that were placed inside the mosque”.
No group has claimed the responsibility for the attack yet.
Zahir Adil, a spokesman for the public health department in Nangarhar province, said that 23 injured people were taken to Jalalabad, the provincial capital, and the rest were being treated in a Haska Mena clinic.
Witnesses said the roof of the mosque had fallen through after the “loud” explosion. Some 350 worshippers were inside at the time, local resident Omar Ghorzang told AFP.
The blast came the day after the UN said the number of civilian deaths in the war-torn country had reached unprecedented levels over the summer.
President Ashraf Ghani spokesman Sediq Sediqqi condemned the Friday’s mosque blast in a post on Twitter.
Sediqqi took to Twitter, saying “The Afghan government strongly condemns today’s suicide attack in a mosque in Nangarhar province”.
The Afghan government strongly condemns today’s suicide attack in a mosque in Nangarhar province in which 26 innocent Afghans lost their lives and many others wounded. The Taliban and their partners heinous crimes continue to target civilians in time of worship.
— Sediq Sediqqi (@SediqSediqqi) October 18, 2019
“The Taliban and their partners [in] heinous crimes continue to target civilians in time of worship,” he wrote.
Earlier in September, 12 people have been killed and dozens wounded after a Taliban suicide bomber driving an explosives-laden car blew himself up near a heavily-guarded government office complex in the centre of the Afghan capital.
According to the UN, 1,174 civilians were killed between July and September, the deadliest quarter since UN records began a decade ago.