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Kandahar mosque bombings: Death toll rises to 32, 68 others wounded

The explosions occurred inside the Bibi Fatima Shia mosque in police district one (PD1) on Friday afternoon when hundreds of worshippers were offering prayers.

SNS | Kabul |

The death toll from a series of bombings inside a mosque in Afghanistan’s Kandahar city has increased to 32, while 68 others were wounded, state media said.

In a report, Afghanistan’s official Bakhtar News Agency said the explosions occurred inside the Bibi Fatima Shia mosque in police district one (PD1) on Friday afternoon when hundreds of worshippers were offering prayers.

At least four assailants were reportedly involved in the deadly attacks, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying. The number of deaths might increase further as many of the injured were in critical condition, it added. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident yet.

Witnesses told TOLO News that three back-to-back explosions hit the mosque, one of the biggest in Kandahar city.

The Taliban government has condemned the attack. Zabihullah Mujahid, deputy minister for the Ministry of Information and Culture, called it a “major crime”.

The UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan said that those behind the incident should be brought to justice.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday strongly condemned the ‘horrendous terrorist attack’ against the Imam Bargah-e-Fatima Mosque in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province and underlined the need to bring perpetrators of the attack to justice.

Friday’s attack came exactly after a week when another Shia mosque in Kunduz city was hit by a suicide bombing which claimed the lives of at least 50 people.

The IS-K, a local branch of the Islamic State terror group, had claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the deadliest since the US forces left Afghanistan at the end of August.

Following the Taliban takeover, the security situation in Afghanistan has remained calm yet uncertain. A series of bombings were launched by the IS-affiliated militants in recent weeks.

On Thursday, a Taliban district police chief was killed and 11 people were wounded when a vehicle came under attack in Kunar province.

(With IANS inputs)