Taliban official: At least 100 dead, wounded in Afghan blast

AP National News

Courtesy: The Associated Press- People view the damage inside of a mosque following a bombing in Kunduz, province northern Afghanistan, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. A powerful explosion in the mosque frequented by a Muslim religious minority in northern Afghanistan on Friday has left several casualties, witnesses and the Taliban’s spokesman said. (AP Photo/Abdullah Sahil)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion went off Friday among Shiite Muslim worshippers at a mosque in northern Afghanistan, killing or wounding at least 100 people, a Taliban police official said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which took place in Kunduz, the capital of Kunduz province, but militants from the Islamic State group have a long history of attacking Afghanistan’s Shiite Muslim minority.

Dost Mohammad Obaida, the deputy police chief for Kunduz province, said that the “majority of them have been killed.” He said the attack may have been carried out by a suicide bomber who mingled among the worshipers.

“I assure our Shiite brothers that the Taliban are prepared to ensure their safety,” Obaida said, adding that an investigation was underway.

If confirmed, a death toll of dozens would be the highest since U.S. and NATO forces left Afghanistan at the end of August and the Taliban took control of the country. The Taliban have been targeted in a series of deadly IS attacks, including shooting ambushes and an explosion at a mosque in the capital of Kabul.

The explosion went off during the weekly Friday prayer service at the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque. The Friday noon prayer is the highlight of the Muslim religious week, and mosques are typically crowded. Witness Ali Reza said he was praying at the time of the explosion and reported seeing many casualties.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories