A powerful explosion has killed more than 50 worshippers in Kabul mosque, Reuters reported. This is the latest, in a series of attacks on civilian targets in Afghanistan during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
On Friday, hundreds of worshippers had gathered for prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramdan and the Khalifa Aga Gul Jan Mosque was packed, fearing the casualty toll could rise further.
The Associated Press reported that the Taliban-appointed interior ministry spokesman, Mohammad Nafi Takor, could not provide more details and Taliban security men cordoned off the area.
The source of the explosion was not immediately known and no one has claimed responsibility for the blast.
The explosion was so loud that the neighbourhood of the mosque shook from the blast, the residents said, speaking on condition of anonymity, fearing for their own safety.
Ambulances raced to the site, driving up to the end of a narrow street in an eastern neighbourhood of Kabul to reach the mosque, which belongs to Afghanistan’s majority Sunni Muslims.
The explosion was the latest in a series of such blasts amid relentless attacks across the country. Similar attacks on mosques have recently targeted the country’s minority Shiite Muslims and were claimed by the Islamic State group’s regional affiliate, known as Islamic State in Khorasan Province or IS-K.
The IS has stepped up its attacks across Afghanistan to become the primary enemy of the Taliban since their takeover of the country last August.
Earlier, the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for two bombings in the country’s north that targeted the country’s minority Hazara ethnic group.
Thursday’s car bombings in Mazar-e-Sharif killed at least nine people and wounded 13 others, according to local Taliban officials. The Hazaras are mostly Shiite Muslims, who IS considered heretics. An IS statement said 30 Shiites were killed or wounded in the two attacks.
Afghanistan’s minority Shiite Muslims are reviled by Sunni radicals like IS, and have been targeted in a series of bombings in the past week. The IS affiliate known as IS in Khorasan Province, or IS-K, has attacked mosques, public buses, and schools.