Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Kabul Mosque Attack

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Kabul Mosque Attack

Saturday, 21 October, 2017 - 08:15
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack outside a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a mosque in the Afghan capital as officials on Saturday raised the number of casualties from the attack to at least 39 dead, including children, and at least 41 wounded.

In a statement on its website late Friday, the extremist organization claimed a militant "detonated his explosive vest" during Friday prayers in the Shi’ite Imam Zaman mosque in western Kabul.

The attack was one of two on mosques in the country.

A suicide bombing in western Ghor province struck a Sunni mosque, also during Friday prayers, killing at least 33 people, said Mohammad Iqbal Nizami, spokesman for the provincial chief of police.

The Interior Ministry released a statement Saturday saying it was investigating the attack in Kabul's Dashte-e-Barchi neighborhood. It said the assailant blew himself up as worshipers began their prayers.

The attack on the Sunni mosque took place in the Do Laina district of Ghor province, according to Mohammad Iqbal Nizami, the spokesman for the provincial chief of police. He said the target apparently was a local commander, Abdul Ahed, a former warlord who has sided with the government. Seven of his bodyguards were also killed in the bombing. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

This week has been one of the bloodiest in Afghanistan in recent memory, with more than 70 killed, mostly security forces and Afghan soldiers but also civilians as militant attacks have surged.

The Taliban have taken responsibility for the earlier assaults this week that struck security installations in the east and west of the country.

Editor Picks