Blast strikes Shiite mosque during Friday prayers in Afghanistan’s north

An Afghan police spokesman says a suicide bomber blew himself up during Friday prayers at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan

ByThe Associated Press

October 13, 2023, 8:42 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide bomber blew himself up among worshippers attending Friday prayers at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan, killing at least seven people and wounding 15 others, a police spokesperson said.

The attack happened in the city of Pol-e-Khomri, the capital of Baghlan province, police spokesman Sher Ahmad Borhani said in a statement. Security officials were working to determine how the attacker reached the area to strike at the Imam Zaman mosque.

Hours later, the Islamic State extremist group issued a statement claiming responsibility. The group has also targeted Afghanistan’s minority Shiites in past large-scale attacks.

The Taliban footage from the mosque showed debris strewn over a red-carpeted floor, scattered personal items and bodies covered with shrouds.

The regional affiliate of IS, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, increased attacks on mosques and minorities across the country after the Taliban seized power in August 2021.

IS, which has operated in Afghanistan since 2014, is seen as the greatest security challenge facing the country’s Taliban rulers. Following their takeover, the Taliban launched a sweeping crackdown against the militant group.

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