News ID: 316906
Published: 0326 GMT October 08, 2021

Bomb attack kills dozens at Shia mosque in Afghanistan

Bomb attack kills dozens at Shia mosque in Afghanistan

A suicide bomb attack on worshippers at a Shia mosque in the Afghan city of Kunduz killed at least 55 people Friday, in the bloodiest assault since the Taliban takeover of the country in August.

More victims from the minority community were wounded in the blast, which has not been claimed but appears designed to further destabilize Afghanistan. The Daesh terror group has repeatedly targeted Shias in a bid to stir up sectarian violence in Afghanistan.

Matiullah Rohani, the director of culture and information in Kunduz for Afghanistan's new Taliban government, confirmed to AFP that the deadly incident was a suicide attack that also left over 140 wounded.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had earlier said "an explosion took place in a mosque of our Shia compatriots" in Kunduz.

Residents of Kunduz, the capital of a province of the same name, said the blast hit the mosque during Friday prayers.

An international aid worker said there were fears the death toll could rise even further.

"Hundreds of people are gathered at the main gate of the hospital and crying for their relatives but armed Taliban guards are trying to prevent gatherings in case another explosion is planned," he said.

Graphic images shared on social media, which could not immediately be verified, showed several bloodied bodies lying on the floor. Pictures showed plumes of smoke rising into the air over Kunduz.

A video showed men guiding people, including women and children, away from the scene. Frightened crowds thronged the streets.

Shia Muslims have suffered some of Afghanistan's most violent assaults, with rallies bombed, hospitals targeted and commuters ambushed.

Shias make up roughly 20 percent of the Afghan population. Many of them are Hazara, an ethnic group that has been heavily persecuted in Afghanistan for decades.



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