Suicide attack hits Kandahar mosque during prayers

Suicide attack hits Kandahar mosque during prayers
The blast in southern Kandahar comes exactly a week after a similar explosion at a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz. Source: BBC
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Daily US Times: More than 30 people were killed and dozens more injured after a suicide attack tore through a Shia mosque during Friday prayers in Afghanistan’s Kandahar.

Pictures from inside the Bibi Fatima mosque show bodies lying on the ground and shattered windows, while other worshippers try to help.

Reuters news agency quoted a local reporter saying eyewitnesses described three suicide attackers.

One of the suicide bombers detonated their device at the door of the mosque, with two more setting off theirs inside the building.

Friday prayers are the busiest congregation of the week, and the mosque was full of worshippers at the time. An AFP journalist said that at least 15 ambulances were at the scene afterwards.

Taliban special forces have secured the location and have asked people to donate blood to help the victims.

No group has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack yet. But Secunder Kermani, BBC Afghanistan correspondent, says that IS-K, a local branch of the Islamic State Group, is expected to say it was behind the blasts.

Kandahar is the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban and Afghanistan’s second largest city, so an attack in the city by IS-K – which is extremely hostile towards the Taliban – would be significant.

A suicide attack on another Shia mosque during last week’s Friday prayers in the northern city of Kunduz killed at least 50 people. IS-K said acknowledged the responsibility of the attack, which was the deadliest since US forces left at the end of August.

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