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Deadly Explosions Hit Afghanistan’s Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif
By Staff, Agencies
A series of explosions in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif has left nine people killed while a blast at a mosque in the capital Kabul claimed the lives of at least five worshippers, according to officials.
A bomb exploded inside a mosque in the capital Kabul late on Wednesday, killing five people and wounding 22 others.
Several ambulances rushed to the mosque in Kabul to ferry the victims of the blast, witnesses said.
There were no further details on the blast that struck the Hazrat Zakaria Mosque in the city’s central Police District 4, according to Khalid Zadran, a Taliban police spokesman in Kabul.
“The blast took place while people were inside the mosque for the evening prayers,” Zadran said, adding that they were waiting for an update.
Meanwhile, minibuses were targeted in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif and explosive devices were placed inside the vehicles, according to Mohammad Asif Waziri, a Taliban-appointed spokesman in Balkh province. He said the explosions killed nine and wounded 15 others.
“The bombs were placed on three minibuses in different districts of the city,” Waziri said, adding that 15 other people were wounded.
Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’ terrorist group] claimed responsibility for the Mazar-e-Sharif attacks in a message posted on the group’s Aamaq news agency.
There was no claim of responsibility for the Kabul mosque explosion so far but it also bore the hallmarks of a regional affiliate of the Daesh group known as the ‘Islamic State’ in Khorasan Province, ISKP [ISIS-K].
The number of bomb attacks have dropped across the country since the Taliban seized power last year in August, but several cities were rocked by bombings during the holy month of Ramadan.
Dozens of civilians were martyred in Ramadan in the primarily sectarian attacks – some claimed by the ‘ISKP.’
The ‘ISKP,’ which has been operating in Afghanistan since 2014, is being seen as the greatest security challenge facing the country’s Taliban rulers.
Following their takeover, the Taliban has launched a sweeping crackdown against the ‘ISKP’ headquarters in eastern Afghanistan.
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