Kunduz Mosque Blast: Around 55 Martyred, Daesh Claims Responsibility
By Staff, Agencies
At least 55 people were martyred on Friday after a suicide bomb attack on worshippers rocked Shia mosque in the Afghan city of Kunduz.
The terrorist attack is the bloodiest assault since the Taliban takeover in August.
The blast took place in the Khanabad Dandar area in the Khanabad district of the province while dozens of people were attending Friday prayer.
In a statement released on its Telegram channel, Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] said a suicide bomber "detonated an explosive vest amid a crowd" of Shia worshippers who had gathered inside the mosque.
Dost Mohammad Obaida, the deputy police chief for Kunduz province, said that the "majority of them have been killed" in reference to the victims. He said the attack may have been carried out by a suicide bomber who had mingled among the worshipers inside the mosque.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that the mosque was targeted and tweeted "This afternoon, an explosion took place in a mosque of our Shia compatriots in the Khan Abad district of Bandar, the capital of Kunduz province, as a result of which a number of our compatriots were martyred and wounded."
Shia Muslims have long been a target of violence by extremists in predominately Sunni Afghanistan. The Taliban, which regained control of the country after two decades out of power, have specifically targeted the minority group in the past.
The attack comes as the Taliban contend with a growing threat from Daesh, who have stepped up their attacks in recent weeks.
Several civilians were killed or wounded in a bomb blast at a mosque in Kabul last week.