Kabul mosque attack toll jumps to 32 dead, 41 wounded – officials
KABUL, Afghanistan (UPDATED) – A suicide bomber killed 32 people including women and children and wounded 41 others when he blew himself up in a Shiite mosque in Kabul on Friday, October 20, officials said.
"Unfortunately this evening a suicide bomber detonated himself among the worshippers inside a mosque in Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood of Kabul city," Kabul police spokesman Abdul Basir Mujahid told the Agence France-Presse
The interior ministry confirmed the toll of 32 dead and 41 wounded.
Eyewitnesses earlier told local media that more than 30 people had been killed and around 50 others wounded in the attack but those figures could not be immediately verified.
A spokesperson for the interior ministry said the explosion happened at the Imam Zaman mosque in the west of the city in a Shiite neighbourhood.
"Investigative teams have been deployed. The cause and nature of the explosion have not been determined yet," the spokesperson told AFP.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but recent assaults on Shiite mosques have been carried out by Islamic State militants, who belong to the rival Sunni branch of Islam.
The last attack on a Shiite mosque in Kabul happened on September 29 as Muslims prepared to commemorate Ashura, one of the holiest days in the Islamic calendar.
Six people were killed when a suicide bomber posing as a shepherd blew himself up near Hussainia mosque, one of the biggest Shiite centres in the city, as worshippers gathered for Friday prayers.
An attack on another Shiite mosque in the city on August 25 killed 28 people and wounded around 50 others.
Four attackers who set off explosions and fired gunshots laid siege to the mosque in the north of the capital for four hours as dozens of men, women, and children had gathered for Friday prayers.
In recent years, the Taliban and Islamic State members have repeatedly targeted the minority Shiite community, who number around three million in overwhelmingly Sunni Afghanistan. – Rappler.com