At least 50 killed as explosion rocks Shia mosque in northern Afghanistan

A powerful explosion on Friday rocked a mosque belonging to the Shia minority community in northern Afghanistan, leaving at least 50 dead and several more injured

Oct 08, 2021
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A powerful explosion on Friday rocked a mosque belonging to the Shia minority community in northern Afghanistan, leaving at least 50 dead and several more injured. The  Taliban’s spokesman confirmed the incident without revealing any details. The blast happened in a Shiite mosque in Kunduz province during the weekly Friday prayer service at the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque. At the time members of the Shiite religious minority typically come in large numbers for worship. 

The gruesome video of the site after the explosion circulating on social media platforms shows many people lying dead with their body parts scattered on the mosque floor. 

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesperson, said the Shiite mosque was the target and that a “large number” of worshippers were killed and wounded. He further added that the Taliban special forces had arrived at the scene and were investigating the incident.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the ISKP is a likely suspect behind the blast. The group has been involved in several attacks and suicide bombings targeting the Taliban and civilians in the past.

After the Taliban came to power, ISKP has intensified its attacks on Taliban fighters.

The Taliban leadership has been grappling with a growing threat from the local Islamic State affiliate, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan. IS militants have ramped up attacks to target their rivals, including two deadly bombings in Kabul.

The IS has also targeted Afghanistan’s religious minorities in attacks.

In a recent incident, the ISKP had allegedly beheaded a Taliban fighter. And, the Taliban in response allegedly beheaded a person with suspected links to the ISKP. The conflict between the two groups has been growing. 

So far the clashes between the Taliban and the ISKP have been limited to Kabul and the eastern province of Nangahar, mainly in capital Jalalabad. However, the Friday attack, if conducted by the group, signals the widening scope of the conflict between the two Jihadi forces. 

Local reports also suggested that the ISKP has recently appointed its shadow governors for all provinces and districts just like the Taliban used to run shadow government in the last two decades. 

Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yuri Kokov has recently said that the degradation of the humanitarian situation may contribute to the strengthening of radical groups active in Afghanistan


(SAM)