Afghanistan: Blast hits mosque during Friday prayers; many injured

At least 12 people including the local Imam (person who leads the prayer) have been injured during a bomb blast in a mosque in the Spin Ghar area of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan during Friday prayers.

The blast reportedly occurred at around 1:30 p.m. when explosives located in the interior of the mosque detonated.

News agency AFP quoted an unnamed Taliban official saying that the blast caused fatalities and injuries. “I can confirm a blast during Friday prayers inside a mosque in Spin Ghar district,” the official said.

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This is the third attack on a mosque during the Friday prayers in Afghanistan in the last few weeks. The last two attacks were on Shia mosques.

On October 8 a blast took place at a mosque in Kunduz province, killing and wounding dozens of people. In another similar attack, an explosion struck a mosque in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar city during the weekly Friday prayers on October 15.

Just a day ago, the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan downplayed the security threat posed by the Islamic State (IS), and claimed that the security forces have arrested 600 militants affiliated with the terror group over the past three months.

“The security forces of the Islamic Emirate have destroyed 21 bases of the IS group in different provinces including Kabul, Nangarhar and Herat and also captured about 600 militants over the past three months,” Xinhua news agency quoted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid as saying to reporters at a press briefing.

Mujahid said the group doesn’t enjoy support from Afghans and its activities are under control.

The spokesman also assured that the crackdown on the armed group would continue.

“Afghanistan’s soil won’t be used against any country.”

The remarks come as the US and its allies are concerned over the alleged presence of Al Qaeda, IS and other terror outfits in Afghanistan.

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