IS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Afghan Mosque Attack

IS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Afghan Mosque AttackIS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Afghan Mosque Attack

The self-styled Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in the capital as Afghan officials on Saturday raised the number of casualties from the attack to at least 39 dead and at least 41 wounded.

In a statement on its website late Friday, IS said claimed its fighter “detonated his explosive vest among the apostates” during Friday prayers in the Imam Zaman mosque in western Kabul, AP reported.

The attack was one of two on mosques in the troubled, war-torn country. A suicide bombing in western Ghor Province struck a Sunni mosque, also during Friday prayers, killing 33 people, including a warlord who was apparently the target, said Mohammad Iqbal Nizami, spokesman for the provincial chief of police.

The attacks were the latest in a devastating week that saw Taliban attacks kill scores across the country.

The so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan has taken responsibility for most of the attacks targeting Shias. Earlier this year, following an attack claimed by IS on the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul, the militant group effectively declared war on Afghanistan’s Shias, saying they would be the target of future attacks.

Several mosques have been attacked following this warning, killing scores of Shia worshippers in Kabul and in western Herat Province. Residents say attendance at local Shia mosques in Kabul on Friday has dropped by at least one-third.

The interior ministry released a statement Saturday saying it was investigating the attack in Kabul’s Dashte-e-Barchi neighborhood. It said the assailant blew himself up as worshippers began their prayers.

Dashte-e-Barchi is a sprawling neighborhood in the west of Kabul where the majority of people are ethnic Hazaras, who are mostly Shia Muslims.

As attacks targeting Muslims have increased in Kabul, residents of this area have grown increasingly afraid. Most schools have additional armed guards from among the local population.


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