Kabul — After praying on Friday at the Kabul mosque, a powerful explosion killed more than 50 worshipers, the leader said.
Bethmura Habib, a deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the blast struck the Khalifa Sahib Mosque in the western part of the capital early in the afternoon.
The attack took place when worshipers of the Sunni mosque gathered for a congregation known as Dhikr, which gathered after Friday’s prayer.
Sayed Fazil Agha, the head of the mosque, said someone who believed he was a suicide bomber attended the ceremony and detonated an explosive.
“Black smoke was rising, spreading everywhere, and corpses were everywhere,” he told Reuters, adding that his nephew was among the dead. “I myself survived, but I lost my loved one.”
Resident Mohammad Sabir said he saw injured people loaded into an ambulance.
“The blast was very big. I thought the eardrum was cracked,” he said.
The U.S. and UN mission to Afghanistan condemned the attack, adding that the latter was part of an increase in violence targeting minorities in recent weeks, with at least two UN officials and their families in the mosque. rice field. Attack time.
“There is no word strong enough to blame this sneaky act,” said Met Knusen, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Afghanistan.
An emergency hospital in downtown Kabul said it was treating 21 patients and two died on arrival. Workers at another hospital treating patients with seizures said they had received 49 patients and about 5 bodies. According to sources, 10 of the patients were in critical condition and nearly 20 were hospitalized in the burn ward.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the ruling Taliban, issued a statement condemning the blast and saying that the perpetrators would be found and punished.
I didn’t immediately know who was responsible.
Dozens of Afghan civilians have been killed in the blast in recent weeks, some of which have been claimed by the ISIS terrorist group.
The emergency hospital said it had treated more than 100 patients injured in a seizure in Kabul in April alone. The latest attacks took place on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan, where most Muslims fast, and before the religious holidays of Eid next week.
The Taliban have said they have secured the country and significantly eliminated ISIS’s provincial sect since it came to power in August, but international officials and analysts remain at risk of a resurgence of radicals. It has said.
Many of the attacks target Shiite minorities, but Sunni mosques have also been attacked.
At least nine people were killed in a bomb explosion on two passenger vans carrying Shiite Muslims in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Thursday. Last Friday, a Sunni mosque was blown up during a Friday prayer in the city of Kunduz, killing 33 people.