Suicide bombers attacked a Shiite mosque full of worshippers attending Friday prayers in southern Afghanistan, killing not less than 32 folks and wounding 68, based on a Taliban official.
There was no fast declare of duty for the carnage on the Fatimiya mosque in Kandahar province. The assault, which one hospital official stated claimed 37 lives, got here every week after a bombing claimed by the native Islamic State affiliate killed 46 folks at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan.
The sectarian bloodletting has raised fears that IS _ an enemy of each the Taliban and the West _ is increasing its foothold in Afghanistan.
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Murtaza, who and like many Afghans goes by one title, stated he was contained in the mosque through the assault and reported 4 explosions: two outdoors and two inside. He stated Friday prayers on the mosque usually draw lots of of individuals.
One other witness, additionally named Murtaza, was in control of safety on the mosque and stated he noticed two bombers. He stated one detonated explosives outdoors the gate, and the opposite was already among the many worshippers contained in the mosque.
He stated the mosque’s safety personnel shot one other suspected attacker outdoors.
Video footage confirmed our bodies scattered throughout bloodstained carpets, with survivors strolling round in a daze or crying out in anguish.
Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi reported the variety of lifeless and wounded. However a neighborhood hospital official who was not approved to talk to the media and spoke on situation of anonymity gave the next toll, saying not less than 37 folks have been killed and greater than 70 wounded.
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The Islamic State group, which like Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban is made up of Sunni Muslims, views Shiite Muslims as apostates deserving of demise.
IS has claimed quite a few lethal bombings throughout the nation for the reason that Taliban seized energy in August amid the withdrawal of U.S. forces. The group has additionally focused Taliban fighters in smaller assaults.
If the assault was carried out by IS, it could be the primary main assault by the extremist group in southern Afghanistan for the reason that U.S. departure enabled the Taliban to consolidate management of the nation. Current assaults within the north, the east and the Afghan capital have solid doubt on the Taliban’s potential to counter the risk posed by IS.
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The Taliban have pledged to revive peace and safety after many years of battle and have additionally given the U.S. assurances that they won’t enable the nation for use as a base for launching extremist assaults on different international locations.
The Taliban have pledged, too, to guard Afghanistan’s Shiite minority, which was persecuted over the past interval of Taliban rule, within the Nineteen Nineties.
Each the Taliban and IS adhere to a inflexible interpretation of Islamic legislation, however IS is way extra radical. It has better-known branches in Iraq and Syria.
Akhgar reported from Istanbul
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