A Taliban spokesman says a powerful explosion at a Sunni mosque in Kabul has killed at least 10 worshippers and wounded 20
KABUL, Afghanistan — A powerful explosion ripped through a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Friday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 20, a Taliban spokesman said.
Hundreds of worshippers had gathered for prayers on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramdan and the Khalifa Aga Gul Jan Mosque was packed, said local residents, fearing the casualty toll could rise further.
The Taliban-appointed interior ministry spokesman, Mohammad Nafi Takor, could not provide more details and Taliban security men cordoned off the area. The source of the explosion was not immediately known and no one has claimed responsibility for the blast.
The explosion was so loud that the neighborhood of the mosque shook from the blast, the residents said, speaking on condition of anonymity, fearing for their own safety.
Ambulances raced to the site, driving up to the end of a narrow street in an eastern neighborhood of Kabul to reach the mosque, which belongs to Afghanistan’s majority Sunni Muslims.
The explosion was the latest in a series of such blasts amid relentless attacks across the country. Similar attacks on mosques have recently targeted the country’s minority Shiite Muslims and were claimed by the Islamic State group’s regional affiliate, known as Islamic State in Khorasan Province or IS-K.
IS has stepped up its attacks across Afghanistan to become the primary enemy of the Taliban since their takeover of the country last August.
Associated Press writers Mohammad Shaoib Amin in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Rahim Faiez in Islamabad contributed to this report.