Multiple explosions, multiple deaths at Afghan mosques

20

Multiple explosions at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan collapsed the roof on worshippers during Friday prayers, killing 62 and wounding more than 100, officials said.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar province governor, said bombs were placed in the mosque in Jawdara area of Haska Mena district.

“People using an excavator are still working to bring out bodies and injured,” said Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council in Nangarhar, adding the death toll was likely to rise.

Malik Mohammadi Gul Shinwari, a local tribal elder, said the mosque was destroyed.

“It was a heartbreaking scene I witnessed,” Shinwari said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility but government accused Taliban insurgents, fighting to re-impose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ousting by US-led forces.

Sediq Sediqqi, presidential palace spokesman, condemned what he said was a suicide bomb attack.

“The Taliban and their partners’ heinous crimes continue to target civilians at worship,” Sediqqi added.

Suhail Shaheen, Taliban spokesman, denied responsibility.

“All witnesses say it was a mortar attack by Kabul Administration forces,” he said in a tweet.

The Taliban and Islamic State fighters actively operate in parts of Nangarhar which shares a border with Pakistan.

In western Herat province, six civilians were killed and five wounded when their vehicle was hit by roadside bomb, Jailani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, said.

Women and children are among the victims, Farhad added.



A UN report recorded 4 313 civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the past three months.