No fewer than 20 people were reportedly killed and 90 others injured in a mosque explosion during Friday prayers in Kunduz city, capital of Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province.
A suicide bomber was said to be responsible for the blast, CNN reports.
An official with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Sara Chare noted that some of those killed and wounded were brought to the NGO’s facility in the city of Kunduz, and that the number of dead could be higher.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid on his Twitter handle said “security forces are at the scene, and investigation is underway,” noting that no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mujahid also said “a number of our compatriots were martyred and injured.”
The explosion took place around 1pm at the Sayedabad Street.
The bombing attack on the Shiite mosque inflicted serious injuries on many people.
A Kunduz resident named Hafizullah who lives near the mosque described the incident as a total disaster stating that, “All the windows of houses close to the mosque have been shattered and I see pieces of flesh on the street.”
Wall Street Journal reports that while there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Islamic State’s regional affiliate has carried out a series of attacks targeting the country’s Shiite community in recent years.
The group, Islamic State-Khorasan Province, or ISKP has organised a series of attacks since the US withdrawal in August, targeting Taliban officials at a mosque in Kabul last Sunday.
The Taliban and ISKP both seek to implement strict Islamic rules in Afghanistan; the two groups have profound religious and political differences.
Though the Taliban had previously persecuted Shiites when they ruled the country in the 1990s, their current government includes a member of the Hazara Shiite community as a deputy minister.
Islamic State, by contrast, views all Shiite Muslims as heretics who should be exterminated.