Deadly bomb attack tears apart mosque near Afghan Interior Ministry

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A suicide bomber struck a center of Taliban power on Wednesday, triggering an explosion at a government ministry in the Afghan capital Kabul. At least four people were killed, a Taliban official said.

The afternoon blast took place as workers and visitors prayed inside a mosque under the Afghan Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for security and law enforcement in the country. The ministry is on Kabul’s main road, adjacent to Kabul International Airport, and is within its own walled compound.

A Taliban-appointed ministry spokesman, Abdul Nafi Takor, said in a tweet: “Unfortunately this afternoon at around 1:30 p.m. there was an explosion in a sub-mosque of the Ministry of Interior, at as a result of which four worshipers were martyred and another 25 were injured.The incident is under investigation, we will share details with the media when it is done.

He said earlier that the blast happened as ministry workers and visitors were praying.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, but the Islamic State-affiliated group in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s main rival, has waged a campaign of violence against the Taliban and the Shia minority that has since escalated. that the Taliban took power in August 2021.

The attack on a government building inside a fortified compound is a blow to the Taliban, who have been trying to contain threats to their power and project an image of legitimacy, control and strength since they took power.

Kabul Emergency Hospital said it started seeing patients around 2 p.m. with injuries and burns, but initially there was no news of an attack or blast. The group tweeted that this was the second event involving a large number of casualties that the hospital has handled in recent days and the 23rd of the year.

On TwitterEmergency Hospital released a video of an injured person on a stretcher.

“A few minutes later, the number of casualties arriving increased and they reported seeing a man detonate a device,” Emergency acting national director Dejan Panic said. “It was a suicide bombing.”

Panic said the hospital received 20 injured people, all adult men. Of these, 16 were admitted and two were dead on arrival. The number could increase, he said: “Operating rooms are working and we have activated mass accident procedures.”

Mosque blast follows last week suicide bombing in an education center in Kabul that killed up to 52 people, according to a tally compiled by the Associated Press, more than double the death toll acknowledged by Taliban officials.

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