September 23, 2022
ISLAMABAD — A bomb has exploded outside a mosque in Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul, killing at least seven people and injuring 41, including two children.
Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran confirmed the casualties and said worshippers were leaving the main mosque in the upscale Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood after Friday afternoon prayers when the blast hit.
“All casualties are civilians,” Zadran added.
The nearby Italian charity hospital, Emergency, tweeted it had “received 14 casualties — 4 of them were already dead upon arrival.”
It was not immediately known whether a planted device or a suicide attacker carried out the deadly bombing, nor were there any immediate claims of responsibility. An interior ministry spokesman said the blast was under investigation.
The mosque has been previously targeted by militants. A blast in 2020, when the Taliban were waging a deadly insurgency against the then-internationally supported Afghan government forces and U.S.-led foreign troops, killed two people, including the mosque’s prayer leader.
Friday’s bombing was the latest in a deadly series targeting places of worship in Afghanistan and prominent clerics associated with the ruling Islamist Taliban. Some of the attacks have been claimed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State’s Afghan affiliate, known as Islamic State Khorasan Province.
The Taliban seized power in August 2021 when government security forces collapsed in the face of stunning insurgent attacks and the United States, along with NATO allies, withdrew all their troops from the country after two decades of war.
The United States condemned Friday’s bombing in Kabul as a “vicious attack” on worshippers.
“Such an attack against people professing their faith is unjustifiable. We offer condolences to the families of the victims and hope those injured recover swiftly,” the U.S. embassy wrote on Twitter.
Washington and Western countries relocated their diplomatic missions from the Afghan capital to Qatar shortly before the Taliban took control of the country.